Is a Medication Error Considered Medical Malpractice?

Medical Malpractice On Monday, May 13, 2024

Every day, millions of patients trust that their healthcare providers correctly prescribe the medications that they take. Sadly, not all of these patients will be correct. Medication errors can and do occur, often with serious health consequences. A medication error may be considered medical malpractice and give the injured victim the right to file a medical malpractice claim in Connecticut if certain elements exist.

What Is a Medication Error?

Medication errors refer to mistakes made by a health care provider, pharmacist, or drug manufacturer at any stage between the medication being created and a patient taking the drug. Medication errors can describe a wide range of mistakes made during drug prescribing, dispensing, or administering.

Examples of Medication Errors

Medication errors can be extremely dangerous. They may expose patients to harmful substances and/or prevent them from receiving the drug or dosage they actually need for medical conditions. Examples of medication errors include:

  • Prescribing the wrong medication or dosage
  • Failing to account for existing drugs or drug allergies
  • Failing to properly document a patient’s drug regime
  • Not giving clear instructions
  • Not warning of side effects
  • Dispensing or administering the wrong drug to a patient
  • Mixing up two or more patients
  • Mislabeling medication containers
  • Failing to monitor patients for adverse drug effects

These mistakes can result in adverse drug interactions, allergic reactions, overdoses, underdoses, a worsening of the patient’s condition and even wrongful death.

What Are the Elements of a Medical Malpractice Claim?

A medication error may be considered medical malpractice if the circumstances surrounding the incident fulfill all of the required elements of this type of civil claim. In general, an injured patient must establish four elements using clear and convincing evidence for a successful medical malpractice claim:

  1. Duty or standard of care: the accused party (defendant) owed the victim (plaintiff) a duty of care, such as the standards of care imposed by the doctor-patient or pharmacy-customer relationship.
  2. Breach of duty: the defendant breached the duty of care by failing to act in a reasonable and prudent manner based on the circumstances. This may involve carelessness, errors in judgment or deviations from accepted medical practices.
  3. Causation: the defendant’s breach of the duty of care caused the harm suffered by the patient. The defendant’s negligent act or omission must have directly contributed to the injuries or medical condition being claimed.
  4. Damages: the plaintiff suffered damages, or compensable losses, due to the defendant’s breach of duty. This can include new injuries or illnesses, a worsening of an existing medical condition, and any related financial losses.

If a medication error case has these elements, the injured patient most likely has the right to file a medical malpractice claim in pursuit of justice and fair financial compensation. These claims are subject to various laws and regulations, such as the statute of limitations. This law, Sec. 52-584, in Connecticut gives most victims no more than two years to file.

Do You Have Grounds for a Claim?

If you or a loved one was recently harmed due to a medication error in Connecticut, discuss your potential right to file a medical malpractice claim with a knowledgeable Wallingford medical malpractice lawyer at Loughlin & FitzGerald, P.C.

We offer free case reviews for medical malpractice victims and we will listen to your story and determine if your case has merit. If so, we may offer to represent you during a case against a hospital or health care provider. We can fight for justice for a medication error on your behalf.

request your free consultation
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.