Medication errors can reduce the effectiveness of treatment or lead to preventable side effects for the patient. Patients can sometimes make mistakes when following prescription instructions from their physicians.
However, a number of significant medication mistakes actually involve the licensed professionals recommending, dispensing or administering controlled substances to patients. There are numerous points in the medical treatment process at which someone could make a major mistake. What professionals are most likely to contribute to major medication errors?
Despite the years of training that they’ve completed, physicians sometimes make mistakes when diagnosing patients and recommending medicine. From overlooking a history of allergic reactions to forgetting that someone has taken a drug that interacts with a particular medication, there are many errors a physician might when prescribing medication.
Often the party tasked with handing out medication or setting up IV delivery systems, a nurse could easily make a mistake with a simple slip of the fingers or distraction during their daily rounds. Mistakes by nurses might result in someone receiving the wrong medication or the wrong rate of delivery — both of which could cause medical issues.
It is easy for things to go wrong when dispensing medications. Pharmacists and their licensed support staff could make mistakes ranging from putting the wrong medication in a container to mixing the formulation of a medication improperly.
Those affected by the mistakes of licensed medical professionals can pursue a malpractice claim against the specific professional involved as well as their employer. Treating a preventable medical mistake like medical malpractice can benefit those harmed by the negligence or misconduct of those providing them with treatment.