Understanding Your Rights After Prescription Drug Mistakes in Oregon Harm You
Prescription drugs are supposed to treat a patient’s illness or alleviate a patient’s symptoms. Unfortunately, if improperly prescribed, prescription drug mistakes can do more harm than good to a patient in need of intervention. According to the Pharmaceutical Journal, prescription errors occur at a rate of 8.9 errors per 100 medicine orders in acute hospital settings alone. Prescription drug mistakes is one of the leading causes of medical injury or death in the country as it is estimated that approximately 7,000 people die each year due to prescription drug mistakes.
Unfortunately, prescription drug mistakes cause needless harm to innocent people. These therapeutics are meant to heal a patient, including to work as an antibiotic, steroid, pain manager, or control other important functions in the body. When there are mistakes or errors in creating, prescribing, or administering these products, there could be serious personal injuries to innocent patients. Including huge contraindications that could result in catastrophic disability, permanent damage, and even wrongful death. Individuals who are seriously harmed by prescription drug mistakes in Oregon need to hire an experienced medical malpractice lawyer like ours in Oregon handling cases in Portland, Bend, Deschutes County, and anywhere else in Oregon.
Common Prescription Drug Mistakes in Oregon
There are many common causes that could be due to medical negligence. This includes the negligence of a healthcare provider such as a doctor prescribing the treatment, a pharmacist creating or filling the prescription, or a nurse administrating it. There are other types of more specific causes of medical malpractice due to narcotic, antibiotic, and other prescription drug mistakes including the following:
- Prescribing too low of a dose of medicine.
- Prescribing the wrong medication to the wrong patient.
- Failure to provide adequate instructions for the prescription drug’s usage.
- Failure to provide a clear warning label on the packaging.
- Not prescribing drugs at all.
- Mislabeling or incorrect filing of the prescription by a pharmacy.
- Incorrect reading of the patient’s charts.
- Prescribing the wrong frequency of the medication
- Prescribing the wrong route of the medication (i.e. orally instead of by injection)
- Prescribing too high of a dose of medication
- Prescribing a substance that is contraindicated for that patient (i.e. prescribing acetaminophen to a patient in liver failure)
- Failing to properly monitor a patient while on a medical therapy (i.e anticoagulant therapies). Patients on anticoagulants must be monitored closely because if their INR is too high or too low, that can put the patient at high risk for blood clots (if the INR is too low) or at high risk for bleeding (if the INR is too high)
- Prescribing a medication/narcotic for a patient that can interact with another drug a patient is taking
- Distortions – These types of errors include poor handwriting that is misinterpreted, symbols that can be misinterpreted, abbreviation use or improper translation
- Improper use of metrics (i.e. a patient is accidentally prescribed 125mg of a drug when they were supposed to be prescribed 125mcg of a drug)
Sometimes, prescription drug mistakes are a result of the mistake of the software used to prescribe it, thus making the liability of prescription errors even more complicated because it could become a products liability or third-party claim that you (as a patient) are not necessarily in privity of contract to sue. Meaning you did not contract with or otherwise work with the business that made the computer that caused the mistake that hurt you.
Factors that Contribute to Prescription Drug Mistakes
There are a lot of factors that could lead to a prescription errors. They include the following:
- Fatigue on part of the physician leading to a wrongful prescribing
- Lack of knowledge of the physician who is prescribing the medicines.
- Poor communication and lack of details provided to the patient by the physician.
- Inattentiveness on part of the physician.
- The physician not being properly equipped with therapeutic training.
- Lack of knowledge of the patient to interpret the prescriptions properly
- Failing to obtain a history of the patient’s allergies
- Failing to verify that what has been ordered was transcribed correctly
- Failing to check that the provider is prescribing the medication to the right patient
- Mislabeling of a bottle or bag of medication
Who is Liable for Prescription Drug Mistakes?
While many prescription mistakes can occur due to a provider’s error, there are many other parties that can be responsible for prescription drug errors. These errors can occur in the manufacturing, supplying, and prescribing chain which includes the nurses, pharmacists and pharmaceutical manufacturers as well.
In the case of prescribing mistakes involving the administration of a wrong dosage, wrong drug, or wrong route, the doctors or the nurses involved can be held liable. Any time a drug is prescribed, it should be done in a careful manner, ensuring that the drug being prescribed is appropriate for the patient and will be administered in the right manner. If a physician prescribes too high or too low of a dose that can lead to deterioration of a patient’s condition, the physician can be held liable.
Mislabeling of a medication is a very serious error that can lead to great bodily harm or even wrongful death. Mislabeling can occur at the manufacturing plant or at the pharmacy where the patient picks up the drug. Wherever the error occurred, the party making the mistake would be held liable if the patient suffered injury or death. Another mistake that can occur at the pharmacy is dispensing the wrong drug to the wrong patient. This too is very serious and can cause bodily harm or wrongful death. Dispensing the wrong drug to the wrong patient is another potential error that can occur when the patient is dispensed medication at the pharmacy.
Many drugs have side-effects. A doctor or a pharmacist should always make the patient aware of any side-effects of the drugs. He or she should also inform the patient about the correct time of intake and what foods should be avoided while under a particular medication. A failure to do so could lead to severe side-effects. In such cases, the doctors or the pharmacists can be held liable.
How Can You Get Help for Your Injuries?
Prescription drug mistakes are very serious mistakes that can result in serious bodily harm to a person, or even wrongful death. These errors are always avoidable and are a direct result of negligence. Severe harm can occur including organ failure, anaphylactic shock, seizures, nausea, vomiting, or many other serious side effects. These occurrences should never happen. If you or your loved one suffered bodily harm or wrongful death as a result of a prescription drug error, you or your loved one may be eligible for compensation. Compensation typically includes the following:
- Past pain and suffering
- Future pain and suffering
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Past, present and future medical bills
- Burial expenses if person died as a result of a prescription drug error
- Rehabilitation coverage
- Care for a nurse to come to your house to help you in very serious cases
- Lost wages from injuries
- Lost future earnings if unable to work in the same job, and
- Other damages related to the malpractice.
Ask Our Medical Malpractice Lawyers for Help With Your Case in Oregon
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed as a result of medical malpractice contact the Oregon Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Kuhlman Law at our number below or fill out the intake form. We offer a free initial case evaluation and handle cases on a contingency fee which means that you pay no money unless we recover.
Our law firm handles cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Sisters, Madras, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, La Grande, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton, Cottage Grove, Florence, Oregon City, Springfield, Keizer, Grants Pass, McMinnville, Tualatin, West Linn, Forest Grove, Wilsonville, Newberg, Roseburg, Lake Oswego, Klamath Falls, Happy Valley, Tigard, Ashland, Milwakie, Coos Bay, The Dalles, St. Helens, Sherwood, Central Point, Canby, Troutdale, Hermiston, Silverton, Hood River, Newport, Prineville, Astoria, Tillamook, Lincoln City, Hillsboro, and Vancouver, Washington.
We also have an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota and take medical malpractice cases throughout the Twin Cities, including St. Paul, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, Washington County, Anoka County, Scott County, Blaine, Stillwater, and Saint Paul Minnesota.