While admitted to the hospital, the doctor or doctors attending to your care will more than likely prescribe at least one medication for you. Your doctors, other medical staff and hospital pharmacy staff are required to ensure that they provide you with the right medication in the right dosage at the right time.
Alarmingly, there are numerous times and steps in that seemingly simple procedure where something can go drastically wrong. If this happened to you, and you suffered irreparable harm, you may find it appropriate to file a medical malpractice claim.
What is the basic procedure for administering medication in a hospital?
The process begins when your doctor determines that you need a certain medication as part of your treatment. From there, the following steps occur:
- Doctor puts medication order in your records
- Prescription goes to the pharmacy
- Pharmacist fills the prescription
- Label is added with your name and type of medication
- Medication is sent to your nurse
- Nurse administers the medication
Your nurse then monitors you to ensure the medicine works as intended, that you suffer no side effects or allergic reactions and that you respond well to it. The nurse immediately reports any adverse effects to a doctor.
No hospital medication protocol is perfect
The main issue with medication protocols is that they require humans to implement them. Medical personnel and pharmacists can make mistakes just like everyone else. A doctor could write down the wrong medication or dosage. The pharmacist could mislabel your medication or not fill it properly. Your nurse could misread the medication label or the doctor’s orders.
Other issues could arise well before this process begins that could endanger your life. If your doctor does not take an accurate medical, family and medication history, you could receive the wrong medication. You should not have to keep track of your medications in order to ensure that nothing goes wrong, but many people do. Then again, what if you were not conscious or awake when the medication was administered?
What to do if you suffered harm from a medication error
Filing a medical malpractice claim requires particular knowledge. You will need a medical professional who practices in the same field to review your medical records, the procedures followed to administer your medication and the injuries you suffered. If the results of such an inquiry indicate that you were the victim of a medication error, a medical malpractice claim could be the next step.
Attempting to go through this process alone would more than likely cause you incredible frustration and could cost you the chance to receive all of the compensation to which you may be entitled. Instead, you may consider enlisting the advice and assistance of an Ohio attorney who understands the issues, the terminology and the process.