Connecticut Medical Malpractice Attorneys Helping Patients Injured Due to the Administration, Prescription, or Dispensing of Improper Medication

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The administration, prescription, and dispensing of improper medication to a patient can happen at any time at any medical facility or pharmacy. Shockingly, medication errors – including those involving improper medication – affect over one million patients annually. Unfortunately, many of these improper medication errors cause allergic reactions, painful side effects, and other temporary and permanent injuries to innocent patients.

Some Mistakes are Preventable

At Berkowitz and Hanna LLC, our medical malpractice legal team has successfully brought many improper medication cases against hospitals, physicians, nurses, and pharmacies. Some of the improper medication mistakes we see all too frequently include the following:

  • Physically providing a patient with the wrong medication at any stage of treatment
  • Providing a medication that negatively – and even fatally – interacts with a patient’s current medications or medical conditions
  • Providing a medication to a patient with an allergy to the drug that the treating physician and/or pharmacist knew or should have known about

Dangerous Consequences

The administration, prescription, or dispensing of improper medication can lead to a countless number of dangerous consequences for patients. Some errors may result in minor injuries while others may be fatal.

For example:

  • The administration of a seemingly harmful, but improper medication can result in anaphylactic shock or other reaction in a patient allergic to the drug.
  • Failure to properly identify a patient’s current medications and medical conditions can result in the administration of an improper drug causing horrific adverse reactions.
  • For every day that a patient takes improper medication, it is one more day that the patient goes without the correct medication. When this happens, the underlying medical condition goes untreated and can result in terrible patient outcomes.
  • Patients may take specific medication to prevent certain conditions from developing, such as pregnancy. Unknowingly taking improper medication instead of the correct, preventive medication may result in a pregnancy that injures the patient as well as the unborn child.

How Do These Improper Medication Mistakes Happen?

Medical care providers, including pharmacists, are very aware how dangerous it can be for a patient to receive improper medication whether it is administered in a hospital setting or ingested at home. Yet, improper medication mistakes happen way too much. Even worse, the vast majority of these mistakes are preventable.

When such mistakes are discovered, the subsequent investigations almost always conclude that the improper medication error occurred due to a provider’s inattention to detail, such as in the following instances:

  • Illegible handwriting
  • Typing medication orders into the wrong patient’s electronic chart
  • Mistyping the medication name into a patient’s electronic chart
  • Grabbing the wrong medication to administer or dispense because it has similar packaging to that of other medications
  • Fear or laziness in double-checking orders for improper medication
  • Incompetence, carelessness, fatigue, etc.
  • Confusing patients with each other
  • Mixing up prescription bottles while filling medications
  • Incomplete or total lack of research into a patient’s medical history, known allergies, and medication list
    • In many cases, a quick call to the patient’s pharmacy or primary care physician can confirm a complete list of a patient’s current meds and any information regarding allergies and/or past drug interactions

Improper Medication Errors On the Rise Due to Booming Urgent Care Industry

The number of urgent care centers in the United States is growing at an exponential rate. In fact, new facilities seem to pop up throughout Connecticut all the time. Seeking medical treatment at an urgent care center is often a great option for injured or sick patients because 1) patient wait times generally are much shorter than those of emergency departments, and 2) because urgent care facilities typically charge much lower prices than hospitals.

Moreover, because urgent care centers treat patients with various minor illnesses and injuries, there is a noticeable decrease in the day-to-day burdens placed on hospital emergency rooms. This, in turn, allows emergency medical care personnel to focus their time and resources on patients with serious medical conditions.

However, the convenience and accessibility of urgent care centers do not come without certain risks to patients. For example, the physicians and medical staff at these facilities oftentimes cannot access your medical history, charts, and other pertinent information because they may not be affiliated with your primary care providers. In most cases, the urgent care providers simply take your word regarding the medications you take, allergies, medical conditions, etc.

Regardless of these limitations, urgent care centers and their staff are not exempt from claims of medical practice, including improper medication errors. If an urgent care center’s treatment of a patient is below the acceptable medical standard of care, a medical malpractice situation could arise.

Medication Errors Verdict and Settlements

  • $6,100,000.00 settlement against a hospital and two physicians on behalf of a client who sustained permanent paralysis following the administration of anesthesia and prior to undergoing an anterior cervical discectomy.
  • $3,700,000.00 medical malpractice settlement against a physician who failed to timely diagnose our client’s bacterial infection leading her to sustain catastrophic limb-altering injuries.
  • $3,000,000.00 medical malpractice recovery against an anesthesiologist whose negligent administration of spinal anesthesia left an infant plaintiff profoundly brain damaged.
  • $2,300,000.00 medical malpractice settlement against a hospital following its failure to diagnose a bacterial infection causing a child to go into respiratory arrest and without oxygen for 20 minutes leading to the child’s brain damage.
  • $1,300,000.00 wrongful death medical malpractice settlement on behalf of the estate of a 13 year old girl following a hospital’s failure to diagnose the plaintiff decedent’s bacterial infection which ultimately caused her to develop sepsis and die.
  • $950,000.00 medical malpractice settlement on behalf of a client who sustained a brain injury as a result of her medical providers’ improper administration of spinal anesthesia prior to surgery.
  • $750,000.00 wrongful death settlement on behalf of a decedent’s estate as a result of a hospital’s failure to timely diagnose and treat the plaintiff decedent’s bacterial infection which progressed to an irreversible stage of necrotizing fasciitis and caused his death.

Berkowitz and Hanna LLC: Providing a Thorough and Honest Evaluation of your Case

In order to initiate a medical malpractice case, such as one alleging an improper medication error, Connecticut law mandates that the injured party’s attorney first conducts a reasonable and thorough investigation to determine if, in good faith, a viable claim exists.

Berkowitz and Hanna LLC medical malpractice legal team has extensive experience reviewing and investigating medical records, witness statements, applicable statutes and case law, and seeking medical opinions regarding the facts, the applicable standard of medical care, and injury causation.

Our goal is to identify all legal theories that may apply to your specific circumstances, so that if at all possible, we can help you recover compensation for your injuries.

Talk to a Connecticut Medical Malpractice Lawyer TODAY

If you suffered injuries because you received improper medication due to someone’s negligence, you should speak with an experienced medical malpractice attorney about your legal rights. At Berkowitz and Hanna LLC, our medical malpractice attorneys have extensive experience successfully handling injury and wrongful death cases involving medical negligence and malpractice such as improper medication mistakes.

Our offices in Danbury, Bridgeport, and Stamford handle improper medication cases throughout the state. Call (203) 487-5725 or contact us via our online contact form to schedule a complimentary consultation with an experienced Connecticut medical malpractice attorney today.