Medication is a common tool used by medical professionals to treat a wide variety of conditions and symptoms of those conditions. When used correctly, pharmaceuticals can have profoundly positive results. Sometimes they can even eliminate symptoms and entirely cure certain medical conditions.
On the other hand, medication errors can be extremely harmful or deadly. This is why medical professionals need to take extreme care when prescribing and administering medication.
The sad reality, though, is that medication errors occur all the time. In fact, some say that medication errors account for 700,000 emergency room visits and 100,000 hospitalizations each year. Five percent of hospitalized individuals are subjected to some sort of adverse drug reaction, which includes all sorts of medication errors. The worst part is that a significant number of these injurious and fatal medication errors are entirely preventable.
A medication error can occur at any stage of the medication-to-patient process. A doctor may make an error in prescription, whether by ordering the wrong medication or the wrong dosage, or he or she may write that prescription in a way that causes confusion. Also, a pharmacist must double-check any potential allergy concerns and ensure that the right drug and the right dosage is being provided. Then, when administered, medical professionals must guarantee that the appropriate drug is given in the correct dosage and via the applicable administration method.
There is no room for error in the health care field. What may seem like a minor mistake can leave a patient seriously injured, permanently disabled, or dead. This is why medical professionals are held to a high standard of care. When they fail to live up to that standard, a medical malpractice lawsuit may be justified. To learn more about these types of claims based on medication errors, victims and their families can reach out to a legal team experienced in handling these types of cases.