The Danger of Medication Errors Leading to Kidney Failure
When a doctor prescribes a drug, he needs to carefully review every detail with the patient – and his peers.
Giving a patient the wrong medication, too high of a dosage, or medication that the patient is allergic to puts that patient in danger of suffering a severe adverse reaction. Medication errors are one form of medical malpractice, but our topic today is how they can lead to a kidney damage: a life-threatening condition.
Common Medication Errors in Hospitals
Medication errors are 100% preventable. They are known as “Never Events,” because they are never supposed to happen. So when they do occur, they are the fault of a negligent doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other medical professional. At each stage of treatment, the professional in charge of the patient’s care should carefully review the patient’s medical history and chart before prescribing or administering any drugs.
Medication errors can occur when:
- Doctors misdiagnose patients.
- Doctors prescribe the wrong medication.
- Nurses ignore doctors’ orders or medical charts and administer the wrong medication.
- Pharmacists dispense the wrong drug or dosage.
- The right medication is given the wrong way.
- The medication is incorrectly labeled.
- The dispensary is given the wrong order, such as patients’ prescriptions are mixed up.
- Hospital staff misread a prescription and provided the wrong medication.
All of these events are inexcusable and can be prevented at every stage. Some medication errors not only lead to delayed treatment for a patient’s actual condition, but can damage the patient’s kidneys.
Why You Want Healthy Kidneys
Alongside your liver, your body’s kidneys filter out toxins and waste from your blood. Healthy kidneys ensure that toxins leave your body through your urine while pushing out clean, healthy blood cells throughout your body. However, the kidneys have trouble filtering certain drugs, including strong antibiotics, analgesics (painkillers), and blood thinners. If a patient is given too high of a dosage or the wrong medication for their condition, the kidneys have to work harder and may shut down altogether.
Early stages of kidney damage are reversible, but hard to detect. That’s why doctors have to be vigilant in testing for and ruling it out – since kidney failure is a medical emergency that forces patients to get emergency surgery, dialysis, or a transplant to survive.
The costs associated with kidney failure are astronomical. If a negligent medical professional caused your condition due to a medication error, then you deserve full and proper compensation for everything you have suffered – because you didn’t need to suffer at all.
Contact a Dedicated Medical Malpractice Attorney
We will not understate the consequences of a mediation error: a medical professional’s failure to carefully review a diagnosis and administer medication can change a patient’s life for the worse. You deserve to be treated by responsible professionals who take their Hippocratic Oath seriously and do not allow harm to come to patients.
We know the horrors firsthand: the largest medical malpractice verdict ever handed down in a Colorado courtroom was due to a case of ours involving a medication error. Our legal team represented a young lady who was born with a common congenital heart defect. At four days old, she was on a medicine called prostaglandin until she could have corrective surgery. But a nurse injected the wrong dose of prostaglandin and she went into cardiac arrest on the operating table. They could not resuscitate her for 33 minutes, which caused this newborn to suffer a severe hypoxic ischemic brain injury, resulting in cerebral palsy and other conditions which she still has to this day.
At Leventhal Puga Braley P.C., we firmly believe in fighting for the rights of patients injured due to medical malpractice. If you or someone you love has suffered kidney damage due to a medication error, contact our Denver medical malpractice attorneys at (303) 759-9945 or toll-free (877) 433-3906. We can sit down with you in a free consultation and discuss what happened. Remember, we take cases from anywhere in the United States.