Boston Medication Error Lawyers
Quality Legal Representation Throughout New England
Medication errors are so common that most hospitals and pharmacies have elaborate systems in place to make sure patients get the right medication in the correct dose. But sometimes these systems fail or human error intervenes. The wrong medication can have terrible consequences for the patient who receives it. Patients may also suffer serious harm if they don’t receive their necessary medication, and some medications have dangerous side effects or can cause allergic reactions.
Our Boston medication error lawyers represent families throughout New England, including Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. If you or someone you know has suffered an injury or death as a result of a medication error, you may be entitled to seek compensation from the party responsible for your losses. Crowe & Harris, LLP has decades of experience handling a wide range of medical malpractice claims and can provide you with the dedicated advocacy you deserve.
Contact us online or call (617) 404-3417 to schedule a free case evaluation if you want to be represented by a firm that prioritizes its clients’ well-being. Our attorneys have handled all kinds of injury claims.
Medication Error Statistics
According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), medication errors are among the most common health threatening mistakes that affect patient care. This global problem causes adverse side effects, increases mortality rates, lengths of hospital stay, and other related costs.
The NIH has uncovered the following disconcerting statistics about medication errors in our nation’s hospitals and healthcare facilities:
- Preventable medication errors impact more than 7 million patients every year.
- Almost $21 billion is spent annually to account for medication errors.
- About 30 percent of hospitalized patients have at least one discrepancy on discharge medication reconciliation.
- Adverse drug events account for more than 3.5 million physician office visits and 1 million emergency room visits each year.
- Medication errors and adverse drug events are underreported problems.
The pharmaceutical-medical industrial complex is the number-one profiting industry in the United States, selling medication on an enormous scale to millions of Americans and people around the world. Sadly, the increasing use of pharmaceutical drugs has also led to an increased risk of medication errors.
Common Medication & Prescription Errors
Medical negligence comes in many forms. One of the easiest mistakes a healthcare provider can make is failing to properly administer medication to a patient. Instances of prescription drug error are especially damaging because while a patient expects a medication to make them better, the wrong medication could make them feel worse. Mistakes in assigning the correct prescription can prove costly at best and fatal at worst.
As a patient, you should be able to trust any healthcare professional to act prudently and take reasonable measures to improve your quality of life. If you have fallen victim to a prescription drug error that caused you injury or suffering, you may be able to hold those responsible for your care accountable. Doctors, nurses, and pharmacists are all responsible for their actions and can be sued for medical malpractice.
The most frequent cases of prescription drug error are:
- Not administering the right dosage
- Administering drugs that the patient is allergic to
- Prescribing the wrong medication
- Not warning the patient of any side effects
- Administering drugs in an illegible way that would cause a pharmacist to misinterpret the prescription
- Mislabeling medication
These cases of medical carelessness can result in unnecessary suffering that can have negative repercussions on your life and impede attempts at recovery.
Medication Error FAQs
Medication errors occur far more often than expected. Fortunately, there are experienced medication error attorneys at Crowe & Harris, LLP who know how to help you seek the compensation you need and find the justice you deserve. To help you begin the process of seeking damages, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions, including the following:
How and when do medication errors occur?
Medication errors can happen at any time. Errors by physicians may occur during the prescribing, administering, and monitoring of medication.
These are just some of the ways that medication errors can occur:
- Physicians may accidentally write a prescription for the wrong medication or may miscalculate the dosage when creating the prescription. Physicians in hospitals may also fail to communicate clearly with those actually administering the medication. Staff members giving the drugs may be confused or inadvertently misled in their understanding of how to administer the medication. Those in charge of monitoring the patient during and after a medication is administered may also err and cause injury to the patient.
- Pharmacists or technicians working in pharmacies may be responsible for medication errors that occur during transcribing and dispensing. Similar-sounding drug names, miscommunication among staff, or errors in labeling are examples of how medication errors can occur during the dispensing process.
- Fatigue, understaffing, and human error happens, and even those with the best intentions can make potentially disastrous mistakes when it comes to medication. According to the CDC, adverse drug reactions (ADEs) lead to 350,000 hospitalizations and more than 1 million emergency room visits each year.
Who is at risk of falling victim to medication errors?
Unfortunately, a medication error can happen to anyone taking medication. According to the CDC, 82% of adult Americans take one or more medications. This means the risk of injury from errors in medication is high for most people. As the American population ages, the number of people on medication will only increase, as will the number of medications each person may be taking.
Certain factors make some segments of the population especially vulnerable to medication errors, including children, the elderly, and those with a poor understanding of English. Miscommunication is at the heart of many medication errors. Sometimes the breakdown in communication occurs between patient and doctor, sometimes it happens between doctor and pharmacist, and still other times between the pharmacist and patient. Patients who cannot easily speak up for themselves or those who struggle with the English language are at a greater risk of being victims of medication error. If you or a loved one has been injured from a medication error, know that you are not alone and that you are not responsible for someone else’s mistake.
Do I need an attorney?
Seeking damages for injuries caused by a medication error is a difficult task to undertake on your own. If you or a loved one has suffered from a medication error, you may face an uphill battle in proving negligence on the part of your medical provider. The medical community has strong systems in place to protect their interests. You will also need to carefully choose the amount of compensation you desire. Asking too little may end up leaving you with outstanding debt from your medical costs, and asking too much may motivate a judge or jury to dismiss your case altogether.
These considerations are examples of how an attorney can help. When you take advantage of the resources and experience of our medical error attorneys, the likelihood of being awarded damages greatly improves, along with your financial and physical health. Recovering from the consequences of a medication error is emotionally and physically tasking. Allow our attorneys to navigate the complex legal system on your behalf. At Crowe & Harris, LLP , we have experienced, compassionate, and aggressive medication error attorneys who know how to make your case as strong as possible.
Harmed as a result of a prescription error? Call our Boston medication error lawyers now at (617) 404-3417 for a free consultation.