Seasoned Washington, D.C. Medication Errors Injury Lawyers
Helping medical malpractice victims seek justice in the Nation’s Capitol
When doctors prescribe medication, the intended goal is to manage or cure an illness or medical condition. Prescriptions have side effects that patients are warned to expect and they have accepted that risk. What about when it’s a medication you were prescribed by mistake or it was erroneously dispensed? You did not accept the risk of injury or illness when your doctor or pharmacist gave you the wrong drug.
In the United States, it is estimated that up to 9,000 people die each year due to mistakes made with dispensing the wrong medication. This can be the result of a doctor writing or signing off on the wrong prescription, or pharmacy error. Regardless, medication errors has become one of the leading causes of preventable death or injury in the country.
At Paulson & Nace, PLLC, our family of attorneys understands the importance of formulating a strategy to win your case when your family has become the victim of medical malpractice. For more than 40 years, our skilled team of trial lawyers has helped injured parties throughout Washington, D.C. obtain millions in settlement and verdict compensation after suffering harm at the hands of negligent doctors or hospitals. We know that the future of your family is the most important thing in your life and it’s important to us that we help you protect them.
Common medication errors that injure patients of D.C. doctors
Not all medication mistakes are easy to identify. At Paulson & Nace, we handle complex malpractice cases involving a wide array of medication errors, including:
- Administering the wrong dosage of medicine
- Administering the wrong medication to the wrong patient
- Failing to administer medication at all
- Administering medication against the patient’s wishes
- Misreading a patient’s chart
Sometimes, the medication error is directly related to the software used to prescribe it. New technologies allow doctors to submit a prescription with specialized apps, or through a system designed specifically for healthcare providers. Our team takes on complex medical product liability cases where the software or hardware used to store patients’ records, submit prescriptions or share medical histories has failed to work properly, leading to adverse effects on a patient’s health.
What leads to medication errors?
Doctors and nurses are human just like anyone else, but they owe a higher duty of care in performing their jobs than the average person. If they make a mistake, someone can die or have lifelong medical troubles they never anticipated.
Medication mistakes may happen due to:
- Illegible handwriting on orders sent to the pharmacy, which can end in the wrong medication or dosage being prescribed when clarification is not sought.
- Exhaustion and stress that leads to medical mistakes from nurse burnout.
- Failing to take a proper medical history that would show medications that pose a risk.
- Poor communication between doctors and staff or the pharmacy that results in incorrectly dispensing a drug.
- Errors in electronic health records that are not corrected, or glitches in the EHR software.
- A drug was mislabeled, mispackaged, or incorrectly coded by the manufacturer and therefore, improperly dispensed.
When there are multiple variables at play in your case, you want a legal team who can uncover the truth and who is willing to go the distance with you. Paulson & Nace wants to be your team. We see our cases through to the end, and we refuse to settle a case for less than it is worth simply to avoid a more difficult fight. Our attorneys thrive in a trial setting, utilizing cutting-edge technologies and clear, everyday language to help judges and juries understand exactly what went wrong. Our in-depth understanding of medical malpractice laws, combined with our ease in speaking to judges and juries, has helped earn us a reputation as premier patient advocates in Washington, D.C.
Negligence and errors related to prescription medications
There can be serious adverse consequences to unknowingly taking the wrong medication. One of the protocols every doctor is to follow before prescribing any drug is to take your medical history into account, including current medications, current or former addictions, and drug allergies that you have reported. This helps doctors avoid giving you anything that may knowingly cause complications or conflict with other medications – sometimes with deadly effects.
Some of these medication injuries can end your life or cause permanent effects, such as:
- Overdoses that cause death
- Under-dosing, which can lead to an infection or disease spreading beyond the point of cure
- Organ damage
- Anaphylaxis, which can cause death
- Rhabdomyolysis, which can lead to kidney failure
- Serotonin syndrome
- Gastrointestinal bleeding
- Increased hypertension
Should a medication error attorney in Washington, D.C. be able to determine the cause of your loved one’s death is linked to improperly prescribing a drug, a wrongful death claim may be an option for safeguarding your family.
Who can be held liable for medication errors in Washington, D.C.?
It may come as a surprise that if you are prescribed or dispensed the wrong medicine, there may be more than one party to blame for the harm that came to you. There are several moving parts that must work together flawlessly to put the correct drug into your hands.
The doctor writes the prescription, but a nurse might oversee inputting it into the computer system for filling at the pharmacy or administering it to you in your hospital bed under procedures created by the medical center’s administrators. Pharmacies oversee processing the orders they receive, and they rely upon manufacturers to provide them the correct stock that can be properly identified. If any of these controls fail, that negligence has jeopardized your health and safety and anyone in the chain found to have played a role can be held liable for your injuries and damages.
Powerful advocacy for victims of medication errors
Paulson & Nace, PLLC, is a premier medication error injury law firm that is privileged to claim more than 40 years of serving our community by helping victims across the greater Washington, D.C. area. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury please contact Paulson & Nace, PLLC to schedule your free case evaluation by calling 202.463.1999 or we invite you to reach out to us through our contact form.