Medication Errors can Kill

It is probably fair to say that every patient has been prescribed medication at some point in their history.  It is normal to return home after a routine medical appointment with a prescription in hand. 

Experienced Kingston medical malpractice attorneys know that medications must be prescribed appropriately given the patient’s medical condition.  Doctors must use caution when prescribing medication and be mindful of the patient’s allergies, other medications, and health conditions that could be affected by a drug. 

As you know, many drugs are specifically used to treat certain conditions, but not used for other conditions.  Doctors must always prescribe the proper medications that are known to treat the patient’s unique ailment.  Prescribing a drug not suitable for a patient’s condition can be medical malpractice.  

This type of malpractice comes in several forms; it could be that the wrong medication was prescribed, or that the wrong dosage was prescribed.  It could be that the doctor failed to check the patient’s history to see if the medication would react poorly with other medications the patient is taking.  The doctor may not have known the patient’s allergies.  Note that some medications are not appropriate for certain classes of people; i.e. pregnant women. 

In sum, there could be an adverse reaction because of an allergy, condition, because the drug is reacting poorly due to the presence of another drug, or because a dosage is too large.  Of course, a patient’s age impacts how medication is prescribed as well.

Once you have a doctor patient relationship with a medical professional, your treating physician must properly prescribe your medications.  If the treating doctor fails at this, you can commence litigation founded in medical malpractice in order to be compensated for your damages.

But this can only be successful if you actually suffered an injury that was caused by the inappropriately prescribed medication.  If the medication prescribed was appropriate but ineffective, there may not be a case for malpractice. 

The patient would have to show that another doctor treating a similarly situated patient would not have prescribed the medication that the offending doctor did prescribe; or that the patient should not have been on the medication for so long, or in any way would not have given that medication in that way to that kind of patient. 

As stated above, the treating doctor may deviate from the standard of care by misprescribing the medication, but not be liable because the patient did not suffer an injury.  The injury is the physical effect that the wrongly prescribed medication had on the patient.  Shaking, memory loss, seizures, heart attack and even death, for example, are the types of injuries we speak of.  Costs incurred by the patient as a result, as well as pain and suffering, are all compensable damages. 

But what do you think?  I would love to hear from you!  Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at [email protected]  You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com

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