Thousands of people in Lake County and throughout the state rely upon daily prescription medications. These can be used to manage a collection of maladies ranging from chronic pain and high blood pressure to serious mental disorders. In other situations, a doctor may order the administration of a prescription medication while a patient is in the hospital to manage symptoms or side effects from a procedure or illness.
Every medicine, no matter how seemingly benign, comes with risks. These can include risks of potential side effects, damage that may result from drug interactions, or even errors made in the actual administration of the medication. Any of these examples may indicate medical malpractice.
A Lake County prescription drug errors lawyer could help patients who have suffered injuries due to prescription drug errors. Throughout your case, your medical malpractice attorney could help to gather vital evidence, place that evidence within the relevant laws, and work with experts who can testify on your behalf.
Examples of Prescription Drug Errors
All prescription medications are potentially dangerous substances that should only be used with a doctor’s permission. Not only is unauthorized use illegal, but it could seriously threaten a person’s health. Because of this, the doctors and nurses who administer these medications should only do so when it is absolutely necessary.
Prescribing a medication that is not used to treat a particular condition is extremely dangerous. For example, a doctor who gives a patient blood thinners when they are not suffering from a cardiovascular condition could cause severe internal bleeding. In this instance, that doctor may have committed malpractice.
Other examples of prescription drug errors that may qualify as malpractice include:
- Improperly administering the medication leading to a wound or infection
- Not checking a patient’s record for other medications that may adversely react with the new drug
- Prescribing medication in an improper dosage
A Lake County prescription drug errors attorney could help a plaintiff understand and express the facts behind their case and how they may give rise to a legal cause of action.
Proving a Prescription Drug Error Case in Court
All medical malpractice cases in Lake County must prove that a doctor or nurse’s care was so poor that it placed the patient at an unnecessary risk of harm. According to Illinois Jury Instruction 105.01, any medical professional must perform their job with the level of “…skill, care, and knowledge used by a reasonably careful peer.”
When applied to cases involving prescription drugs, this standard means that a provider must ensure an accurate dosage, apply the medication correctly, and ensure that no improper interaction is likely to occur. However, all such prescription drug error claims must be supported by the testimony of an expert witness.
This witness can examine the medical records in the case to determine whether a defendant provider failed in their duty to provide competent care and then testify to that effect in court. In addition, under 735 ILCS 5/2-622, any initial complaint alleging medical malpractice must contain an affidavit signed by the expert concluding that there is a good-faith reason to believe that malpractice has occurred.
What a Lake County Prescription Drug Errors Lawyer Could Do to Help
Prescription drugs could provide life-saving benefits to many patients. However, every foreign substance that enters a person’s body should be subject to scrutiny. Doctors, nurses, and pharmacists should all ensure that patients understand the risks and know how to properly take the medicine, as well as that drug interactions will not harm the patient.
Unfortunately, prescription drug errors are nonetheless common and often result in serious injuries that may require an extended hospitalization, could cause permanent physical or mental damage, or even result in death. A Lake County prescription drug errors lawyer could help you pursue a lawsuit that alleges medical malpractice as applied to prescription drug mistakes. Contact an attorney today to get started on your case.