Medication Overdose Attorneys in Illinois and Missouri
Medication errors at hospitals, pharmacies, clinics and other health care facilities are all too common in Illinois, Missouri, and throughout the United States. One of the most common types of medication errors is an overdose of medication, through either the wrong amount or the wrong frequency of administration. Nurses, doctors, pharmacists and others who are responsible for medication overdoses may be liable for damages that are caused by their errors, including additional medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
At the Belleville, Illinois, law firm of Ripplinger & Zimmer, L.L.C., our medical malpractice lawyers have more than 30 years of combined experience and have obtained large settlements and verdicts on behalf of our clients. We know how to thoroughly investigate and pursue incidences of medication errors or medication overdose that have caused serious injuries or illnesses. Most medication errors can be avoided with proper training and an adherence to standard medical procedures and standards of care. When these measures are not taken, it is important to hold those individuals accountable for their mistakes.
Causes of Wrong Dosage Administration and Medication Overdoses
According to an FDA study in 2005, approximately 7,000 deaths related to medication errors occur in the United States each year. About 1 out of every 5 doses of medication given in U.S. hospitals involves a medication error of some kind. The study also found that the most common types of errors were from administering improper dosages (nearly 41% of cases) or the wrong drugs to patients (19%).
Causes of medication errors and wrong dosage administration include:
- Dose miscalculations
- Prescribing errors
- Lack of patient education
- Improper training or education or nurses and other medical professionals
- Packaging errors
- Poor handwriting on prescriptions
These errors can cause a variety of injuries to patients or aggravate existing conditions. Pursuing damages in these cases is not only important for the recovery process of affected individuals, but is crucial to the exposure and reduction of future medications errors in Illinois and Missouri medical facilities.
Medical Malpractice From Prescription and Medication Errors
One of the leading examples of medical malpractice that occurs in Illinois, Missouri, and around the United States is the administration of the wrong medicine in hospitals, pharmacies, nursing homes and other health care facilities. Medication errors can lead to serious injuries and illnesses for victims, including the aggravation of pre-existing conditions. The medical malpractice attorneys at Ripplinger & Zimmer, L.L.C., pursue medication and prescription error cases in order to obtain necessary compensation for our clients.
Unfortunately, medication errors occur all too frequently in medical facilities around the country, but fortunately, they are some of the best tracked medical errors because of the records kept by doctors and nurses. At our firm, we will thoroughly investigate your case by looking at the records, talking with witnesses and medical professionals at that facility, and learning more about the procedures that health care providers are required to follow in drug administration. Our lawyers will help you pursue the compensation you need to begin the recovery process.
Complications From the Wrong Medication
There are many ways that the wrong medication can be administered to a patient. Doctors may prescribe the wrong medication or poorly write a prescription that is then misinterpreted by the pharmacist. Pharmacists may provide a patient with the wrong medication or the wrong dosage of that medication. Nurses, likewise, may give the wrong medication or wrong dosages due to confusion or error.
Other times, patient allergies to a medication may cause complications or medicines that are not meant to be taken together are administered at the same time, causing an adverse reaction.
Regardless of how the medication errors happened, however, those responsible need to be held accountable for their actions and the damage that has occurred as a result. Children and older adults may be more at risk for health problems caused by medication errors, but all patients deserve a standard of care that protects their health from negligence at all times. Most medication errors are easily avoided when the proper precautions are taken.