San Francisco Medication Error Lawyers
Call (888) 831-8448 If You Were Given the Wrong Medication or Dosage in California
When we are under a doctor's care or spending time in a hospital, chances are we will be prescribed medication to help us feel better and improve our condition and health. While today's medications have helped many people recover from conditions that used to be untreatable, the truth is that modern drugs and medications can be very powerful and have devastating consequences if improperly used.
There are a number of measures in place to ensure that the right patient receives the right medication in the right quantity so medication errors should not happen, however, the process is not immune to human error.
What is a Medication Error?
A medication error is 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. These errors can occur at any stage of the medication process, including prescribing, dispensing, administering, or monitoring medications.
Common types of medication errors include:
- Prescribing errors: Mistakes made by healthcare providers when prescribing medications, such as incorrect dosage, wrong medication, wrong route of administration, or prescribing a medication that interacts negatively with another medication the patient is taking.
- Administration errors: Occur when medications are not administered correctly to the patient. This can include administering the wrong medication, administering the medication via the wrong route (e.g., intravenous instead of oral), administering the medication at the wrong time, or administering the incorrect dosage.
- Dispensing errors: Errors that occur when medications are being prepared or dispensed by pharmacists or pharmacy technicians. This can involve giving the patient the wrong medication, incorrect dosage, or incorrect instructions for use.
- Monitoring errors: Failures in monitoring the patient's response to medication therapy, including failure to recognize adverse effects, failure to monitor therapeutic drug levels, or failure to adjust medication dosage based on patient response.
- Documentation errors: Inaccurate or incomplete documentation of medication administration or other related information in the patient's medical record, which can lead to confusion or mistakes in patient care.
- Communication errors: breakdowns in communication between healthcare providers, patients, and caregivers, leading to misunderstandings or incorrect information regarding medication regimens.
- Transcription errors: Mistakes that occur when transferring medication orders from one form to another, such as from a prescription to a medication administration record. These errors can result in incorrect dosages or medications being administered.
- Storage and handling errors: Improper storage or handling of medications, leading to degradation of the medication's effectiveness or potency. This can include storing medications at incorrect temperatures, exposing medications to light or moisture, or improper handling during transportation.
Who is Liable for a Medication Error?
Liability for a medication error can fall on various individuals or entities involved in the medication process, depending on the circumstances of the error. Here's a breakdown of potential parties who may be held liable:
- Healthcare provider: This includes physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and other prescribers who write the medication order. If a prescribing error occurs, such as prescribing the wrong medication or dosage, the prescriber may be held liable.
- Pharmacist: Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are responsible for accurately dispensing medications. If a dispensing error occurs, such as providing the wrong medication or dosage, the pharmacist or pharmacy technician may be held liable.
- Nursing staff: Nurses and other healthcare professionals responsible for administering medications to patients can be held liable for administration errors. If a nurse administers the wrong medication or dosage, fails to follow proper administration procedures, or fails to monitor the patient for adverse effects, they may be held liable.
- Healthcare facility: Hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities may be held liable for medication errors that occur within their premises. This can include errors resulting from inadequate policies or procedures, understaffing, or failure to properly train and supervise staff.
- Pharmaceutical company: In some cases, liability for a medication error may extend to the pharmaceutical company that manufactures the medication. This could occur if the medication was defectively designed or labeled, or if the company failed to provide adequate warnings about potential risks or side effects.
- Software developers: With the increasing use of electronic health records (EHRs) and computerized physician order entry (CPOE) systems, software developers may also be held liable for medication errors caused by flaws or malfunctions in their software.
- Third-party vendors: Healthcare facilities may contract with third-party vendors for services such as medication distribution or administration. If a medication error occurs due to negligence on the part of a third-party vendor, they may be held liable.
The Impact of Medication Mistakes
Medication errors make up about 25% of all medical malpractice cases. If you or a family member has been affected by a medication error, you need to contact a skilled and seasoned attorney as soon as possible. Cases involving medication errors are time sensitive, in addition, witness statements and documentation needs to be gathered quickly. Your case needs to be immediately evaluated and investigated by an aggressive and experienced lawyer from our firm.
A medication error can cause any of a number of complications. Too much or too little of a particular medication can damage organs leading to a need for expensive life-long medical care or even wrongful death. An allergic reaction to an improperly administered medication can lead be a life-threatening matter. Medication errors lead to an estimated 7,000 deaths each year in the United States. Medication errors are very stressful and emotional for victims and their families. Bostwick & Peterson understands what you are experiencing. Our proven firm may be able to help you seek compensation for the harm caused by improper medication.
Enlist Effective Support for Your Case
Medication errors are very serious and affect real families like yours every day. Complications of medication mistakes lead to ever more expensive care, lost income, and possibly life-long treatment. Medication errors can cause overwhelming financial hardship for families.
Our firm is ready to vigorously protect your rights and your future. Our caring and determined attorneys have 80+ years of combined experience helping families through the darkest moments of their lives so that they can move forward toward a brighter tomorrow. We have won over $1 Billion for our clients and we may be able to help you.
We will be with you every step of the way pursuing maximum compensation. Contact us today.
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Former President of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, limited to the top 500 trial lawyers in the U.S.
James S. Bostwick and Erik L. Peterson have been named top-rated medical malpractice attorneys in Northern California.
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James Bostwick is a nationally certified medical malpractice specialist and founding member.
Recognized since its inception in 1983 by this peer-reviewed publication, comprised of the best legal talent in the world.
Recognized for professional excellence with impressive ratings from clients and peers.
James Bostwick & Erik Peterson are listed in the Top 100 Trial Lawyers.
An exclusive group limited to less than 1% of U.S. attorneys who have won multi-million dollar results.
James Bostwick inducted into the Hall of Fame and featured among the Top 500 Leading Plaintiff Consumer Lawyers in America.
More than $1 billion recovered for our clients
Since January 2018, the firm has twice broken the California record for the largest medical malpractice settlement
James Bostwick was named Trial Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers® in 2012
James Bostwick is a Nationally Certified Specialist by the American Board of Professional Liability
Included in the list of "Best Lawyers in America" by U.S. News - Best Lawyers® since its inception in 1983
James Bostwick received the Trial Lawyers "Presidential Award of Merit"
James Bostwick is a member of the Inner Circle of Advocates, limited to the nation’s top 100 plaintiff lawyers
Record-setting verdicts and settlements in five states for medical malpractice and motor vehicle accidents