An area of medical malpractice that I am frequently asked about is cases involving medication errors. When we’re dealing with medication, one of the first things that needs to be asked is what are the indications for the drug? Sometimes a medical malpractice case based on medication error can be because there was no proper indication for the drug. All prescription medications have side effects. We make the determination as a society, as physicians, as patients, that some side effects are worth risking to cure the given illness or problem. But what if the drug is not indicated in the first place?
An example of that would be antibiotics which are often prescribed for viruses. A viral infection will not be helped in any way by an antibiotic, and yet physicians prescribe antibiotics for viral infections every day. If a patient has an adverse reaction to the antibiotic when the reason for the prescription was a viral infection, this could become a viable case. Another area involving medication errors has to do with the wrong drug and the wrong dosage. One reason why the wrong drug is given has to do with the similarity in generic medication names. We tried a case involving a pharmacist who filled the prescription with the wrong drug, and as a result our client suffered injury.
I would like to point out in regard to this particular case, that the client was not injured because of an adverse reaction to the wrong drug. The client was injured because the original reason for getting a prescription was a cardiac condition that was improperly treated by the wrong drug. The drug was not designed to treat that condition, and the problem in that case was that the real condition was left untreated. The wrong drug had been given even though the wrong drug itself caused no harm.
If you think you have a case involving a medication error, we would like to be able to assist you.
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