Errors made by doctors, nurses, and pharmacists concerning the proper administration of prescription drugs are a leading cause of medical injuries in Cook County. Medical providers should take every step possible to make sure that prescription drugs are only prescribed when necessary, ensure that these drugs will not interact with other medications, and administer these drugs in the proper manner.
If you have suffered injuries following a failure on the part of medical providers, a Cook County prescription drug errors lawyer may be able to help. These claims could demand compensation for medical costs, lost wages, and even mental anguish that a malpractice attorney could work with you to pursue.
The Standard of Care for Medical Providers
All medical providers, whether they are doctors, dentists, or nurses, have a legal obligation to practice their craft with a certain level of skill. However, this goes beyond simply passing a licensing exam. While practicing medicine, these professionals must take steps to protect their patients from any preventable accidental harm.
More specifically, Illinois Jury Instruction 105.01 provides that all medical practitioners in the state must perform their job with the level of “…skill, care, and knowledge used by a reasonably careful peer.” This simply means that they must act as a reasonably competent similar practitioner would under the circumstances. A failure to perform in this way that results in an injury may be an example of medical malpractice.
To prove these cases in court, a plaintiff must work with and rely upon the testimony of a medical expert witness. These experts can examine the medical records related to the incident and provide their professional opinion as to whether malpractice took place.
In fact, a plaintiff cannot even file a case in court without first consulting such an expert, according to 735 Illinois Compiled Statutes 5/2-622. Fortunately, a Cook County prescription drug errors attorney could help a potential plaintiff find a qualified expert with whom they could work together to prove their case.
How Could a Prescription Drug Error Occur?
With both hospitals and the government so closely regulating the use of prescription drugs, it may come as a surprise that errors concerning their use are so common. Still, something as simple as a nurse not properly checking a label before administering a medication could have disastrous consequences. A prescription drug mistakes lawyer in Cook County could help evaluate the actions of a possibly negligent healthcare provider with the help of an expert to determine if any of the following errors took place.
Failure to Identify Dangerous Drug Interactions
Prescription drugs are dangerous enough on their own. However, if a prescribing doctor does not take an accurate accounting of the patient’s total pharmacological profile, this may result in dangerous or even deadly interactions.
Prescribing an Improper Medication
Every drug is designed for a specific use. If a practitioner administers a drug to a person without that specific condition, it may cause serious harm—and more importantly, qualify legally as malpractice.
Improper Administration of Medication
Many drugs can only be used through IV lines or under strict supervision. If a practitioner fails to provide this supervision or inserts an IV in a way that results in a serious bleed or infection, they may commit malpractice.
A Cook County Prescription Drug Errors Attorney Could Fight on a Patient’s Behalf
Even under the best of circumstances, taking a prescription medication is a calculated risk. Errors that result from the improper prescribing or administration of medication can cause severe injuries. If a doctor, dentist, or nurse does not take the appropriate precautions and an injury occurs, that practitioner may have committed malpractice.
A Cook County prescription drug errors lawyer could be dedicated to helping you collect compensation for your losses if you were injured due to a healthcare provider’s mistake. Call today to learn more about how an attorney could help with the gathering of evidence, the hiring of a qualified expert, and protecting your rights in settlement talks as well as in court.