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Lawsuits for Drug Overdose Deaths in a Hospital Setting
When a doctor writes a medication order into a patient chart, the medication’s name should be able to be clearly legible so that the medication does not get confused with another one which may have fairly similar spelling. The hospital physician should note the dose and the frequency.
The nurse that must administer the medicine has to go into the medication room or cabinet then has to match the order to the medicines in the cabinet.
Perhaps the hospital is one which has such prescription drugs delivered to the nurse by the pharmacy department, and maybe there is a computerized record keeping used.
Each step of the process can be like the children’s game of telephone, where a simple phrase whispered from one person to another comes out mixed up.
Most medication drug errors are due to the hospital doctor prescribing the wrong dose.
Then, next comes prescribing the wrong medicine.
After that, there are a variety of mistakes and missteps, such as failing to note a history of allergic reaction ; over prescribing without consulting or obtaining up to date blood study results; failing to consider the interaction of the desired or ordered medication with that of other medications and other circumstances. These are not the entire list, but for our purposes these are the highlights.
If the doctor is familiar with the patient, then any hospital medical negligence involving drug overdose or prescription error is statistically less likely to happen.
Drug overdose death lawsuits are best handled by a very experienced medical malpractice attorney.
Some additional concerns should be the age of the medicine involved- its storage life or expiration date; alternate medications which may have been given instead; a FDA profile of the medication including recalls, if any, and all noted complications and adverse consequences, the warning label as it appeared on the exact date or time spread over which the drug was administered.
These mentions are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to these kinds of lawsuit, which rapidly becomes very expensive and complex despite all outward appearances of having very few moving parts, facts, or witnesses. Expect these hospital drug error lawsuits to be hotly contested and the hospital chart usually will not be fully and fairly informative as to the true facts and circumstances, in my experience.