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Who is Liable for an Albany Medication Error?

When a medication mistake occurs in Albany, who is liable for the resulting harm? Medication errors can have many different causes, and they can take a variety of forms. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a medication mistake is defined broadly to mean “any preventable event that may cause or lead to inappropriate medication use or patient harm while the medication is in the control of the health care professional, patient, or consumer.” On an annual basis, the FDA receives at least 100,000 reports of medication mistakes, which it then investigates.

Some of the most frequent harms associated with medication errors include birth defects, disabilities, hospitalization, and death. Liability for a medication error will depend upon the circumstances of the case, including how and where the medication mistake occurred. When an error does cause harm, a patient may be able to seek compensation through a medical malpractice lawsuit.

The following are examples of parties who are commonly liable for medication errors in Albany. If you have questions about filing a claim, or you want to discuss whether one or more health care providers could be liable for injuries caused by a medication mistake, you should get in touch with an Albany medical malpractice lawyer.

Physician and Other Providers Prescribing a Medication

Physicians and other health care providers, such as physician assistants or nurse practitioners, can be liable for a medication error when they make a mistake in prescribing a medication. There are many different ways that mistakes can occur in prescribing. For example, a health care provider might prescribe the wrong medication for the patient’s needs or condition, or the provider might prescribe the wrong dosage of an appropriate medication. 

Yet prescribing errors can also be more complex. To be sure, healthcare providers who prescribe medicines have a duty to read the patient’s medical record and to consider any issues that could result in a particular drug having a harmful effect on the patient. Accordingly, healthcare providers can be liable when they prescribe a drug that has a harmful interaction with another medicine the patient is currently taking, or when they prescribe a drug that will be an issue given a patient’s allergies.

Health Care Providers Administering Drugs

Various types of healthcare providers can be liable for errors that occur in administering medications. Nurses and other providers in a hospital setting can be liable, for example, for mistakes that result in a patient receiving the wrong dosage of a particular drug.

Hospital Liability for Provider Errors and Administering Mistakes

When a medication mistake results from a health care provider’s mistake in prescribing a drug, the hospital or other health care facility where the error happened could be liable. Indeed, facilities can sometimes be liable for the mistakes made by healthcare providers who work there. In these circumstances, you could be eligible to sue both the negligent healthcare provider and the facility.

Hospitals can also be liable when a mistake occurs in administering a drug. Administration errors can also occur commonly in nursing homes, according to the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP). When a medication error occurs in a nursing home, the nursing home may also be liable for resulting injuries.

Pharmacists Filling Prescriptions

Pharmacists can also be liable for many types of medication errors. Most commonly, pharmacists make medication mistakes by filling the incorrect prescription or filling the incorrect dosage of a drug. Before you take any drug you have picked up from a pharmacy, you should check to be certain that it is the specific drug and dosage that your healthcare provider ordered. Sometimes these mistakes might not be as obvious, and the label of your prescription could have the correct information with the wrong medicine inside. You should look at the label of your prescription, which describes the pill and how it looks, to be sure that you are taking the correct drug. 

In addition, pharmacists may be liable for providing incorrect information to a patient about a drug, or failing to provide a patient with clear information about harmful interactions or potential side effects of a particular drug.

Contact an Albany Medical Malpractice Attorney Today

If you or someone you love suffered an injury due to a medication error, it is important to find out more about filing a medical malpractice claim. One of our experienced Albany medical malpractice attorneys can speak with you today about your case, and about your eligibility for filing a lawsuit. Contact Powers & Santola, LLP in Albany for more information about medical malpractice cases and medication errors.

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