Medication Error Lawyers Serving Spartanburg and Greenville, SC
Serious medication errors impact more than seven million patients each year in the U.S. In many cases, these errors could have been prevented. They are the result of negligence on the part of doctors, nurses, pharmacists and others in the health care profession.
If you believe a medication error has harmed you or a loved one, contact the medical malpractice lawyers of Harrison, White, Smith & Coggins, P.C. We serve clients throughout Spartanburg, Greenville and surrounding areas in Upstate South Carolina. We can put our decades of experience in medical negligence cases to work for you right away.
Types of Medication Errors
Many different kinds of medication errors can occur. According to the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP), the most common types are:
- Prescribing errors – These can result from an incorrect diagnosis or incorrect dose being prescribed. In some cases, a physician may prescribe a drug that interacts dangerously with another drug that is already being taken by the patient.
- Transcribing errors – Even if the original diagnosis and recommended prescription pose no patient harm, a data entry error — whether related to the drug name, dose or frequency — could lead to harm.
- Dispensing errors – These errors occur when there is a discrepancy (wrong drug, strength or dose) between the prescription and the medicine delivered by the pharmacy to the patient or hospital.
- Administration errors – These errors can include giving a patient the wrong drug or the wrong dose of a drug or giving a drug to the wrong patient. The incorrect form of administration (for example, intravenously instead of orally) is another possible error.
- Monitoring errors – These errors happen when a prescribed medication regimen is not reviewed for appropriateness and potential problems.
Causes of Medication Errors
Medication errors can be blamed on systemic flaws in the U.S. healthcare system. Critics point to the need for greater use of information technology (such as bar code systems for drugs), improvement in how drug information is communicated, better communication between primary care physicians and pharmacists and a rethinking of the patient-provider relationship.
Some of the more specific causes of medication errors are:
- Illegible handwritten prescriptions
- Confusion caused by similar drug names
- Insufficient or missing information about a patient’s prescription, drug-reaction and drug-interaction history
- An overly complex drug regimen
- Failure to follow proper procedure
- Failure to act in accordance with education and training.
If any of these errors occurred in your case, you may be able to pursue a medical malpractice claim to recover compensation for the harm you have suffered.
Possible At-Fault Parties in a Medication Error Lawsuit
Many different parties could be named in a malpractice lawsuit based on a medication error, including:
- Hospitals or clinics
In a medication error lawsuit, you would need to establish that a healthcare professional owed you a duty (such as a doctor-patient relationship), that the duty was breached due to substandard care being provided to you and that you suffered harm as a result.
Contact Our Upstate South Carolina Medical Malpractice Attorneys
A medical malpractice claim is aimed at securing compensation for the undue medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering and other losses you or your loved one has suffered.
A claim can also serve as a check on careless healthcare providers and, hopefully, lead to improvements that prevent patients from suffering similar harm in the future.
To learn how Harrison, White, Smith & Coggins, P.C., can assist you, contact us today. We provide free initial consultations. We can review your case closely, consult with highly qualified medical experts and ultimately seek the compensation you deserve.
Sources / More Information
• Preventing Medication Errors, Institute of Medicine
• Preventing Medication Errors: A $21 Billion Opportunity, National Quality Forum
• Medication Errors, Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy
• Medication Mistakes: Types and Causes, The Commonwealth Fund
• The National Medication Errors Reporting Program, Institute for Safe Medication Practices
• ASHP Guidelines on Preventing Medication Errors in Hospitals, American Society of Hospital Pharmacists
• Errors in Transcribing and Administering Medications, Massachusetts Coalition for the Prevention of Medical Errors