At Nagel Rice, LLP, many of our medical malpractice clients have reason to agree with Francis Bacon’s observation that “sometimes the remedy is worse than the disease.” One of these times is when the wrong medication dosage is prescribed or administered, resulting in serious, even dire, consequences.
If you are in New Jersey and have suffered harm due to receiving the wrong dose of medication, you need the services of one of our experienced medical malpractice attorneys. Contact us now for a free consultation to discuss your best options. We are a well-respected firm with a history of having won over $1 billion in settlements and verdicts. Once you become our client, we will charge you no attorneys’ fees until we recover the damages you need and deserve.
Reasons for Wrong Medication Dosages
There are several reasons incorrect medication dosages occur, none of them good enough to justify this type of malpractice. These reasons include:
- Miscommunication: Add to the infamously illegible handwriting of doctors the self-correcting notations of electronic devices and you may have a recipe for prescription errors.
- Inadequate Training: Medical personnel without adequate training may not know how to administer a correct dose or may misunderstand the directions they’ve been given.
- Human Errors: The NIH attributes nearly 75 percent of all medication errors to distraction. Coupled with the rush and fatigue that result from the overloaded schedules of healthcare providers, there is a high risk of medication dosage mistakes in all healthcare settings.
- Systemic Issues: Systemic flaws in hospitals, clinics, and surgical/urgent care centers can make prescribing and administering proper dosages of medication an uphill climb.
- Similar Medication Names: Too many medications have similar names but are routinely prescribed at different potencies. It is too easy for providers to confuse medications and prescribe or administer incorrect dosages.
Medication Dosage Errors Can Occur at Various Stages
The chain of command for medication administration can be complex, involving several different healthcare providers. Unfortunately, this allows mistakes to occur at several points, such as at the time of:
- Ordering or prescribing (where errors occur 50 percent of the time)
- Recording and documenting
It should be noted that mistakes can be made when an extended-release of medication is confused with an immediate-release form or when a dosage of medication fails to be administered or is mistakenly administered twice.
Potential Consequences of Medication Dosage Mistakes
Although some errors in medication dosages may have mild consequences or even go unnoticed, other mistakes can have severe or life-threatening effects. If you have had any of the following reactions to receiving the wrong dosage of medication (perhaps repeatedly!), you are entitled to file a lawsuit against the party responsible for:
- Allergic reaction — An overdose of medication can cause a more severe allergic reaction that the appropriate dose would not have caused.
- Worsening of the condition being treated — Too low a dose of needed medication may, in addition to not effectively treating the condition, cause the patient’s symptoms to exacerbate or spread.
- Development of new health issues — In addition to failing to treat the disease for which the medication has been prescribed, an overdose can result in severe or fatal new health problems, including liver damage, kidney failure, or neurological complications.
- Psychological distress — The anxiety, terror, and possible PTSD caused by the trauma of suffering a mistaken dose of medication cannot be overstated since being harmed by the person or place you came to for help is experienced as a betrayal.
When Medication Mistakes Result in Wrongful Death
In the worst scenarios, especially in cases of significant overdose, wrong medication can result in a fatality. If you have been through the horror of losing a family member to a medication overdose, our lawyers will fight tooth and nail to recover damages for final medical expenses, funeral and burial/cremation costs, and loss of financial and emotional support.
Who Is Liable for Wrong Medication Dosage?
In some cases, our attorney will be able to pinpoint one culprit; in others, there is more than enough blame to go around. You can rely on our capable legal team to determine who is at fault and to target them accordingly, whether the responsible party is one or more of the following:
- Prescribing physician, PA, or nurse practitioner
- Pharmacist or pharmacy staff member
In some cases, wrong dosages are prescribed because the doctor, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant fails to take the patient’s age or weight into consideration. Children and the elderly are most at risk for this type of mistake.
How Our New Jersey Medical Malpractice Attorneys Can Help
Suffering harm at the hands of healthcare professionals can be frightening and overwhelming and you may not know where to turn. This is when the personal injury lawyers of Nagel Rice can be a godsend. Our capable, compassionate attorneys will:
- Thoroughly investigate your case, including all medical records and histories of a previous misconduct
- Interview witnesses
- Determine liability
- File claims against individuals or institutions
- Consult with medical/pharmaceutical experts whose testimony will bolster your case
- Negotiate out-of-court settlements if possible
- Forcefully represent you at trial if necessary to recover maximum compensation
Damages We Will Fight to Recover
We understand the physical, emotional, and financial losses that medication dosage errors may have caused you and your family. Therefore, depending on your particular circumstances, we will fight vigorously to recover the funds you need for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income (present and future)
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Permanent disability
- Wrongful Death
Contact Our Accomplished Medical Malpractice Attorneys Today
When medical professionals who have vowed to alleviate pain and suffering breach their duty of care, violating accepted standards and causing personal injury, they must be held accountable. Get in touch with Nagel Rice now to feel the reassurance that comes from being supported by legal advocates who are caring as well as highly skilled.