Patient Rights With Medication Administration
Medications are among the most effective, non-invasive tools for preventing illness, treating ailments, and alleviating symptoms of medical conditions. With all this power, you can guess that the implications of medication errors are serious. Unfortunately, mistakes are quite common in both in-patient and out-patient settings. Statistics indicate that more than 7 million individuals are affected by errors in administering medication every year. Plus, 1 in 10 hospitalized patients will be subjected to these mishaps.
Not all medication errors result in harm to the patient, but some can cause death, disability, and serious injuries. It is for this reason that medical professionals have established a system for medication administration that focuses on patient rights. Failures may amount to a departure from the medical standard of care, so you may have legal options under California law. It is important to discuss your remedies with an Oakland medical malpractice attorney, but some background information is helpful.
Patient Rights with Medication Administration
The reference to “rights” is two-fold, first in the sense that patients have a say in their health care and management of medical conditions. The second is being right in terms of correctness and accuracy. There are five traditional rights as they pertain to medication administration:
- Right patient, which requires careful review of the chart and other checks;
- Right medication, a concern considering some drugs have similar sounding names, prefixes, and spellings;
- Right route of administration, such as through oral, IV, topical, or subcutaneous injection;
- Right time, as some medications have windows of effectiveness; and,
- Right dose or correct mixture in the case of compounded medications.
Medical professionals have added a few rights that are smart in practice, such as the right reason to provide medication. Drug therapy is not always appropriate considering the patient’s age or physical condition. Another is right documentation, which refers to how health care professionals create the medical record regarding administration of medication.
How Medication Errors Affect Patients
When a health care provider fails to properly account for the above rights, a patient is at risk of injuries or even life-threatening medical conditions. The effects depend upon the drug, but additional care will be necessary. Plus, keep in mind the other aspect of a medication error: Patients do not receive the essential treatment they DO need.
Through a medical malpractice claim, it is possible to recover compensation for the physical, financial, and emotional losses you sustain. You may obtain amounts for such losses as:
- Medical expenses;
- Lost wages, if you missed work;
- Pain and suffering; and,
- Emotional distress.
Speak to an Oakland Med Mal Lawyer About Your Options
Patient rights with medication administration exist for your protection, so mistakes can lead to serious harm. For more information on your rights and remedies after a medication error, please contact Venardi Zurada, LLP right away. We can schedule a free consultation at our offices in Oakland or Walnut Creek, CA. After reviewing your case, one of our medical malpractice attorneys can advise you on how the process works.