There are many reasons why medication errors occur. In an effort to curb these errors, many hospitals, doctor’s offices, health care clinics, and pharmacies have established safety procedures to help hold staff members accountable. Many nurses are trained to follow the “five rights” in order to reduce medication errors. They are as follows:
- The Right Patient – Because patients can mistakenly be given medication intended for another, it is important to verify that the right patient is given the right medication.
- The Right Drug – Doctor’s handwriting can be illegible and drug names can be confusing. For these reasons, it is crucial to verify that the patient is given the right drug. For example, if a person is mistakenly given a blood thinner prior to major surgery, the patient runs the risk of bleeding out and could die.
- The Right Time – Medication administered too closely to a previous dosage could potentially cause a medication overdose.
- The Right Dose – Too much or too little can be harmful and may cause permanent damage to patients depending on the medication for pain relief, blood pressure balance, or some other medical condition.
- The Right Route – Medication can be administered orally (by mouth), vaginally, rectally, through an aerosol spray, intravenously (through the vein), topically (as a cream or lotion applied to the surface of the skin), or by other methods. The method determines the speed in which the medication enters the blood stream and begins to take effect and is crucial for the safety of the patient.
Although the “five rights” do prevent many medication errors, a great number still slip through the cracks. When they do, victims of medication errors in Kentucky may suffer devastating side effects as a result. If you have questions concerning your medication, it is best to talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or nurse right away. If something seems different about your medication, have them check to be sure everything is exactly as ordered.
If you suffered catastrophic injuries due to a Kentucky medication error, a Louisville medical malpractice attorney at Gray & White may be able to help you understand and assert your legal rights. Those responsible for your injuries, suffering, and mounting medical bills should be held responsible. Our experienced medication error lawyers will take the time to understand your situation, answer your questions, and help you to understand your legal options—all during a complimentary case evaluation. Contact our office today at 888-450-4456 today to schedule your free appointment.