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Posted in Medical Malpractice on December 22, 2015   |  by Gary Burger

Medication Errors and Dangerous Drug Interactions

Medical malpractice law is a very complex and niche subsection of personal injury law. Throughout the course of your medical care there are many opportunities for healthcare providers to make mistakes. In fact, the Institute of Medicine estimates that more than 1.5 million preventable adverse drug events occur each year in the United States. This does not take into account other areas of medical negligence relating to the care provided to you. Medical malpractice lawsuits are expensive and require extensive resources to pursue successfully.

Adverse drug events can occur at any point in your care and include medication errors and dangerous drug interactions often caused by:

  • Dosage Errors: A patient is administered too much (overdose) or too little of a drug.
  • Drug Interactions: A prescribed drug negatively interacts with another medication prescribed to the patient.
  • Wrong Medication: A physician can prescribe the wrong medication, a pharmacist can misread orders, and nurses can mix up prescriptions and give patients the wrong medication.
  • Dangerous Side Effects: Patients should be adequately educated on the possible life-threatening side effects of medication so that they can seek help accordingly.
  • Allergic Reactions: Doctors and pharmacists should screen for a history of allergies before administering medication.

When a physician prescribes or a pharmacist dispenses medication, they must take into account the patient’s size, weight, allergies and the other medications or supplements prescribed to the patient. When a medication error occurs and causes extensive medical injury, the patient can file a lawsuit to recover for damages sustained as a result of the practitioner’s negligence.

In order to successfully bring a medical malpractice claim, you must prove that a mistake was made and that it caused substantial injuries or damages. In the case of medication errors or dangerous drug interactions, the expert testimony of a chemist or pharmacist would be required to win your case.

When filing a lawsuit, you can seek to recover for past and future medical expenses, loss of earnings, loss of enjoyment of life, and pain and suffering. If the adverse drug event causes death, the family of the patient can file a wrongful death lawsuit.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a medication error, we can help. Call Burger Law today for a free consultation at (314) 542-2222. We will discuss the facts of your case and help you determine the legal options available to you. We work on a contingency basis. If you hire us, you do not owe us anything unless we win for you.