What happens when a medication error occurs?

April 19, 2021 | Crandall & Pera Law
What happens when a medication error occurs?

Persons admitted to a hospital in Ohio hope their condition will improve with proper care. Medical malpractice hardly represents quality care, but mishaps and mistakes occur. Sometimes, medication errors could lead to an adverse reaction, including fatalities. Patients and their families may find themselves unable to prevent such catastrophic incidents.

The problem of medication mishaps

Clinical Toxicology published a shocking study in 2017. The report revealed that there is a medication error roughly around every 21 seconds. Adding these seconds comes out to about 1.5 million medication errors annually. That reflects a tremendous amount of the wrong medication going to a patient. Many reasons exist for giving someone the wrong medication. Two different prescriptions could have a similar name; the person dispensing the medication gives one patient's medicine to another person, and so on. Sometimes, the error is caught before any harm takes place. If someone discovers the error and stops the patient from taking it, then the incident becomes a scary close call. Things don't always work out that way, though.

Ingesting the wrong medication

A person who takes the wrong medication could suffer serious side effects. Allergic reactions, overdoses, and other problems might lead to a medical emergency. Hopefully, the patient does not suffer a fatal reaction. Patients could receive the wrong medication in a hospital or from their local pharmacy. Not every patient may notice the error, so those dispensing the medication should take great care to avoid any problems. Medical malpractice insurance may come into play if a medicine error takes place. Injured parties could file a claim against the hospital or pharmacy's insurance provider. Hospital negligence might prove devastating to patients and their families. Victims could meet with a personal injury attorney to discuss legal remedies.