When you’re prescribed medication, it’s done with the intention of treating your ailment so you can not only feel better but treat your underlying condition. After all, you’re trusting that your doctor is prescribing you the correct medication. However, what happens if the medication you were prescribed was incorrect? Does that fall under the legal definition of medical malpractice?
What is a Prescription Drug Error?
A prescription drug error can come in many forms not limited to the following:
- Failing to warn the patient of the drug’s side effects
- Administering the wrong medication to a patient
- Giving the patient the wrong dosage of medication
- Prescribing the patient a medication he/she is allergic to
- Mislabeling a medication
- Prescribing the patient a medication that negatively interacts with another medication the patient is currently taking
Individuals Who Can be Held Liable for a Prescription Drug Error
Depending on the situation, there may be several people who were involved in prescribing your medication, such as doctors, nurses, pharmacists, pharmacy departments in hospitals and even the drug manufacturer. Below, we will take a look at various scenarios to help identify who may be held liable.
Failing to Warn Patient of Common Side Effects
Depending on the situation, it was most likely a nurse or physician who prescribed your medication. However, it is up to not only them but the pharmacist when you’re picking up your medication, to warn you of any potential side effects. Patients should also be warned if there are any types of food they should avoid while taking their medication. One surprising food that often does not mix well with certain medications is grapefruit; in fact, patients who are taking medication for high blood pressure and high cholesterol are often told to avoid the tangy fruit.
Administering the Wrong Medication or Dosage
Unfortunately, it can be very easy to administer the wrong dosage of medication. If a medical professional misses a decimal point, the patient could easily be administered too much or too little of a certain medication. Other factors such as poor handwriting may also contribute to the wrong medication being administered.
Administering medication through the wrong location site can also cause harm to a patient. Certain medications have to be injected into different parts of the body, such as directly into the bloodstream or directly into the muscles. Mixing these areas up can cause a patient harm, as well. In these types of situations, fault could lie with both the physician and nurse who administered or prescribed the medication.
Mislabeling the Medication
Another common prescription drug error involves mislabeling the medication. Depending on the situation, the pharmacist or manufacturer may be held responsible for any harm done to the patient. The biggest difference between these is which type of claim is usually filed. If the pharmacist mislabels the medication, it could be the basis for a medical malpractice lawsuit whereas if the error occurred at the manufacturer or retailer, a product liability claim may be able to be brought forward. An experienced attorney will be able to help you determine who is legally responsible for the error.
Prescribing Dangerous Medication
Not all medications can be fixed with everything. Likewise, just like food, people may have allergic reactions to certain medications. If a patient is prescribed a medication that negatively interacts with another drug they’re taking or one they are allergic to, fault typically lies with the pharmacist. This is because the pharmacist is usually responsible for tracking a patient’s allergies in addition to the ones they are currently taking.
If you suffered harm as a result of a prescription drug error and want to find out if you have the basis for a valid medical malpractice claim, the attorneys at Andres & Berger, P.C. can help. Schedule a consultation today: 856-317-6558.
Contact A Medical Malpractice Attorney For A Consultation About Your Medical Malpractice Case In New Jersey
Were you or a loved one injured due to a prescription drug error in New Jersey? Then you need to talk to an experienced medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible for guidance on how to proceed. The Haddonfield medical malpractice attorneys at Andres & Berger, P.C. are prepared to assist you with your legal claim. We represent victims of negligent surgeons, doctors, nurses, and pharmacists throughout New Jersey, including Haddonfield, Cherry Hill, Voorhees, and Marlton. Call us today at 856-317-6558 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation. Our main office is located at 264 Kings Highway East, Haddonfield, NJ 08033 and we also have offices in East Gate, One Liberty, and Princeton Overlook.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.