Harrisburg Medical Malpractice Lawyers Represent Victims Injured by Medication Errors
Medical negligence can take many forms, including errors relating to medication. Patients in Pennsylvania, who are injured by prescription drug errors, including drug dosage mistakes, may be entitled to compensation for their injuries. Regardless of whether a medication error results in harm at home, during a hospital stay, at a long term nursing care facility or a rehabilitation center, the injured patient has a potential medication error lawsuit if negligence caused the medication error.
Pittsburgh medical malpractice lawyer, Jim Moyles, has spent over thirty years working on behalf of patients who have suffered devastating injuries as a result of medical malpractice. In addition to claims directly against prescription drug companies related to defective manufacturing, distribution or advertising of medication, Pittsburgh medical malpractice lawyers at the Law Offices of James R. Moyles handles medication error lawsuits against other potentially responsible parties, including doctors, pharmacists, nurses, hospitals and nursing care facilities.
Common Medication Errors
The National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention defines a medication error as “any preventable event that may cause or lead to inappropriate medication use or patient harm while the medication is in the control of the health care professional, patient or consumer.” Geriatric patients are particularly vulnerable to injury resulting from medication errors, accounting for over 50% of all reported medication error cases. Over 7,000 deaths annually result from medication errors.
Among the most common types of medical errors resulting in potential lawsuits are:
- Hospital overdoses of pain relief narcotics, including morphine
- Incorrect programming of pumps which dispense medication
- Improper and/or inadequate training of hospital staff
- Physicians prescribing the wrong type or brand of medication
- Physicians prescribing the wrong dosage of medication
- Use of incorrect drug abbreviations on prescriptions
- Receiving another patient’s medication
- Errors involving medical gases (for example, connecting nitrogen gas to an oxygen gas system)
- Drug name confusion errors (such as methadone/metadate, celebrex/celexa, serzone/seroquel)
- Wrong route of administration of the medication
There are various causes of these common medication errors. Often poor communication between key personnel such as physicians, nurses and pharmacists results in a medication error. Misinterpretation of a physician’s handwriting, drug name or label confusion, labeling and packaging mishaps and lack of training also can result in serious medication errors.
Preventing Medication Errors
In addition to encouraging the increased use of hospital checks and balances, the FDA strongly supports the use of mandatory bar code labeling to reduce drug name confusion. The FDA further encourages the use of Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE) in which physicians enter medication orders directly into the computer system to avoid misinterpretation of drug prescriptions as a result of poor handwriting, abbreviations or unclear decimal points. Increased drug labeling, heightened public awareness of medication error issues and better tracking of the frequency and type of medication errors are among the other FDA recommendations.
As a patient, you can become an informed consumer to help prevent medication errors. Always know the name and purpose of all drugs prescribed to you. Knowing exactly how to take prescribed medication and whether you should be avoiding any activities, foods or liquids while on the medication can also prevent medication error injuries. Using compliance aids (such as pill containers with daily sections), checking the labels on your prescription bottles and using the correct measuring devices for liquid medications will also help prevent medication errors at home.
Pittsburgh Medical Malpractice Lawyer, James R. Moyles, Represents Patients in Harrisburg and Pittsburgh Region who have Suffered Injuries as a Result of Medication Errors
If you or your loved one has suffered personal injury or wrongful death as the result of a medication error caused by medical or pharmacy malpractice, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Pittsburgh injury law firm of James R. Moyles represents clients throughout Central and Western Pennsylvania with offices conveniently located in Harrisburg and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. To discuss your potential medication error lawsuit, call our office today at 412-281-1055 or 717-233-5400 or contact us online for a free consultation with one of our qualified Pittsburgh medical malpractice lawyers.