When you go to the hospital or receive treatment from a medical professional, you assume that you will receive quality care. The specific type of care you should receive depends on your medical needs and other factors, but regardless of the details of your individual case, you have the right to an expectation of care and support that meets a certain standard. This includes receiving the appropriate medication, including the right type and dosage necessary for your situation.
Medication errors are some of the most common types of medical errors that occur both in hospitals and other types of medical care facilities. These types of mistakes are easily avoidable, and it is the responsibility of each care provider, pharmacist and others involved in patient care to do everything possible to avoid these types of mistakes. Certain safety protocols can reduce the chance of these types of events from occurring.
Reducing the chance of these events
Medication errors can be much more than just an inconvenience for the patient. These types of events can result in a delay in necessary treatment, pain, additional suffering, worsening of a medical condition and even death. To reduce these types of events, the following steps may be useful:
- Oral dosage medications, including both liquids and tablets, should have individual and distinct imprint codes to verify type, strength and intended use.
- Syringes used for oral medication should be appropriate for the specific medication in order to prevent a dosage mistake.
- Labeling should not look too similar to other medications, and all medications should be carefully marked.
- Nurses, doctors and care providers should double-check all medications before distributing them, ensuring that the right medicine is going to the right patient.
If there is a medication error, it can result in significant patient harm. If you are suffering after a medication mix-up or other type of mistake, you may be the victim of a form of medical malpractice.
Your rights as a victim
As a medical malpractice victim, you have legal options available to you. Through your claim, you may be able to recoup your losses and secure what you need for your recovery long-term. The civil justice system provides you the opportunity to hold responsible parties accountable for what you suffered, as well as seek justice. If you believe you could have a valid reason to pursue this course of action, you may benefit from first seeking an assessment of your case.