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Medical Malpractice

Common Prescription Errors in Medication Malpractice Cases

Each year, thousands of Canadians grapple with the aftermath of medical mistakes including those stemming from prescription errors. A 2020 study followed harm incidents reported across the country over five years and found that, while 86% of cases were deemed mild, 14% ranged from moderate to severe to death. This stark reality highlights the far-reaching consequences of medication errors in our healthcare system. Many potential issues could constitute prescription malpractice. If you have experienced any of these prescription errors, you may be entitled to compensation due to medication malpractice.

Incorrect Dosage

Correct dosage is critical when prescribing medication to patients. Any dosage error can cause potentially serious effects. Dosages that are too low might render treatment ineffective, leading to worsening ailments for patients, while dosages that are too high could result in severe side effects or death.

Wrong Medication

Medications are intentionally selected to treat all or part of a patient’s conditions. Prescribing the wrong medication not only fails to treat the patient’s specific health problem, but it could cause more to develop or worsen a patient’s condition.

Drug Interactions

Patients need to tell their doctors about every medication they take to avoid dangerous drug interactions. If doctors disregard this information and still prescribe a drug that causes negative interactions, medical malpractice may have occurred.

Allergy Considerations

Like the list of medications they already take, patients must disclose known allergies. Neglecting to gather this information or prescribing a medication that triggers a patient’s known allergies could lead to severe or deadly reactions.

Illegible Handwriting

While digital records are commonplace, some doctors may rely on digital notepads or handwritten documents to order prescriptions. If pharmacists receive illegible prescriptions, they may inadvertently dispense the wrong medications or dosages.

Incorrect Administration Instructions

Every prescription should come with detailed instructions about intended use such as the correct frequency and timing. Doctors may also verbally provide these instructions. Any prescriptions without administration instructions may lead to improper use, reduced effectiveness, or serious harm.

Failure to Monitor

After a prescription is issued, doctors should meet with patients to monitor their conditions and adjust prescriptions if necessary. Failing to do so can lead to medical malpractice if a patient is impacted by ineffective treatment or harmful side effects.