6 billion prescriptions were written in 2021. Prescriptions are a fact of life, with the vast majority working perfectly. But, sometimes, a doctor or hospital makes negligent mistakes, and the consequences can be dire.
What are negligent prescriptions, how do they occur, and what are the potential consequences for patients? We will outline patients’ rights and responsibilities, as well as tips for preventing negligent prescriptions from happening to you and your family.
What is a Negligent Prescription?
Negligent prescription happens when doctors or healthcare providers prescribe medications inappropriately or negligently, resulting in harm or injury to patients. Negligent prescriptions can take many forms, including:
- Incorrect dosage: Prescribing too much or too little medication can lead to adverse effects or treatment failure.
- Wrong medication: Prescribing the wrong medication can cause harm, especially if the patient is allergic or has other medical conditions.
- Lack of proper testing: Ordering insufficient or unnecessary testing can result in misdiagnosis or incorrect treatment.
- Improper warnings: Failing to warn patients of potential side effects, interactions, or risks can lead to harm.
- Inadequate patient screening: Failing to review a patient’s medical history, allergies, or other relevant factors can lead to incorrect prescriptions.
Patient Rights and Responsibilities
To prevent negligent prescriptions and ensure safe medical care, patients have the right to participate in their healthcare decision-making and receive informed consent. Patients can exercise their rights by:
- Asking questions: Patients should ask their doctors about their diagnosis, treatment options, and potential side effects or risks.
- Disclosing medical history and allergies: Patients should provide accurate and up-to-date information about their medical history, allergies, and medications.
- Reporting adverse reactions or side effects: Patients should report any adverse reactions or side effects to their doctors or pharmacists promptly.
Preventing Negligent Prescriptions
Patients can also take steps to prevent negligent prescriptions by:
- Keeping track of medication schedules: Patients should keep a record of their medication schedules, including dosage, frequency, and duration.
- Reading and following the prescription label: Patients should carefully read the prescription label, including dosage instructions, warnings, and side effects.
- Seeking a second opinion or consulting a pharmacist or physician when in doubt: Patients should seek a second opinion or consult a pharmacist or physician when in doubt about their medication.
Negligent prescriptions can cause significant harm to patients, both physically and emotionally. By understanding their rights and responsibilities and taking steps to prevent negligent prescriptions, patients can play an active role in their healthcare and improve their safety and trust in medical care.
But, if you believe that you or a loved one have suffered harm due to negligent prescriptions, contact our office at 305-653-5555 for your FREE medical malpractice consultation.
Hoffman, Larin & Agnetti has successfully handled multiple million-dollar medical malpractice cases throughout the firm’s 40 years.