Medication errors can be a form of medical malpractice when negligence is the cause of the error. They can have a very detrimental impact on someone’s health. In some cases, errors with medications – even when made with the best of intentions – can prove fatal.
One important thing to note is that these errors are fairly common. They happen roughly 100,000 times per year, according to some reports. That means there are nearly 300 such mistakes made every single day, of varying degrees of seriousness.
It’s important to know what types of errors may take place and what complications you could see. Let’s consider a few examples below.
One issue that can happen is if the medical team gives you two different medications that are not supposed to be mixed. Perhaps they interact with each other in a dangerous fashion, leading to illness or injury. You may not have any idea about this complication as a patient, simply taking the medicine that’s been given to you, so it is up to the medical team to ensure that that’s actually safe to do.
The wrong dose
In other cases, people do get the right medication, but they don’t get the right amount. If you’re given too little, it may not benefit you in the ways that you need, meaning healing is delayed. If you’re given too much, you risk overdosing, which can be fatal. The dose has to be correct, no matter what the medication is for.
Furthermore, a medical team is supposed to check your records to see if you have any known allergies. A lot of people are allergic to penicillin, for instance, so it could be very dangerous for them even though it is an incredibly useful medication for most individuals. The doctor should ask you if you know of any medications you are allergic to in advance.
What are your options?
If you or a family member has suffered harm because of a medical mistake like this, you need to know what legal options you have.