Medical errors can have serious, and sometimes devastating, consequences for victims. Victims can suffer a range of different types of harm that result from a medication error and, for that reason, it is important for them to be familiar with when medication errors can occur and the legal protections available to them when they do.
When medication errors occur
Medication errors are considered preventable and can include the inappropriate use of medication that can lead to harm. Medication errors can occur when the medication is prescribed, when the medication is administered, when a medication is being prepared or dispensed or when a medication order is entered into a computer.
Medication errors can lead to life-threatening situations, hospitalization, disability, death and birth defects. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) receives greater than 100,000 reports annually of suspected medication errors which may not include all that occur.
Legal protections for victims of medication errors
There are different suggestions for ways to help minimize the occurrence of medication errors. In many situations, the medication error may be considered medical negligence and may lead to liability for the medical care professional responsible for the medication error.
Medication errors can be a type of medical malpractice and legal protections are available for victims of medical malpractice to help with the harm they have suffered as a result. A personal injury claim for damages following a medical malpractice incident such as a medication error can help victims recover compensation for their physical, financial and emotional damages suffered as a result.