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Medication Errors: What Causes Them and Who is Responsible?

Medication Error Statistics

Are you currently taking a prescription medication? If not, then you’ve likely been prescribed medication at least once in your lifetime. According to researchers, about 70 percent of Americans are currently taking at least one prescription, and half of them take more than one. With these high numbers, it shouldn’t be surprising that errors do happen occasionally. What are medication errors, what causes them and who is responsible? Find out the answers below.

What is a Medication Error?

Medication errors occur when there’s an issue during the process of prescribing, dispensing or taking your medicine. In the medical community, these errors are called preventable adverse drug events. Mistakes can happen anywhere along the process, including when you’re at home alone taking your meds. Here are a few examples of what’s considered a medication error:

  • Taking two medications that adversely react with each other
  • Dosage mistakes
  • Getting prescribed the wrong medication
  • Incorrectly labeled medication
  • Taking medicine at non-scheduled times

As you can imagine, taking the wrong drug or the wrong dose can have severe consequences on the patient’s health. In some situations, the mistake is fatal.

Do Medication Errors Happen in New Jersey? Who’s Responsible?

Medication errors occur throughout the country on a regular basis. When one occurs, the patient is often injured and requires additional medical treatment. Who is legally liable for the financial fallout of a medication error? Depending on the circumstances, the following people could get held liable:

  • Your doctor
  • Nurses or other healthcare professionals in charge of administering medication
  • The pharmacist who prepared your medication
  • The hospital or clinic where the error occurred
  • Drug manufacturers

To determine who’s responsible, you’ll need to figure out what caused the error to occur in the first place.

What Causes Medication Errors?

Are medication errors preventable? According to experts, they are preventable and should not occur. Here are the most common causes of these accidents:

  • Lack of communication between the doctor and patient
  • Lack of pharmaceutical knowledge
  • Medical abbreviations or similar sounding drug names
  • Excessive workloads for doctors and patients
  • Inadequate staff training
  • Human error

If you feel that someone else’s negligence led to your medication injury, then it’s important to reach out to a legal professional as soon as possible to learn about your options for recovery.

Contact A Medical Malpractice Attorney for a Consultation About Your Medication Error Case in New Jersey

Were you or a loved one injured due to medical malpractice in New Jersey? Then you need to talk to an experienced medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible for guidance on how to proceed. The Morristown medication error attorneys at Hanlon, Dunn, Robertson Schwartz are prepared to assist you with your legal claim. We represent victims of negligent surgeons, doctors, nurses, and pharmacists throughout New Jersey, including Morristown, Parsippany, Dover, and Madison. Call us today at 973-267-8895 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation. Our main office is located at 33 Market Street, Morristown, NJ 07960 and we also have offices in New Brunswick.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

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