An adverse reaction to a medication alone does not prove medical malpractice, even if the wrong medication or the wrong dose of medication is prescribed. Proving medical malpractice due to a medication error is more complicated than simply proving the error occurred. But, knowing what types of error can occur, and what you should do if you or a loved one are injured or killed by a medication error in Georgia, can help protect you and your loved ones.
Types of Medication Errors
- Medication errors can happen in many different ways:
- Wrong medication prescribed for the condition to be treated.
- Wrong medication prescribed based on other conditions, allergies, age, weight, or other factors.
- Wrong dosage prescribed for patient based on condition, age, weight, or other factors.
- Failure by doctor or pharmacist to check current patient medications for interaction with new medication.
- Failure by healthcare staff to confirm time of prior dose of medication to prevent overmedication.
- Failure to provide proper dosing instructions.
- Failure to properly inform patient of possible side effects or interactions.
- Facility staff administering the wrong medication.
Any of these errors, or a combination of errors, can lead to death or serious injury. Being aware that these errors can occur is one way you can protect yourself and your loved ones any time you are under the care of a doctor or other healthcare provider.
An Error Occurred. What happens next?
As with any type of medical malpractice case in Georgia, the presence of an error resulting in an injury or death is just the beginning of the story. To show malpractice, the error must have occurred because the healthcare provider’s action was negligent. Negligence means that the action fell below the standard of care a healthcare provider is expected to follow. Specific to medication error cases, the standard of care is the standard to be followed when prescribing or administering a medication. This is done by obtaining an expert opinion that the error did occur because the healthcare provider’s actions fell below the standard of care.
Any time you or a loved one suffer an injury after receiving a medication, there are several steps you can take to protect your ability to hold the healthcare provider accountable. First, you need to keep all prescription medication bottles; to document all medications (prescription and over-the-counter) being taken at the time of injury; to maintain all written documentation regarding your condition and treatment; and to keep anything else that might help tell your story. Second, you need to seek the counsel of an experienced legal team, like The Champion Firm, to evaluate your case as soon as possible. Do not let a healthcare provider’s error be the end of your story.