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Medication errors and medical malpractice

On Behalf of | Jun 20, 2023 | Criminal Defense, Uncategorized

In Missouri and throughout the country, licensed nurses know how to avoid making mistakes when they administer medication to patients. In fact, there is a commonly accepted safety standard known as the “five rights,” which is a basic precautionary system to help nurses ensure they’re administering medication correctly. Sadly, many medication errors occur in this state and others, which may be grounds for filing a medical malpractice claim.  

Certain types of drugs can be lethal if they interact with each other in the human body. Many narcotics cause fatalities when an overdose occurs. A patient normally relies on a doctor or nurse to ensure safety when being prescribed or administered medication. 

What are the five rights that help avoid medical malpractice? 

The following list provides a basic overview of the safety system known as the “five rights” that most nurses use to avoid medication errors: 

  • Right patient 
  • Right medication 
  • Right dosage 
  • Right route 
  • Right time 

It is possible for there to be in-hospital patients with similar names or patients taking similar drugs. Using the “five rights” system is one way to reduce the number of medication errors that take place in Missouri medical facilities and elsewhere in the United States. 

Proactive patients can also help avoid medication errors 

Patients who ask questions and listen carefully when doctors prescribe medications can be proactive by speaking up if an issue causes them concern. For instance, if a nurse announced that she’s going to administer a particular drug, and the patient thinks it’s the wrong medication, he or she can delay taking the drug until confirmation is given that it’s the right one. If injuries or illness occur because of medical negligence, a patient may seek restitution in civil court. If an error was fatal to the patient, an immediate family member may be able to file a claim on behalf of the decedent’s estate.