When we think of medical malpractice, we often think of a certain type of case: a doctor amputates the wrong leg of a patient or leaves a medical sponge behind in a patient's abdominal cavity. However, there are much more subtle ways that a doctor can be negligent in his or her treatment of a patient.
One of the most common forms of medical malpractice is also one of the difficult to catch or prove: medication mistakes and prescription mistakes. Here are a few examples of prescription mistake medical malpractice:
- A woman is given a birth control prescription by her doctor even though she has a known blood clot condition that makes the hormone dangerous to take. A clot becomes lodged in her lung and the patient dies.
- A man with chronic pain is given four different painkillers - all of them powerful and addictive. His doctor continues the over-medication of his patient despite the fact that they symptoms are not improving and despite the fact that it is clear the patient is developing a habit. The patient dies of an overdose.
- Two men in a nursing home have their drug regiments switched by accident. Although one man shows no adverse effects from the switched prescriptions, the other man suffers serious consequences.
- A newborn baby is accidentally given the wrong dosage of a medication. The overdose is too much for the new baby's system, and her organs shut down.
- A woman is given two drugs in the wake of an accident, but her doctor does not consider that the woman is already on two other drugs - blood pressure medication and an antidepressant. The drugs are unsafe to combine, but the doctor gives no warning.
These mistakes made by pharmacists and doctors across the country are negligent. According to the National Academy of Sciences, these mistakes happen to 1.5 million patients each year. If you believe you or someone you love has been the victim of a prescription error or medication mistake, you should contact a medical malpractice lawyer immediately.