FAQs About Medication Errors and Your Rights as a Victim Under Florida Law
What is a medication error?
The answer comes from experts at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, who define this form of medical malpractice, also known as “adverse drug events,” as mistakes in the process of prescribing, dispensing, and giving medications. These terms describe the circumstances that lead to accidental misuse of drugs by a patient, due to a health care provider’s professional negligence. Through the exercise of reasonable care in providing medical treatment, medication errors and adverse drug events are preventable.
Unfortunately, health care providers may incorrectly administer medication, leading to a range of adverse consequences for the patient, including allergic reaction and accidental overdose. A Florida medication errors lawyer can explain your legal options, including a potential claim for malpractice, but some answers to common questions may help you understand your rights.
How does a medication error happen? Generally speaking, negligence by a health care provider is usually the cause of an adverse drug event.. Specific types of misconduct may include:
- Administering or prescribing the wrong medication
- Prescribing an inappropriate dosage amount
- Mislabeling a drug or not warning of its side effects
- Prescribing a medication that adversely interacts with other drugs the patient takes for another medical condition
- Administering medications to which the patient is allergic
What health care providers commonly make medication errors? There’s a common assumption that only doctors make mistakes in providing a prescription, but there are many other medical professionals involved with administration of medication. Plus, there are multiple health care settings in which these errors may be made, including hospitals, urgent care centers, clinics, pharmacies, and manufacturing facilities. Mistakes may be made by:
- ER staff
- Physician’s assistants
- Nurses and orderlies
- A pharmacist
- Drug makers
How can I protect myself as a patient? While you may not have medical background and training, there are ways you can help your health care providers avoid medication errors. The first is to be honest and give full disclosure regarding any medications you take, use of controlled substances, and general information regarding your lifestyle. Plus, you can protect yourself by:
- Making sure nurses and staff are aware of your medications if you’re admitted to the hospital
- Double-checking with the provider to confirm details about your medical chart
- Asking plenty of questions about the drug, any side effects, and possible conflicts with your current medications
What are my legal rights as the victim of a medication error? Despite your best efforts, critical mistakes can still happen when providers administer drugs. Because these mistakes usually fall under the theory of medical malpractice, you may be able to recover compensation if you have a legally valid claim.
Our Florida Medication Errors and Medical Malpractice Attorneys Can Explain Your Rights
If you suffered an injury because of a medication error by a physician, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider, it’s important to take quick action to protect your interests. Your first priority should be contact an experienced lawyer to discuss your remedies, which may include filing a medical malpractice claim. To learn more, please contact our Miami medication error lawyers at Freidin Brown, P.A. to set up a free consultation at our office.