Administering the wrong medication to a patient is one of the leading types of medical negligence that causes serious injury and illness. Wrong medication can lead to serious problems for the victims of this type of medical negligence. Wrong medicine administration is one of the best tracked medical errors and can occur in hospitals, pharmacies, nursing homes, and in home care.
Wrong medication medical negligence can be the result of many mistakes. The wrong medication altogether may be administered or improper dosage of the correct medicine may be prescribed. The wrong medication may be given to a person with drug allergies, someone who is taking other medications that cause adverse reaction when combined, or someone with special health considerations that may be affected by this wrong medication. Wrong medication can also be the cause of medical problems that, if not recognised, may be improperly treated.
Children and infants are particularly at risk for health problems resulting from wrong medication administration. Children who are given the wrong medication do not have the immune systems or the chemical tolerance to handle wrong medication as well as adults. Medication dosages are particularly important in drug administration to children because of specific age and weight factors. It is estimated that one in every eighteen prescriptions that are written for children are the wrong medication or dosage. Because of weight and age requirements, overdose is more likely in children who are given the wrong medication than in adults.
The implications of a prescription error are very serious as many people may rely on particular drugs to ensure their general health and without these drugs their life would be in danger. A patient who has taken incorrect medication due to a prescription error can suffer a range of complications. A delay in receiving the medication they actually require due to a prescription error can cause an existing condition to become worse, or the incorrect medication can cause them harm.
The following are common examples of dispensing and prescription errors:
The wrong medication being prescribed
Incorrect labels or computer error causing the wrong drug to be dispensed
The wrong dose or strength of a drug
Medication prescribed for too long
Medication prescribed to the wrong patient
Medication supplied which patient is allergic to
Two or more medicines being prescribed which should not be taken together
Doctors incorrectly writing up the dose of a drug, leading to the patient receiving an overdose.
Prescribing children an adult dose of a drug which can be harmful to their health.
For more information on making a medical negligence claim for a medication error such as the prescription of the wrong drug or dosage, call us on 0151 735 1000 and speak to one of our Liverpool Medical Negligence solicitors today.
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