When our loved ones are sent to clinics, hospitals, and private offices, we believe that they will be treated and cared for properly. We trust in our medical physicians who have undergone several years of training and are required to stay updated on new medical theories long after they receive their licenses. Yet, medical negligence and mistakes occur in medical facilities everyday.
Florida Medication Error Attorneys
Here’s the hardcore truth — when medical errors occur, they are usually preventable. Medical professionals can make errors in prescribing medication, dispensing medication, or administering medication. These errors can cause severe harm (even death) to patients, which could have been avoided altogether.
Drug Errors: Prescribing the Incorrect Dosage
A major medication error is prescription of the wrong dosages to patients. Let’s say your physician has poor handwriting, or writes in cursive manuscript that is difficult to understand. When you take your prescription to the nearest pharmacist, words and numbers may be interpreted incorrectly. If there are drugs and medications that have similar spellings, or that sound alike, medical professionals may confuse the drugs as interchangeable. A failure to include a decimal point, dash, or a number, or the proper measurement (i.e. tablespoon vs. teaspoon) may cause a patient to consume a drug amount that it not compatible with his/her body.
Failure to Consider Other Illnesses When Prescribing Medication
Most notably, medical professionals may fail to consider a patient’s preexisting illnesses when assigning him/her medication. Illnesses, disabilities and diseases interact within the body and with each other differently. A drug that may be suitable for one illness may be fatal for another. Medical professionals are supposed to provide thorough analysis and review of a patient’s medical condition and history. They should be familiar with the active ingredients that make up drugs and confirm that an ingredient in a drug is suitable and safe for a patient before making any recommendations.
Harmful Reactions: It is advisable to avoid mixing white-colored alcohol and brown-colored alcohol because the two forms of liquor produce a negative reaction within the body. Drinkers of both brown and white liquor in one sequence may experience dizziness, fatigue, and vomiting. The same is true for medications. If you are taking medication X, and your medical professional prescribes you medication Y (which contains chemicals that are hostile when combined with medication X), you may experience significant harm.
Failure to Consider Allergies
Allergies are much more serious than we often think. It isn’t just about breaking out into sweat or hives. Allergic reactions can be extremely dangerous to the body, even resulting in death. It is a health professional's’ responsibility to check for allergies and ensure that drugs do not contain ingredients that may trigger allergic reactions in your body.
Prescribing Medications That Are Impermissible to Certain Groups
Some people’s bodies have limitations. They cannot take certain drugs because of a temporary (or permanent) condition. For example, there are certain types of drugs that pregnant women should not take to avoid damage to the unborn baby. The same may be true for people with special disabilities and certain cancers, as well as high blood pressure.
Avoid Medication Errors
The most common form of medical error prevention is through proper communication of all parties.
Medical professionals should confirm and check with each other before making final decisions. For example, if a pharmacist finds a prescription ambiguous, he/she should contact the medical office to clarify the type of drug that was assigned.
As a patient, you should be honest, thorough, specific, and clear with your physician. When you complete medical history forms, include everything. If you are uncertain about what to include, request assistance from a front desk associate. When your physician asks you questions, you should be truthful. Do not allow shyness or any other feelings to get in the way of you providing the full truth. By being completely open with your physician, you may be saving your own life.
Medication Error Attorneys in Gainesville, FL
Even so, you should not be responsible for a medication error. If you suspect that a medication error has occurred within your household, contact a medical malpractice attorney in Gainesville, FL. At Warner, Sechrest & Butts, we have professionals who have experience in medication error litigation. They are able to effectively analyze medical documents and data (i.e. medical records such as X-rays), ask appropriate questions, and bring in outside experts to support your claim. After a medication error causes your family suffering, injuries, or a fatal experience, you are entitled to an explanation, apology, monetary and medical compensation, and reassurance that the same mistake won’t happen again. Let our personal injury and medical malpractice attorneys at Warner, Sechrest & Butts help you.