Each and every day, countless individuals across Idaho put their trust in the knowledge and experience of medical professionals and others responsible for dispensing an array of drugs in outpatient and hospital settings alike. Unfortunately, there are times when mistakes committed in the course of those tasks lead to serious, unintended outcomes that may even give rise to an actionable claim of malpractice.
How dangerous mistakes can occur
With roughly 6,800 prescription drugs and numerous more over-the-counter supplements and preparations available these days, it is no surprise that the process of ensuring the safe administration of medication to all patients at all times can pose a real challenge. Even so, patients rely on doctors, nurses, hospital staff and pharmacy technicians to dispense safe, effective dosages.
Unfortunately, there are a number of ways in which errors in the process can occur, and these include:
- Improper/imprecise prescribing
- Erroneous transcription of order
- Inaccurate dispensing
- Faulty administration to patient
- Failure to monitor for adverse effects
Though it is often said that to err is human, when medication mistakes are so significant as to cause lasting injury or even death, victims and their families may choose to pursue a malpractice claim.
Lasting effects of medication errors
While there are many errors in medication administration and prescribing that may produce little or no harm in a given patient, there are other times when the outcome is overwhelmingly negative and long-lasting. Such scenarios are especially egregious when they are the result of conduct that can be shown to have fallen beneath the accepted standard of care required of the responsible party.
Those who have received improper medication, flawed dosing instructions or have suffered some other form of error in the administration of drugs at the hands of a trusted professional may decide to seek monetary compensation through the courts for medical expenses, lost wages, physical suffering, emotional distress and other harmful manifestations of the mistake.