Medication Error FAQs for Those Considering Malpractice Lawsuits (Pt. 2)

April 13, 2015

Resuming Medication Error FAQs for Those Considering Malpractice Lawsuits (Pt. 1), here, we’ll continue responding to some common questions about this specific form of medical malpractice.

More Medication Error FAQs

Q – What are the most common types of medication errors?

Are you wondering what types of medication errors commonly lead to lawsuits? If so, check out these medication error FAQs.

Are you wondering what types of medication errors commonly lead to lawsuits? If so, check out these medication error FAQs.

A – Studies have found that the most common types of medication errors are prescribing errors, which are estimated to account for between 20 percent and as much as 60 percent of all medication errors. Some common examples of these prescribing errors can include (but are by no means exclusive to):

  • Prescribing the wrong drug for a given patient’s condition
  • Failing to monitor patients as they take prescribed medications
  • Failing to notice obvious signs of patients negatively responding to a medication
  • Failing to account for a patients other medical conditions when prescribing medication (for instance, failing to be aware of certain drug allergies or other medications a patient may be taking that would be contraindicated with use of a certain other drug)
  • Prescribing the wrong doses of medication to patients
  • Providing the wrong directions for frequency of use (for instance, indicating a drug should be used once daily when it may, in fact, need to be taken multiple times in a single day).

Q – Who is responsible when medication errors occur?

A – The responsible – or liable – party for medication errors will depend on the nature of the error in question. In general, however, some of the parties that are commonly liable can include either (or some combination of) the following:

  • Doctors who may mis-prescribe drugs
  • Nurses or doctors’ assistants who may mark the wrong doses or fail to properly update patient charts – Generally, nurses will play a role in causing medication errors when one of the five “rights” goes wrong (the five rights being, administering the right dose of the right drug to the right  patient at the right time via the right route).
  • Pharmacists and/or pharmaceutical staff who may misread or misinterpret prescription orders.

Q – How much are medication error malpractice cases worth?

A – We cannot directly answer this question or provide you with a number here without first reviewing the facts of a particular case. The reality is that the value of malpractice lawsuits related to allegations of medication errors will vary according to a number of factors and specifics, only some of which may include:

  • The nature of the error(s)
  • The severity of the injuries caused by the error(s), with more severe injuries generally resulting in higher values
  • Whether the injured patient will be permanently injured
  • Whether the liable party may have a history of medical negligence.

For a more precise answer about the value of a particular malpractice case, contact the Savage Law Firm today.

Stay posted for the upcoming conclusion to this blog series for some more important answers to medication error FAQs.

Portland Medical Malpractice Lawyers at the Savage Law Firm

Were you injured as a result of medication errors? If so, you can rely on the Portland malpractice attorneys at the Savage Law Firm for experienced help and aggressive legal advocacy.

To learn more about our legal services and what we can do for you, call us at 503-222-0200 (in Portland) or at 206-957-7272 (in Seattle). You can also email us using the form on this page. We represent clients in communities in both Oregon and Washington from our offices in Portland and Seattle.

Categories: Blog