Philadelphia Medication Error Attorney
Medication is necessary to treat illnesses and injuries and help you resume normal life as soon as possible. Although most physicians and pharmaceutical companies are diligent in prescribing correct medications, errors often occur. These medication errors can result in debilitating injuries, disabilities, addiction, and sometimes death.
Contact Our Philadelphia Medication Error Attorneys
The complexity of medication usage means these errors are occurring often in and beyond the Ciccarelli Law Offices’ service area. If a medication error has caused you or a loved one serious harm, or if a loved one has died due to a medication error, our Philadelphia injury attorneys can provide you with the information you need to prepare and win your case (215) 228-0100
Why Are Medication Errors So Prevalent?
Medication errors exist for a number of reasons. One of the biggest is the sheer amount of medications available to physicians, pharmaceutical companies, and patients today. There are more than 10,000 prescription medications on the market today, and according to the Patient Safety Network, one third of American adults take more than five medications daily. All these medications mean that adverse drug events, or ADEs, are rampant. In fact, ADEs account for about 70,000 emergency room visits and 100,000 hospitalizations every year.
A physician can be held liable for a medication error even if an adverse drug event does not occur. It is crucial to understand the phrase “medication error” refers to any error occurring from the time medication was prescribed to the time a patient actually receives the medication. Medication errors can be of commission or omission. Even known side effects can be considered medication errors if they cause an adverse drug event or adverse drug reaction. These are known as non-preventable ADEs. However, over half of the ADEs occurring today are preventable, and many of those could have been mitigated if not entirely prevented.
Some medications place patients at higher risk of adverse events than others. Heparin is one of the riskiest medications available, especially when administered through IV because it depends on the weight-based dosage and can cause severe, even fatal, complications. These complications include the risk of blood clots and other bleeding events, such as bleeding out. A number of other anticoagulants are considered high risk for similar reasons. According to the Institute for Safe Medication Practices, other high-risk drugs include:
- Epinephrine: This and other drugs for the treatment of allergies can cause severe reactions, especially if administered through IVs.
- Oxytocin: This drug is commonly associated with addiction and can cause other patient injuries as well.
- Chemotherapeutic agents: Along with known side effects such as nausea and hair loss, certain chemotherapeutic agents can cause lung and kidney damage, infertility, heightened risk of infection, and heightened risk of second cancers or cancer recurrence. Additionally, specific agents such as methotrexate may cause cognitive issues like poor memory and the onset of learning disabilities. Although most physicians are aware of these side effects, they can still be held liable if the dosage was incorrect, the drug was not administered properly, or other errors or negligence occurred.
- Insulin: Although insulin is helpful for patients with diabetes, it has long been associated with hypoglycemia, skin reactions such as rashes, and ocular conditions such as blurry vision, cataracts, and blindness.
Contact a Philadelphia Medication Error Lawyer
If you or a loved one has sustained illness, injury, or disability from a medication error, contact the Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyers today. Our medical experts are familiar with the side effects of many medications and can help you determine what sorts of errors or negligence played into your injury. Since we try most of our medical cases rather than settling out of court, you can receive compensation. When you consult with us, we will determine the best way to win your case.