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If My Physician Prescribes the Wrong Medication, Can I Sue?

Written by Berkowitz

Physician Prescribes Wrong MedicationWhen visiting your physician, you trust that he or she will give you full attention, listen to your concerns, assess your medical history and perform a thorough examination before diagnosing your problem. Then, you assume that the physician will prescribe the proper treatment or medication to make you feel better. But, what if your physician prescribes the wrong medication?

This is something that occurs almost daily in the United States. As the victim, you will feel betrayed, upset, and even confused. After all, you put your trust into a physician to treat you – not make you worse. When a physician prescribes incorrectly (no matter how it is done), it may become an issue of malpractice.

Why Was I Prescribed the Wrong Medication?

There are a variety of reasons why medication errors occur in the country. But, the biggest cause for being prescribed the wrong medication is that your physician did not review your medical history or listen to your initial complaints and symptoms properly. This often results in your being prescribed a medication for a different condition, or even worse, a prescription that causes a severe allergy. Just some common prescription errors that occur on the physician’s end include:

  • Prescribing the wrong dose
  • Prescribing a medication that will not treat the patient’s illness
  • Prescribing a medication that interacts dangerously with the patient’s current prescriptions
  • Prescribing a medication that the patient is allergic to
  • Prescribing the wrong medication entirely – such as writing the wrong prescription on the prescription pad

While the reasons for prescription errors are abundant, there are some common reasons why physicians could prescribe the wrong medication to their patients, including:

  1. Failing to review the patient’s medical history. If a physician prescribes a medication that interacts with current medications or that you are allergic to, it is unlikely that he or she reviewed your medical history. If the physician had, then he or she would have noted the interaction potential or risk for allergic reaction.
  2. Failing to properly diagnose. When physicians are too rushed to diagnose their patients – or use the “prescribe and treat” method versus diagnosing and then treating, patients can suffer serious injuries.
  3. Failing to verify the dosage. This is common with medications that have dosing instructions based on age, weight, and other factors.
  4. Mixing up patient records. Unfortunately, this does occur. A physician could be treating patients back to back, and when it comes to submitting prescriptions electronically, he or she could swap patient files and prescribe the wrong medications to each patient.

Medication Errors Carry Serious Consequences

While the error itself could be innocent, the effects could be devastating. Medication errors could lead to deadly allergic reactions, more illness, or even a dangerous drug interaction. Consider the following: A patient is suffering from a serious infection. The physician prescribes the proper antibiotic, but fails to verify the dose – giving the patient too little of the antibiotic. The patient’s infection becomes worse, and the patient then enters sepsis and dies. Because the physician failed to prescribe the proper dose, the patient was not properly treated. Had he or she taken the time to verify the dosing instructions, the patient’s infection would have cleared up, and probably would have survived; thus, this negligence leads to a medical malpractice or wrongful death suit.

Were You Injured Because Your Physician Prescribed the Wrong Medication?

Just because you received the wrong medication does not mean that you have a valid malpractice claim. Instead, you must show that the physician could have avoided the error, that the error led to harm, and that you suffered damages (such as the costs of further, unnecessary treatments). Then, you will need to take your claim to a qualified Connecticut medical malpractice attorney. An attorney can file a suit on your behalf and represent your claim in court – ensuring that you get the compensation deserved for your injuries.

Contact Berkowitz and Hanna LLC today to schedule your no-obligation consultation. Contact us online to get started.