Kentucky Medical Malpractice Attorneys Talk About Medication Errors
When you go to a doctor, a hospital, or another place where medical care is available, you trust that the medical professionals that you see there will give you the help that you need. Most of the time, medical professionals do their work correctly and help those who are sick or injured to heal. Medication is a popular and effective form of treatment for many ailments, and medical professionals often prescribe medications to their patients to help them get well again.
As useful as medications can be, medication errors are among the most common forms of medical malpractice. When a medical professional prescribes the wrong medication or the wrong dose, it can have serious consequences for the patient. Likewise, when a pharmacist reads a prescription incorrectly, they may give the patient the wrong medication or the wrong dose, resulting in serious harm and sometimes even death.
While medications are often used on their own to treat illnesses, they are also a part of many medical procedures, such as MRIs and surgeries. As is the case in any situation where a medication is administered to a patient, the wrong medication or an incorrect dose can be fatal. One situation where an incorrect dosage of a sedative resulted in the death of a patient involved a twelve year old who was given four times the appropriate dose of the medication prior to having an MRI. The excessive dose resulted in the patient suffering from cardiac arrest and oxygen deprivation to the brain resulting in severe brain damage prior to her death.
An example of a situation in which the wrong medication was prescribed involves a patient who was discharged from a hospital before she had fully recovered. The woman had an infection near her heart, but she was discharged without a prescription for medication to treat it. The infection near the woman's heart got worse. She went back to the hospital after a month, and her condition steadily declined until she died nine days later.
Pharmacists play an important role in ensuring that people who need medication get the proper medication in the correct dose. In some situations, pharmacists have identified errors in doctors' prescriptions prior to filling them and they have worked with the doctors to correct the errors and ensure that the patients got the correct medications. In other cases, errors at the pharmacy can result in a patient receiving the wrong medication or the wrong dose. The death of one ninety year old woman serves as a tragic example of how pharmacy errors can result in serious injury or death. She had been taking medication for a heart condition, and she was doing well. When her supply of the medication was low, she obtained a refill from the pharmacy. The woman's family and caregivers administered the medication four times a day, in accordance with the instructions that the pharmacy had printed on the bottle. A few days later, the woman was hospitalized after becoming unresponsive. She died a few days later, because the pharmacist's instructions had resulted in a dose of four times as much medication as she needed.
Medication errors can cause serious illness, injury, and even death. If you or someone that you love has been killed or injured as the result of a medication error, call the Kentucky Medical Malpractice Attorneys at Goeing Goeing and McQuinn PLLC to schedule a free consultation.