Timeline for Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
Daniel Tan | May 4, 2024 | 0 Comments

Medical Malpractice and Medication Errors

Medical malpractice is one of the most devastating ways you can suffer a personal injury. We grow up hearing how important it is to trust medical professionals, so when their guidance leads us astray, it can be very hard to accept. Unfortunately, medical malpractice cases continue to be relatively common in Southern California. When a doctor’s mistake costs you money and physical harm, you could be entitled to compensation. That’s where the team at DeWitt Algorri & Algorri comes in. Our team of experienced medical malpractice lawyers in California can help you fight for every dollar you deserve. Call us at 855-WINNING (946-6464) to set up a consultation with our team right away.

While malpractice can happen in any specialty, certain fields are more often the target of lawsuits. Some of the specialties most commonly named in lawsuits include general surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, orthopedics, plastic surgery, and radiology. Those that are less frequently sued include psychiatry, pediatrics, and physical therapy.

Common Types of Prescription Errors

Medication errors can happen at any step of the medication process, from prescription of medication to the actual administration and documentation of medication. If a doctor falls short of their duty of care while prescribing a medication, they may be at risk of a malpractice suit. A doctor may prescribe the wrong medication for a patient’s medical needs, the wrong dosage for the severity of the patient’s needs or their weight, or a medication that a doctor should know could cause them physical harm.

Dosage Errors

Dosage errors are a significant problem in medical settings—common enough that every medical drama has at least one bit where an experienced nurse stops a resident physician from prescribing a patient a dose several hundred times the recommended dosage. If the dosage of a medication is too low, the patient may not see any benefits from it. If this goes on for an extended period of time, the patient may see their condition worsen. This has the potential to cause permanent damage and result in a medical malpractice claim.

When a dosage is too high, the patient may suffer extreme side effects or permanent health consequences. These errors can happen in a variety of ways. A doctor may mix up prescription medications when writing a prescription, misplace a decimal point, or be distracted while writing the prescription. In cases of dosage errors leading to severe consequences, seeking legal counsel becomes paramount. Our team of medical malpractice attorneys in California can thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding the error, gather evidence, and advocate for the patient’s rights to ensure proper compensation for any resulting harm or damages.

Administration Errors

Administration errors are most common in nursing homes, hospitals, and assisted living facilities, where caregivers are directly responsible for giving medications to patients. Administration errors occur in a wide range of ways. They include:

  • Giving the medication to the wrong patient
  • Giving the wrong medication to a patient
  • Administering the incorrect dosage
  • Administering the incorrect form of medicine (tablet versus liquid, for example)
  • Administering in the wrong location (for example, intramuscular versus intravenous)
  • Giving medication multiple times
  • Failing to administer medication at all

Unfortunately, administration errors are becoming increasingly common. Hospitals and assisted living facilities require fewer and fewer care providers to take on an ever-growing patient load. When a caregiver is stretched too thin, the likelihood of them making a mistake is much higher.

Communication and Documentation Failures

There are many reasons that hospitals and other healthcare facilities have stringent rules regarding the communication and documentation of medication administration. The more stringent their documentation requirements are, the more likely it is that someone will catch a medication error before it actually affects a patient. Care providers may administer medication without documenting it, causing another care provider to give the medication again and putting the patient at risk of an overdose. They may also fail to notate when a medication is stopped, leading future caregivers to continue giving a medication that is unsafe or ineffective. They may also fail to properly document medications when a patient switches facilities or goes home, causing interruptions in care.

Fight for Compensation with the Team of Medical Malpractice Lawyers at DeWitt Algorri & Algorri

Patients rarely find out about medication errors until they have already been seriously impacted by them. This is one area where patients trust their care providers and assume that the checks and balances in the system work to keep them safe. When this system falls short, it is crucial that you find out if you are owed compensation in a medical malpractice case. Reach out to our California medical malpractice attorneys and learn more about your legal options. Just call us at 855-WINNING or connect with us online.

Daniel Tan

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