Medication Mistakes in Hospitals

Medication Mistakes in Hospitals

Medication mistakes happen. Sometimes a doctor will prescribe the wrong medication or will prescribe the right medication at the wrong dosage. If you were harmed by a medication mistake, seek the experienced counsel of a Richmond, Virginia, medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible.

Mistakes in Medication

Mistakes in medication are some of the most common medical errors. If you’ve ever watched a prescription drug commercial, you understand that medications can have side effects (and plenty of them, judging from some of those commercials). Hospitals, however, are responsible for accurately writing, filling, and administering appropriate medications to patients, as well as educating patients about possible side effects and monitoring the effects of each drug.

Hospitals and Duty of Care

Side effects aren’t related to the patient’s condition—they are unintended symptoms caused by a treatment medication. Some of these side effects can be extremely dangerous, such as organ damage or suicidal thoughts. Hospitals’ prescribing physicians bear significant legal duties regarding prescriptions. They must:
  • Balance the risks and benefits of a medication in relation to the patient’s health overall
  • Carefully consider potential interactions between the prescription and other medications taken by the patient
  • Carefully consider the known potential side effects of the prescription
Furthermore, hospital pharmacies are obligated to accurately dispense the correct prescriptions in the prescribed dosages. Finally, hospital medical professionals who administer prescribed medications are charged with adhering to a medically accepted protocol in the proper administration of the correct medications in the prescribed doses.

Medical Malpractice

If a medical professional in the hospital’s prescription drug-administration chain fails to adequately fulfill the duties outlined above and a patient is injured, a claim of medical malpractice can result. Several elements, however, must first be established:
  • If you, as the patient, were involved in administering your own medications, you must be able to show that you did so in accordance with provided instructions.
  • If you base your case on the hospital’s failure to warn you about potential side effects or complications, you must establish that a doctor or medical professional failed to provide proper advice about those side effects.
  • If instead, your case hinges on a dispensing error, you must prove that the prescription was filled with a medication other than, or in a different dosage than, what your physician prescribed.
  • If you have a case based on wrongful administration, you must demonstrate that the correct medication was wrongfully administered or that the wrong medication was administered.
  • You will need to establish a link between the medication mistake and the harm you’ve suffered—usually through expert testimony.
  • Finally, you must show that the damages you suffered legally entitle you to compensation.

If You Were Harmed by a Medication Mistake, Contact a Skilled Medical Malpractice Attorney Today

Being in the hospital is difficult enough.  If you were harmed by a medication mistake while you were there, you need an experienced Richmond, Virginia, medical malpractice lawyer. The legal team at Emroch & Kilduff has the experience and expertise to help you recover the compensation to which you’re entitled. We’re here to help, so contact or call us at (804) 358-1568 for an initial consultation today.

William B. Kilduff


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