What Are A Patient’s Rights Regarding Medication Administration?
Medication offers advantages over other forms of medical treatment because it is not invasive and does its work inside the human body. However, because pharmaceuticals and over-the-counter drugs are so powerful as a treatment option for some medical conditions, medication errors can lead to tragic consequences. The National Library of Medicine (NLM) estimates that around 7,000 to 9,000 people die every year because of mistakes with medications. Plus, many other patients are injured, and some experience adverse effects but do not report complications to health care providers.
Medication errors are covered by Florida medical malpractice laws because they typically represent a breach of the standard of care. Health care providers rely on a system called the patient rights with medication, which aims to reduce mistakes and resulting harm. While you can count on a Tampa medication errors lawyer to help with the legal process, some background information is helpful.
Patients’ Rights with Medication Administration: The concept of “rights” in the context of medication errors relates to the correctness and accuracy of health care providers when administering medication. There are 5 patient rights that are crucial to ensure medications achieve their intended goal as treatment:
- Right patient, which requires providers to double check charts and documentation;
- Right medication, an issue that can arise when you consider the close spellings and pronunciations for many of the drugs used in medicine;
- Right dose for the patient’s weight, age, physical condition, and other factors;
- Right route, a concept that refers to how the medication is delivered – i.e., via injection, a pill, sustained released through IV, or other means; and,
- Right timing, whether the medication is intended to reduce pain, prevent infection, or fight diseases like cancer.
Effects of Medication Errors: There are many complications that cause harm to a patient after a mistake with administering medication, but there are two main categories. First, an error means the patient is not getting the treatment they need. Regardless of the medical condition, the rights listed above are critical for providing care.
Second, a medication error could result in an adverse event instead of a mere lack of treatment. A patient could sustain an overdose that leads to physical injuries. A person might receive a medication intended for someone else, and the side effects or contraindications cause harm.
With any medication errors, there are also financial and emotional effects. You incur additional medical costs to treat any condition or harm that developed because of the mistake. Many patients must be hospitalized or stay longer in the hospital. There are also implications for your quality of life, so it is reassuring that medical malpractice laws protect your rights.
Seek Legal Remedies with Help from a Florida Medication Errors Attorney
Because the effects can be so extreme, it is important to take advantage of all legal options if you suffered harm from a medication error. For more information, please contact Greco & Wozniak P.A. at 813.223.7849 or via our website. We can set up a no-cost case assessment at our offices in Tampa, FL. Once we review your case, an experienced med mal lawyer can explain what to expect.