Most Common Medication Errors – and How to Fight Back

Most Common Medication Errors – and How to Fight BackAlthough medications exist to help preserve and regain life and health, they are no miracles. They are man-made, man-prescribed, and man-distributed. This means, like everything else human in the world, they are not immune to errors. Regardless of the part of the process of giving a patient medication, something can indeed go wrong — with severe and significant consequences.

Almost all of these errors are preventable by operating within the medical parameters health professionals are meant to follow. If they neglect to do this and it results in a harmful error, they can and should be held accountable. We are meant to trust these men and women with our lives, and they are meant to take that as seriously as we do. If they cannot or do not, make sure they do not get away with it.

What are medication errors?

The idea is harrowing: there is a non-zero chance the medication you are prescribed ends up hurting more than helping. In fact, in just the United States, anywhere from 7,000 to 9,000 people die each year due to medication errors. This statistic may seem small compared to how many people take medication      each day – and thankfully, it’s not bigger than it is – but keep in mind that medication errors are, by definition, preventable.

While there isn’t a single uniform definition of medication error –because of how vast the number of factors and complications could be – the one used by the National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention is as follows:

Any preventable event that may cause or lead to inappropriate medication use or patient harm while the medication is in the control of the healthcare professional, patient, or consumer. Such events may be related to professional practice, health care products, procedures, and systems, including prescribing; order communication; product labeling, packaging, and nomenclature; compounding; dispensing; distribution; administration; education; monitoring; and use.

The length of that definition alone shows just how much can fall under this dangerous umbrella. In simpler terms, any of the following can be a medication error:

  • Omission of information about dosage, timing, etc.
  • Prescribing the wrong medication
  • Improper dosage
  • Improper preparation of medication by a pharmacist
  • Any sort of administration error
  • Any sort of monitoring error
  • Any sort of compliance error

As daunting as this may be, this means it is that much easier for your attorney to make your claim stick, as they just have to prove one of the above occurred. There are, also, some medications that are more privy to human error than others depending on their names, class, side-effects, drug interactions, or any toxicities. Analgesics and antibiotics are most prone to errors because they are two of the most common classes of medication administered. This does not mean you should have to expect an error, however, and this does not mean any sort of “simple mistake” is okay. If you fall victim to a medication error, you deserve damages and justice for what that does to you.

Pursuing a medical malpractice claim in Kansas City

Even with its prevalence as a dramatic plot point in popular media, most people may not know much about medical malpractice — or, how they can fight against it. This is no mistake. With hospitals largely working for profit in the United States, they work as hard as any corporation to make suing them as difficult as possible. But whether they like it or not, medical professionals everywhere have a duty of care and standards to maintain, and there are laws in place to punish those – and possibly the entities they work for – who neglect them.

This is, of course, why you want to work with an aggressive Kansas City medical malpractice attorney to pursue any claim relating to medication errors or other negligence. The correct representation knows how to use to the law to your advantage to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve, and that is no small order. Here in Missouri, you could be awarded damages for any and all of the following:

  • Any sort of lost income from your injuries, recovery, or any permanent disabilities
  • Medical bills, including medications, therapies, specialists, family doctors, and assistive devices
  • Pain and suffering, both physically and mentally, as a result of the error
  • Punitive damages, which you would receive if the professional acted out of malice, intoxication, or any sort of deliberation
  • Loss of consortium, if your injuries prevent you and your spouse from enjoying each other’s company

Note that in both Missouri and Kansas, there are caps on “non-economic,” or general, damages. Missouri’s caps vary depending on the nature of the injury, while Kansas’s caps are currently $325,000 (though this will increase in July to $350,000). There is no cap on compensatory damages in either state, so your medical bills will be paid in full.

Medical issues of any sort can be incredibly expensive. Especially if you were already dealing with an injury or illness before the medical malpractice made it worse, the compensation you receive from your claim could be the difference between recovering in safety – or losing everything you worked for. You should not have to pay for someone else’s negligence. You deserve better than that. Your family and your loved ones deserve better than that. Worrying about affording treatment and care you shouldn’t need in the first place is the very last thing you deserve to go through.

Take the steps necessary to protect yourself, your rights, and your finances. If you or a loved one has been injured by a medication error of any sort, do not wait to get started on your medical malpractice claim. Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys is a firm dedicated to helping people like you take down negligent medical professionals like them. We know how to build your case and fight for it on your behalf, or on the behalf of a loved one who lost their lives to medication errors, and we take your justice as seriously as you do. Our locations are all throughout Kansas and Missouri, with offices in Kansas City, St. Joseph, Lee’s Summit, Olathe, Overland Park, and Parkville for your convenience. For more information, call us for free today at 816-471-5111 or use our contact form.