Prescribing Contraindicated Medication is Medical Malpractice
Medical error is one of the unofficial leading causes of death not only in the country, but worldwide as well. Healthcare may be much more available to people now than ever but instead of focusing on the quantitative benefits, we should be looking into the quality of care provided. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) estimates that up to 1.3 million people are injured by medication errors annually in this country.
Of these medical errors, one of the most common is medication error. The proper prescription and dispensation of medication to patients has proven to be one of the most complex and error prone aspects of the healthcare process. There are so many ways that bad prescription can lead to severe injury of a patient. Namely, the prescription and dispensation of contraindicated medication to patients.
Contraindicated Medication Error
You may be wondering what exactly is meant by “contraindicated”. It’s not a commonly used term but to put it in layman terms, a contraindicated medication is basically a medication that would have an adverse effect on a patient because of some negative reaction to a pre-existing condition or factor. These factors can vary widely in nature from allergies to medications that can cause life threatening blood clots if certain other medications are introduced.
Absolute vs Relative Contraindications
There are two different kinds of contraindications that exist. Absolute contraindications are contraindications for which there are no reasonable circumstances for undertaking a course of action.
For example, a medication that someone is severely allergic to would be considered an absolutely contraindicated medication because of the level of complication it would cause or likewise a blood thinner for someone expecting to have surgery would lead to excess bleeding and surgical complications that would make it a contraindicated medication in that scenario.
On the other hand, there are relative contraindications that are possible negative effects of a medication interacting with a pre-existing condition or factor, but the benefits of that medication possibly outweigh the risks. An example would be the use of a antibiotics that have a chance to cause painful symptoms when used in conjunction with another medication. There is a chance the medication may cause the negative symptoms but the benefits of the antibiotics can outweigh the risk depending on the situation.
Ways Contraindicated Medication Prescriptions can Injure
The sky’s the limit when it comes to ways that contraindicated medications can injure a patient. There are so many medications that exist and are constantly in a state of flux. Year by year, medications are replaced or updated while others are made obsolete. Within this constantly shifting landscape of medication, are a variety of combinations that can result in severe injury and even death.
All of these medication interactions can have extremely specific results that can go from minor negative symptoms like pain and fatigue to outright death by heart or respiratory. In some cases, the interaction between the medications may not be immediately apparent and can cause chronic issues or the development of a long term condition.
How are Contraindicated Medication Prescribed?
As mentioned before, medication error is surprisingly common in this country but in the case of contraindicated medication, it isn’t the wrong amount of pills or the wrong type of pill but instead it’s the ignorance over medication interaction. This makes the situation all the more complex.
Healthcare providers are expected to be fully educated on the medications that they prescribe along with all the possible negative interactions that that medication can have with anything the patient is taking or any pre-existing conditions. Despite this, many doctors and other assorted medical professionals, still miss details and prescribe contraindicated medications.
Sometimes a physician may simply miss the information that would be relevant in determining contraindications. Medical histories, test results, medical imaging, etc. all factor into a doctor’s process in determining contraindicated medication. A detail as simple as a current medication being missed can make all the difference so remember to be thorough and honest when answering any questions your doctor may have.
In some cases, a doctor can simply be ignorant of the interactions of one drug with another or of a drug and a pre-existing condition a patient has. Doctors are only human after all and education and experience can vary from medical professional to medical professional. To err is human but when the cost can be patient injury then someone should be held accountable.
Legal Consequences of Prescribing Contraindicated Medication
If a doctor or other healthcare provider prescribes contraindicated medication to a patient and it causes them injury then that patient will likely want whoever is held responsible to compensate them. Luckily, patients that have been injured this way can seek compensation from those liable for their injuries through a medical malpractice claim.
If a patient can prove that a healthcare provider was negligent in prescribing a contraindicated medication which harmed them, then they will be able to receive compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and disability caused by the injury. The prescribing of contraindicated medications that harm patients is considered a violation of the standard of care expected of all medical professionals which makes those guilty of such an action liable to pay damages to those injured.
Those liable for this behavior can include more than just doctors. Hospitals, medical centers, pharmacists, and many more can be considered liable in a contraindicated medication lawsuit depending on the circumstances of the case.
Seek an Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorney
If you or a loved one have been injured because of the neglect of a healthcare provider, then do not hesitate to contact Dolman Law Group about receiving a free consultation on your claim. Our skilled lawyers have the expertise you will need to secure the settlement that you deserve. Allow Dolman Law Group to assist you in holding those liable for your injuries responsible while you recuperate.
For a free consultation on your claim you can contact us online or call (727) 451-6900
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765