Five types of medication administration errors can cause harm to a patient. If you suffered harm from a medication, then you might be able to sue for significant compensation. Being aware of the types of medication administration errors that can cause harm to patients can make filing a lawsuit much easier. You can also explore what other steps to take with a Kansas City medical malpractice lawyer.
Five Medication Administration Errors
Healthcare professionals tend to follow adhere to the five rights of medication administration that patients have. These five rights of medication administration are:
- Right medication
- Correct time
- Accurate dose
- Right patient
- Correct route
When these rights are not followed or accidentally broken, patients can suffer physical or psychological harm. All it takes is one minor error in one of these five rules of medication administration to result in harm. Some of these medication administration errors can look like:
- Providing the wrong type of medication to a patient
- Prescribing a medication at the wrong time intervals
- Giving the wrong medication dosage to a patient
- Administering a medication to the wrong patient
- Administering the medication through the wrong route
If the wrong type of medicine is provided to the wrong patient, then not only could the patient not be treated, but they could experience an adverse reaction. Patients with specific allergies could have a deadly allergic reaction. Those taking certain medications could experience life-threatening effects when the medications interact the wrong way.
The wrong dose or time intervals can cause an overdose or dependence to develop for the medication. Considering how dangerous these medication errors can be, many people wonder what causes this to happen. Some of the most common medication error causes are:
- Distractions in the work environment
- Distortions from illegible writing or miscommunication
- Using abbreviations instead of spelling out the name or dose
- Not considering patient factors like age, allergies, and medical conditions
- Shift work
- Being rushed
- Failing to follow up with patients on medication side effects
During times of rush, almost anyone who is mentally drained can make a minor mistake. Healthcare professionals who are balancing multiple responsibilities due to staff shortages and being given too many jobs tend to make more medication mistakes. One way to combat this as a patient is to ask questions if you ever have any doubts or concerns. When in doubt, find out the answers you are looking for.
When Can I Sue for a Medication Error?
When healthcare professionals ignore or dismiss your questions and you suffer harm, then you might be looking at negligence. Consider contacting a Kansas City medical malpractice lawyer to talk about your options for compensation. A lawyer can help you go through the medical malpractice lawsuit steps to secure compensation for any damages you suffered.
The four elements of a medical malpractice claim are duty to you as the patient, a breach of that duty, causation, and damages. A duty to you as the patient is the existence of a doctor-patient relationship, between you and the medical professional. This means proving the medical professional was providing medical care to you.
A breach of duty is any negligent action or failure to act that caused harm to you. This might be one of the hardest parts to prove and requires significant evidence. There must be evidence of carelessness, recklessness, or a specific error that was made by the medical professional.
Causation ties the act of negligence to the damages you suffered. Evidence must point to the idea that the medical professional’s medication error is what directly caused the harm you suffered. Damages are any kind of physical or psychological harm you suffered from the medication error.
There are several types of compensatory damages you could be eligible for, depending on the nature of your injuries. Economic damages include any financial losses from medical bills for treating the injuries. For a medication error, this may include damages related to money you spent on the medication and services that caused harm to you.
Economic damages also include lost wages from missed work as a result of the injury. Property damages and loss of employment opportunities also fit this category. Non-economic damages describe any damages other than monetary losses. These damages include emotional distress, pain and suffering, loss of companionship, loss of enjoyment, and psychological harm.
Lastly, punitive damages are awarded only in the most severe cases. A medical professional must have intentionally caused harm to a patient or committed severe negligence. These damages are designed to punish the person liable for damages to reduce the chances of something like this ever happening again.
Proving these damages requires evidence. The more evidence you can collect, the better your chances will be of filing a successful lawsuit. This means pictures and written documentation of your injuries. Obtain copies of your medical records for the injuries you suffered and the circumstances surrounding the medical malpractice.
Write down your symptoms, severity, and psychological harm caused by the medication error. Collect details about the medication and the error you think caused your injury. Be sure to also write down the names of the medical professionals you think were at fault. Consult with an experienced lawyer about what other evidence you can collect. Depending on the situation, witness statements and expert witness testimonies can also support your claim.
A lawyer can work with you to build a strong case in your favor. Lawyers are trained on how to negotiate a settlement that is fair for the damages you suffered. You do not have to settle for less. Take control of your situation today by working with a dedicated lawyer who can help you increase your chances of receiving compensation for the harm you suffered.
Kansas City Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Filing a lawsuit against a medical professional can be intimidating but you may not have to do this alone. Start by contacting Peterson and Associates P.C. today at (816) 888-8888 to talk to a Kansas City medical malpractice attorney for a consultation. Our legal team might be able to increase your chances of compensation for medical expenses, emotional distress, and other damages caused by malpractice. We serve clients in Kansas City, Missouri.