In Florida, as well as other states, malpractice lawsuits often stem from the fact the patient is given the wrong medicine. Doctors giving patients the wrong medicine, according to the National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention, is a very preventable but one can cause patients incredible harm. Thousands of people, especially older persons and minors, suffer from serious personal injury every year as a result of medication errors. Mistakes with medication can cause complications, infections, and can even make some people less resistant to superbugs. Large doses of incorrect medication can even kill.
Because of the large numbers of medical errors in this country, the Food and Drug Administration has instituted rules to reduce medication errors. One of the initiatives of the FDA is to install bar codes on medicines in order to make them easier to identify. More careful documentation has also been helpful. Many pharmacies now automatically double-check a patient’s records and dispense pamphlets of information about specific drugs to help patients make the right decisions about their care.
However, there are also many things that Florida patients can do to help prevent Florida malpractice suits stemming from incorrect medication. In many cases, lack of communication is a key problem that leads to medical errors. It is important for patients to communicate well with their families, nurses, and physicians so that everyone has the information they need in order to make the right medication choices. For example, physicians always need to be reminded about any medication that a patient is currently taking. Physicians, nurses, and other health-care workers should be reminded always about allergies, doses, and about the height and weight of the patient. Many patients hesitate to questioning their health-care workers, but it is perfectly acceptable to confirm whether a specific dose of a specific medication is right for the patient and to check that a newly-prescribed medication will not interact with other drugs.
Florida patients should also communicate well with other health-care workers. They should always ask with the name of the drug they are being prescribed, the side effects possible with the drug, how often and in what manner the drug should be taken, and the purpose of the drug. Patients should never leave the doctor’s office without understanding exactly how the medicine should be used and what it is. If there are any questions, it is better to speak to pharmacist or make a follow-up appointment rather than risk an error. A good physician should take time to answer all patient questions and to clarify any concerns. If you have trouble interpreting your doctor’s hand writing, ask the doctor to print out or type out the information about your medication. Poor handwriting accounts for many medication errors.
When patients go to the pharmacy to pick up their prescription, they should bring along all the drugs they are currently taking. Have the pharmacist look over the medicines currently being taken and confirm that the new medication will not interfere with any of the current medications. When the medication is dispensed, patients should check to make sure that the name on the prescription matches the name of the drug on the bottle. If there are any questions or concerns, it is important that patients not hesitate, but instead contact a health professional right away.
Medical errors and medication errors can be devastating. If someone you love has suffered because of an error that a doctor or health care worker has made, you may be eligible to file a Florida malpractice suit. This suit can help you recover money for lost wages and recover money for the best medical treatment so that your loved one can get back into the best physical condition possible. If you need a qualified Florida attorney to help you with your case, contact us at 1- 800-535-2962 (1 800 5 FLAXMAN). We can set up a private, no obligation consultation to help you understand your legal options.