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Michigan Medication Error Lawyer

When medical providers make errors prescribing or administering medication, the consequences are often severe and can be fatal.  Every year, medication errors cause 7,000 to 9,000 deaths in the United States. If you or a loved one are suffering from the aftermath of a medication error, the Buchanan Firm can help. Our injury lawyers in Grand Rapids understand and has successfully pursued several cases involving medication errors, including in-hospital overdose. Our team knows both the law and medicine and has experienced medical professionals a phone or Zoom call away to evaluate potential medical malpractice cases involving medication error. With our expertise and resources, we will make sure you receive the reimbursement you deserve, so you can recover fully.

How Do Medication Errors Occur?

Medications can be dangerous if dispensed in the wrong dose or when they’re given with other drugs. They can occur in a hospital, pharmacy, nursing home, or any other healthcare setting, and are most common during the prescribing stage. Medication errors can include monitoring errors, prescription errors, and administration errors.

The most common scenarios of medication error include:

  • Drug confusion. There are a lot of drugs with similar names, and these medications can be mixed up by a healthcare provider misreading the prescription or a pharmacist filling it incorrectly.
  • Dosage errors. Another frequent mistake that can be caused by an inattentive or fatigued healthcare provider is dosage error or dispensing medication in the incorrect strength. As a result, a patient may get too much or too little prescribed medication. In either event, this mistake can cause many adverse effects.
  • Communication errors. Healthcare providers are required to discuss with patients how to take the medication, the proper dosage, potential side effects, or adverse interactions with other medication. But there can be communication errors between healthcare providers and patients. In addition, a healthcare provider must confirm a patient’s allergies, whether he or she is taking other medications, and discuss warnings and the instructions for the medication’s use.

Other examples of medication errors include:

  • Prescribing the incorrect dose
  • Prescribing an unauthorized drug
  • Prescribing the wrong dose to the wrong patient
  • Prescribing the dose at the wrong time in the patient’s recovery
  • Incorrect omission of dose
  • Failure to take into consideration the patient’s preexisting illnesses or conditions
  • Failing to recognize drug interactions

Medication Errors in Michigan Hospitals:

While every prescription should be approached with care and caution, about 75 percent of medication errors are caused by medical professionals who are distracted and dedicating limited and incomplete attention to prescription orders. Nurses and doctors in hospitals, who are especially overwhelmed by their day-to-day tasks, can fail to note the correct dosage, or make an error in measurement. They may even overlook a high-risk medication and prescribe a higher dose than is safe for the patient, leading to a patient overdosing. A healthcare professional could also accidentally mix up the patient’s medication, prescribing one patient’s dose to a different patient in the hospital. When prescribing medication, there are several factors to consider, including the patient’s age, prior illness, and present condition, but when a medical professional is in a hurry, he or she may make an error in judgment.

Healthcare providers are held to a higher standard for a reason: The medication errors they make can leave patients with lifelong damage and sometimes even lead to death.

If you or a loved one has experienced a death due to a medication error by a healthcare professional, reach out to our wrongful death attorneys in Grand Rapids today.

Pain Medication Overdose in the Hospital

There are a lot of different types of opioids that physicians can prescribe to their patients. These highly addictive painkillers include Fentanyl, Oxycodone, Dilaudid, Codeine, Morphine, Meperidine, Methadone, and Hydrocodone. Some of these are known by their brand names: Percocet, Vicodin, OxyContin, and Demerol.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 20% of patients with non-cancer pain or pain-related diagnosis are prescribed opioids. Primary care physicians write half of these pain medication prescriptions. The breakdown for which opioids are prescribed is 49% for pain medicine, 37% for surgery, and 36% for physical medicine or rehabilitation.

An overdose is an excessive or dangerous dose of a drug, which can be toxic or lethal. Common symptoms linked to an overdose include the loss of consciousness, coma, and breathing that’s shallow, slowed, or has stopped.

From 1999 to 2018, more than 232,000 people died in the U.S. from overdoses involving to prescription opioids. Remarkably, overdose deaths with prescription opioids were more than four times higher in 2018 than in 1999. The CDC says that in 2018, an average of 41 people died each day from overdoses involving prescription opioids. That’s almost 15,000 deaths.

Opioid overdose deaths in Michigan have increased 10 times what they were in 2000. And in 2018, Michigan physicians wrote 62.7 opioid prescriptions for every 100 persons… that’s significantly more than the average U.S. rate of 51.4.

If a person is given too high of a dose of prescription opioids, it will slow down and stop his or her ability to breathe, meaning the flow of oxygen to the brain ceases. Without urgent medical treatment, an individual can experience a traumatic brain injury or die. An overdose from prescription drugs can be fatal or have long-term negative impacts on the patient’s health including brain damage, damage to internal organs, seizures, and death.

Count on the Dedicated Medication Error Team at Buchanan Firm

Medical errors often cause serious injuries, and recovery can be challenging and costly. If you are injured as a result of a medication error, know that you have our Michigan medical malpractice lawyers on your side. We take your case seriously and will fight for what you deserve. At Buchanan Firm, our team knows the law and medicine. For a free consultation with an experienced medication error attorney in Michigan, contact or call the Buchanan Firm at (800) 272 – 4080.