Can Medication Mistakes Cause Catastrophic Injuries?

Posted By Regan Zambri Long, PLLC || 17-Jul-2017

Medication mistakes can have profoundly negative health effects on patients and their families. Patients can suffer traumatic brain injuries or even severe disfigurement when doctors or pharmacists provide the incorrect type or dosage of medications.

Several weeks ago, a 26-year-old Georgia woman’s story went viral after she shared how a medication mistake sent her to the intensive care unit. In 2014, the woman had sought treatment for depression. Her doctor prescribed Lamictal (lamotrigine), a drug commonly used for mood disorders. Patients taking this drug have a risk of developing Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, a drug-induced condition that causes the skin to blister and slough away.

The pharmacy prescribed the woman an erroneously high dosage and she developed Stevens-Johnson Syndrome. According to the woman, suffering from the condition felt like her “skin was on fire.” The pain was so intense, she had to be placed in a medically-induced coma. She was left permanently disfigured because of an error that could have been prevented if the pharmacy had done its job correctly. In addition, she is slowly losing her eyesight and has lost her sweat glands.

Can I File a Lawsuit for a Medication Mistake?

Many medication mistakes are preventable and occur due to poor communication between hospital staff, or doctors and pharmacies. Health care professionals may mistake drugs with similar names or they can prescribe the incorrect dosages.

Stevens-Johnson Syndrome is only one of several possible outcomes after being harmed by a medication mistake. Traumatic brain injuries, wrongful death and permanent blindness are also possible outcomes. For example, a nurse anesthetist may oversedate a patient, leading to a loss of breathing function. This could (and has before) resulted in patients suffering severe traumatic brain injuries.

If you or a loved one suffered harm due to a medication error, the Washington DC medical malpractice attorneys at Regan Zambri Long, PLLC can help you discover if you have legal options. Damages from a medical malpractice lawsuit may help pay for the expenses caused by these injuries.

Categories: Medication Safety
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