Medication errors that result in serious illness or death are one of the most disturbing types of medical negligence claims. While any medical error can cause a serious or life-threatening situation, medication errors often result in immediate death. Maryland’s medication errors not only cost people their lives, but they also cost healthcare systems and taxpayers a significant amount of money every year.
When individuals seek medical treatment for a long-term condition or emergency, they understandably put their trust in the various medical providers coordinating their care. However, successful coordination requires that each provider engages in their duty of care to the patient. In many situations, one misstep can cause a deadly chain of events.
What Are the Leading Causes of Medication Errors?
Medication errors can result from a doctor’s, nurse’s, or pharmacy’s error. Many claims stem from inadequate written or oral communication, system errors, untrained medical providers, and ineffective precautions. These errors may cause patients to experience an allergic reaction, adverse side effects, or deprive them of life-sustaining medication. A medical provider or pharmacy may be liable for negligence if they
- Prescribe the incorrect medication
- Administer an incorrect dosage
- Combine a dangerous combination of medication
- Fail to take a patient’s medical history
- Fail to warn a patient of side effects and risks
Healthcare professionals have a duty to provide their patients with safe and effective care. When they fail to do so or engage in negligence, they may be held liable for the ensuing damages. For instance, a state nursing board agency recently stripped a nurse of her license after accidentally killing a patient. The revocation comes after the woman inadvertently administered an incorrect drug to a 75-year-old patient. The patient was supposed to receive a sedative, but the nurse accidentally gave her a strong paralyzer. The error occurred because the nurse searched the electronic medication cabinet with the drug’s brand name, but the cabinet was set to find drugs based on their generic names. As a result, the woman pulled the generic “vecuronium” instead of the brand name “Versad.”
While the woman admitted her mistake and accepted fault for failing to double-check the medication, she also blamed the medical center’s flawed procedures. She testified that the healthcare system permitted nurses to override the safeguards on their electronic medication cabinets. However, the fact remains that the nurse ignored the numerous warning signs the system prompted and chose the wrong drug and administered the drug despite prominent warnings indicating that it was a paralyzing agent.
Have You Experienced a Medication Error Because of Healthcare Provider’s Negligence?
The dedicated Maryland pharmacy error attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen have handled various types of medical malpractice and wrongful death cases on behalf of Maryland injury victims and their families. Our skilled attorneys have the resources, tools, and litigation experience necessary to successfully represent claimants in their pursuit of justice and compensation. The attorneys at our office handle Maryland accident claims involving motor vehicles, premises liability, defective products and medications, and medical negligence. Contact our office at 800-654-1949 to schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney on our team.