When Do Pharmacy Errors Become Medical Malpractice? | Medicine Malpractice Lawyers, Wichita, KS
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) receives over 100,000 reports of suspected medication errors each year, with medication errors occurring in an estimated one out of five hospital doses. While pharmaceutical drugs can help sick and injured patients experience some pain relief when properly administered, pharmacy mistakes can be very severe, resulting in further injury, hospitalization, and even death. With the endless amounts of medications prescribed and prescriptions filled each day, mistakes are sure to happen, but mistakes made due to the negligence of a pharmacist or pharmacy staff may entitle you to compensation for your sustained injuries. The medicine malpractice lawyers in Wichita, Kansas, at the Prochaska, Howell & Prochaska LLC Law Firm have detailed everything you need to know about pharmacy errors and medicine malpractice to help keep you safe and healthy.
Types of Prescription Drug Errors
According to the National Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention, a medication error is defined as any preventable event that may cause or lead to inappropriate medication use or patient harm while the medication is in the control of the healthcare professional, patient, or consumer. Medication errors can occur throughout any stage of the medication-use system, such as prescribing drugs, entering information into computer systems, or even when a patient consumes a drug. Because administering the wrong amount of medication is shockingly easy, healthcare professionals can be held liable for something as simple as poor penmanship, ultimately leading to patient harm. Additional examples of prescription drug errors caused by the negligence of doctors, nurses, or pharmacists, may include:
- Administering an incorrect dosage of medicine, even if unintentional.
- Prescribing the wrong medication.
- Prescribing a patient an unintended medication.
- Failing to properly account for a patient’s history of prescription drug use.
- Not warning a patient of all risks associated with a given medication.
- Mixing prescription drugs.
- Mislabeling a medication.
“Medication errors are an increasing problem in the health care system today. The effects of medication errors can cause serious permanent injury and even death to a patient,” said Bradley J. Prochaska, partner and medicine malpractice lawyer at the PHP Law Firm. “Even as technological advancements are put in place to help prevent these errors, they continue at an alarming rate.”
Proving Pharmacy Negligence
The most important factor in all medical malpractice cases depends on the responsible party’s negligence and whether or not a mistake that should have been discovered by a competent medical professional has taken place. Our medicine malpractice lawyers in Wichita at the PHP Law Firm recommend hiring an experienced medicine malpractice lawyer to help navigate your case and ensure you receive accurate compensation for your injuries. In order to file a medical malpractice lawsuit, you must suffer an injury as a result of a medication error, where negligence is directly responsible for the injury and also be able to prove the following:
Standard of Care: The “standard of care” is based on the education and training a pharmacist or other medical professional receives and what a reasonable health care professional would do in a similar situation. The standard of care applies to physicians and healthcare providers in all specialties and acts as a contractual obligation between patients and their healthcare providers. Regarding the standard of care for providers prescribing or administering medication, it is their duty to educate themselves on the patient’s allergies or other medications they are currently taking. Should a healthcare provider fail to research a patient’s medical history, prescriptions, or allergies, they may be held liable for any injuries sustained.
Damages: An injury sustained from a medication error must either cause physical or economic damages, including medical bills or lost wages for the duration a patient is injured. If an individual will suffer long-lasting physical injuries, they may be able to receive compensation for pain and suffering.
Causation: Prescribing or filling the incorrect medication does not itself constitute a medical malpractice case; a healthcare provider’s negligence must be directly responsible for the causation of an individual’s suffering or sustained injuries.
How PHP Law Firm Can Help
When you contact the PHP Law Firm medicine malpractice lawyers in Wichita, we can schedule a free consultation to discuss your situation before making a recommendation. If our team feels that you are the victim of pharmacy negligence and you would like to proceed with legal action, you will not be charged any fees unless we win compensation for you.
Contact us directly at (316) 683-9080 to schedule a free consultation. We look forward to speaking with you!