Denver Medication Error Lawyers
When it comes to medication errors, the very thing that was supposed to treat someone instead harms or kills them. Mistakes involving children’s medication are even more serious, since their size means even a tiny change in drug dosage can be fatal.
Sadly, we at Leventhal Puga Braley P.C. know that all too well. We have represented many young victims who were devastated by a medication error. When a doctor, nurse, or other medical professional makes such a mistake, he or she is negligent and must be held accountable.
If you or your family member suffered from a serious medication error, we want to help. Call Leventhal Puga Braley P.C. at (877) 433-3906 and tell us what happened. We will review your medical records and explore your options in a no-cost consultation. If we take your case, you pay nothing until we get you a settlement or trial verdict.
Usually, doctors and hospital staff are to blame for a medication error. In one case we handled, a 4-day-old baby with a heart defect was given the wrong dose of prostaglandin, a drug meant to control inflammation, and suffered cardiac arrest. It took 33 minutes for hospital staff to resuscitate her, and she suffered brain damage as a result, leading to lifelong cerebral palsy and cognitive disabilities.
Things like this should not happen, and they might not happen if hospitals set up safeguards and safety systems when it comes to prescribing, dispensing, or administering drugs.
In general, medication errors take a few different forms. These include:
- Dosage Errors: This can happen if a doctor writes a prescription for a drug at a dosage that is too high or low, or if the wrong dose is administered by hospital staff. As the saying goes "wrong dose, wrong duration, wrong frequency, wrong interval" - all of these would be dosage errors.
- Wrong Drug: Many drugs have similar names. If a patient receives the wrong drug, it delays proper treatment and can have other harmful side effects.
- Wrong Method of Administration: Patients can be given drugs orally, rectally, topically, by injection (into different tissue layers), through an intravenous line, and by inhalation. When a patient is given the right drug in the wrong way, an adverse reaction could occur with serious or fatal consequences. For example, a nurse gives a patient a drug intravenously when it’s supposed to be delivered via injection to the muscle, and it causes cardiac arrest.
- Overprescribing: Doctors who knowingly prescribe excessive doses, do not do background checks on at-risk patients, or give powerful pain-killers to someone who doesn’t need them, can harm their patients. Overprescription is a major factor in the current opioid crisis in America, and some doctors do receive "fees" from pharmaceutical companies for prescribing their drug. In several notable cases, doctors have been held liable for patients’ addiction or harm due to opioid abuse because they prescribed these dangerous drugs unnecessarily.
- Wrong Patient: Prescriptions must be given to the correct patients. There have been cases where pharmacists fill an order for a patient, only to hand it to a patient with a similar name, who then suffers a severe reaction.
- Allergy: Doctors need to ask about, research, and recognize allergies indicated by patients and then prescribe drugs accordingly. When a doctor fails to take allergies into account, he can cause serious harm to his patients.
- Bad Drug Reaction: Multiple drugs can react to each other in a patient's body, which means a doctor needs to consider all drugs currently being taken by a patient before prescribing more. Failure to do so can lead to serious or deadly adverse effects when the drugs interact.
When someone takes the wrong medication, not only can it fail to treat what is wrong with that person - it can also cause additional harm. For children, an error in dosage or an allergic reaction is even more dangerous. A dosage error that might make an adult sick can easily be fatal for a child or infant.
Liability, the legal responsibility for an injury or death, ultimately comes down to who acted in a negligent way to cause the injury or death. For medical malpractice claims, this could include a doctor who writes the wrong prescription or notes an incorrect dosage, a nurse who fails to properly read an order, or a pharmacist who fills a prescription incorrectly. It could be that multiple people had a chance to fix the mistake, yet did not pay attention. In that case, they all may be partially liable.
Medical malpractice cases, especially ones involving medication errors, require a lot of medical knowledge, research, and trial experience to successfully put together and present to a jury. This usually includes expert medical testimony to demonstrate when and how negligence occurred. This is not something you should try to do on your own - talk to us.
We received two record-breaking medical malpractice verdicts for clients in Colorado, which both involved medication errors. In addition, we have handled hundreds more across the United States. We know well how to handle these cases, and encourage you to contact us as soon as possible. Every state has deadlines for filing medical malpractice claims called statutes of limitations, and once they pass, you may not be able to recover compensation from the at-fault medical professionals.
Call our medication error attorneys at Leventhal Puga Braley P.C. at (877) 433-3906 to talk about your case and discuss your options. Your consultation is free, and if we take your case, you do not need to pay us until we get you a satisfactory settlement or verdict.
- How Doctors Administer Medication (And Why It Matters)
- When Doctors Work For The Drug Company
- Medication Errors - MedlinePlus