Drug Administration Errors Cause Thousands of Injuries Each Year

drug administration errors

Drug administration errors such as administering the wrong dose of medication are a serious medical error that can have severe consequences for the patient involved. In cases where a drug is administered incorrectly, it may be considered a form of medical malpractice if it involves a breach of the standard of care expected from healthcare professionals. This type of medical malpractice claim can result in legal action seeking compensation for damages caused by the administration of the wrong drug.

Drug Administration Errors Cause Thousands of Injuries Each Year

Approximately 530,000 patients are injured each year in outpatient clinics due to medication errors such as administration errors, prescribing errors, documentation errors, dispensing errors, and monitoring errors.

Some examples of drug administration errors are:

  •       Wrong dose
  •       Wrong drug
  •       Wrong patient
  •       Wrong time
  •       Wrong route (for example, oral instead of intravenously)

Elements of drug administration error claims

Medical malpractice claims related to the administration of the wrong drug typically involve several key elements. These include duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and damages. Let’s examine each of these elements in more detail.

  1. Legal duty. Healthcare professionals have a legal duty to provide a standard of care that is expected within their profession. This means they must act in a manner that is reasonably skillful and diligent. When a patient seeks medical treatment, the healthcare provider assumes a duty of care toward the patient, which includes ensuring the correct drug is prescribed and administered.
  2. Breach of duty. A breach of duty occurs when the healthcare provider fails to meet the expected standard of care. In the case of administering the wrong drug, this could involve administering the wrong medication due to negligence or a mix-up.
  3.  Causation. Causation is the third element and refers to the link between the breach of duty and the harm suffered by the patient. In a medical malpractice claim involving the administration of the wrong drug, it must be shown that the administration error directly caused harm to the patient. This could include adverse reactions to the wrong drug, worsening of the patient’s condition, or additional medical complications resulting from the error.
  4. Damages. Damages must be proven to pursue a successful medical malpractice claim. Damages can include physical injuries, emotional distress, additional medical expenses, loss of income, and other related losses. The extent and impact of the damages will be considered in determining the compensation owed to the patient.

Filing a medical malpractice claim for drug administration error

To establish a medical malpractice claim, the plaintiff (the patient or their representative) will typically need to gather evidence supporting their case. This may involve obtaining medical records, expert opinions, witness testimonies, and any other relevant documentation. It’s crucial to consult with a medical malpractice attorney experienced in handling these types of claims to ensure the best possible outcome.

When pursuing a medical malpractice claim for the administration of the wrong drug, it’s important to consider the statute of limitations. Each jurisdiction has specific time limits within which a claim must be filed. Failing to file within the prescribed time frame may result in the claim being barred. Generally speaking, claimants have three years from the date of the incident to file a claim but you will want to consult with a local personal injury lawyer.

If you believe you or a loved one has been a victim of negligent drug administration, consult with a medical malpractice attorney to evaluate your case and determine the best course of action.

The Seattle Personal Injury Lawyers You Want on Your Side

The personal injury attorneys at Tinker Law Firm have been winning birth injury, medical malpractice, and personal injury cases for individuals and their loved ones in Seattle and across Washington State since 1974. We seek justice for injury victims who have been harmed by preventable medical errors, and the negligent or abusive actions of another. Our clients pay no fees or expenses to file a personal injury claim; our firm advances out-of-pocket expenses and is only reimbursed when we recover a settlement on your behalf. Do not delay; personal injury claims in Washington State have a statute of limitations, which means they must be filed within a certain time from the date of the injury.

Call us now at 206-842-1000 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with one of our skilled and experienced injury attorneys.