Many Americans do not realize this, but medical and medication errors are one of the most common causes of death in our country. An estimated up to 1.3 million people in the U.S. are injured due to medication errors each year. Of these medication errors, prescribing contraindicated medication is one of the most common causes of patient injury and death.
There are literally hundreds of thousands of medications sold in the U.S. Each day, hundreds of them disappear from the market, while hundreds of new ones enter the market. “As you can guess, it can be very easy for a doctor, physician, pharmacist, or any other healthcare provider to make a mistake when prescribing or administering medications to patients,” says our Philadelphia prescribing contraindicated medication attorney at The Weitz Firm, LLC. “Unfortunately, these medication errors can cause serious complications and can even be fatal.”
The prescription and dispensation of medication can be very complicated, which is why determining when a medication error amounts to medical malpractice often requires the help of a skilled medical malpractice lawyer in Philadelphia or elsewhere in Pennsylvania.
Yes, many of these mistakes are purely accidental, while others are caused by ignorance. For example, a doctor who lacks experience or knowledge may not be aware of bad drug interactions. While many medication errors are caused by doctors prescribing the wrong dosage or the wrong drug, other errors are caused by medical specialists prescribing contraindicated medication.
When a doctor or pharmacist prescribes or dispenses a drug, he or she is expected to be fully educated on the medications and be aware of all the possible side effects and possible bad interactions when the drug is being administered along with other drugs or the patient has any pre-existing conditions.
Unfortunately, there is an increasing number of medical malpractice cases in which doctors miss details, forget to check the patient’s medical history, misread test results, forget about the drug’s possible negative interactions, and do other mistakes when prescribing contraindicated medications.
“Although it can be very easy to miss relevant information in determining contraindications, there is no excuse for healthcare providers to make negligent mistakes and get away with it,” says our experienced prescribing contraindicated medication attorney in Philadelphia. Of course, there are also many cases in which patients get injured due to their doctor being ignorant of the interactions of one medication with another medication.
“We cannot expect doctors to know everything, right?” you may be wondering. Well, yes, the notion that “doctors are only human beings who make mistakes” does make sense, but let’s not forget that medical professionals are held to the highest standard of care, which is why any medication errors that lead to injury or death can result in legal consequences.
If you can prove that your healthcare provider prescribed or dispensed contraindicated medication, and this was the cause of your injury or your loved one’s death, you may be able to seek compensation for your medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering, loss of earning capacity, and any other damages and losses.
Do keep in mind that in order to bring a medical malpractice claim, you will have to establish that there was a doctor-patient relationship (the doctor owed you a duty of care), the healthcare provider beached the duty of care by prescribing contraindicated medication, and the breach caused your injury and, as a result, damages and losses.