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Orland Park medical malpractice lawyersGetting a prescription filled at a pharmacy is something most people do dozens if not hundreds of times in their life. Pharmacists have the critical responsibility of reading doctors’ prescriptions and providing the correct mediation to patients. Although rigorous regulations are designed to prevent mistakes, medication errors do sometimes occur. If you or a loved one were given the wrong medication, the wrong dosage of medication, or you were otherwise the victim of a pharmacy-related medication mistake, the pharmacy may be liable for damages. You could be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost income, and more.

Pharmacists and Other Pharmacy Staff Are Held to High Standards

Pharmacy workers must follow specific procedures and policies when dispensing medications. However, issues like staffing shortages, misinterpretation of a prescription, misunderstanding a doctor’s directions, and inattention to detail can lead to mistakes. Some of the most common pharmacy errors include:

  • Dispensing the wrong medication, such as a “sound-alike” medication
  • Dispensing the wrong dosage of medication
  • Failing to warn patients about medication side effects
  • Failing to account for patient allergies
  • Failing to consider possible drug interactions with the patient’s other medications

Individuals Injured by Medication Errors May Be Entitled to Financial Compensation

To bring a valid medical malpractice claim against the pharmacy, you must show that a pharmacy’s substandard care led to some type of harm or “injury.” You must also have sustained damages because of your injuries. When pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, or other staff make medication-related errors, the results can be disastrous. While many medication mistakes go unnoticed or the patient catches the mistake before consuming the mediation, some medication-related errors result in considerable patient harm. The patient may experience new medical problems because of the mistake or the patient’s existing medical conditions may become worsened. This may lead to considerable medical costs as well as financial losses caused by missed work. Through a pharmacy malpractice claim, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and out-of-pocket expenses incurred by your injury. You may also be able to recover compensation for your non-financial damages including your pain and suffering, inconvenience, emotional distress, and disability.

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Orland Park medical malpractice lawyersOne of the most devastating diagnoses someone can ever receive is a cancer diagnosis. However, once a person has been diagnosed with cancer, they can begin treatment. The sooner a patient learns his or her diagnosis, the sooner they can begin exploring their options, speaking with medical experts, and starting down the road to recovery. When cancer is not caught quickly, there is typically a greater chance of the cancer spreading throughout the body. In many cases, an early cancer diagnosis and swift treatment regimen can save someone’s life. However, when a doctor fails to diagnosis cancer or misdiagnoses it as something else, the patient may experience unnecessary pain and suffering and worsened health. The diagnostic mistake may even cost the patient his or her life.

Diagnostic Mistakes Involving Cancer

There are two main types of diagnostic mistakes regarding cancer: failure to property diagnose cancer and diagnosing cancer when the patient does not actually have cancer. More commonly, a person does have cancer but doctors do not take the appropriate steps to recognize and treat the cancer. It is often very difficult to know if a doctor has made a diagnostic error. Doctors and other healthcare professionals are not omniscient. They cannot always know for sure what is wrong with a patient. However, there are some cases where a doctor’s diagnostic mistake constitutes medical negligence.  

Inadequate Testing and Improper Testing May Lead to Delayed Diagnosis of Cancer

Some medical tests are able to detect cancer before a patient even exhibits symptoms. Cervical cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, colorectal cancer, and prostate cancer may be detected through various types of scans. However, if a medical professional does not perform the test correctly or misinterprets the scan, a patient with cancer may be told that he or she does not have cancer. Cancer is not always detectable via scans and tests. In cases like these, doctors should use the patient’s symptoms, medical history, and family history to help make a diagnosis.

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Will County birth injury attorneysIf you are a parent of a child who was injured or who died during birth, you may be desperate for answers. Birth injuries typically include injuries that an infant suffers in utero, during labor and delivery, or shortly after being born. Minor birth injuries such as scrapes or bruises clear up in a few days and do not affect the infant long-term. Other birth injuries lead to life-long disabilities and medical complications. While some birth injuries are unavoidable, others are the direct result of medical negligence. When determining whether a birth injury was caused by the negligent or wrongful actions of a medical professional, courts use the “applicable standard of care.”

Medical Mistakes and Birth Injuries

Medical professionals are human. They make mistakes. However, physicians and other medical professionals are held to a very high standard when it comes to patient care. If a medical mistake is egregious or results in preventable harm to a patient, the mistake may not be excusable. Many parents of children who have suffered or passed away because of a birth injury wonder if the doctor or the medical facility at which their child was born is to blame. The answer to this question is often hard to determine. Medical malpractice attorneys gather evidence from a range of sources when investigating suspected or alleged malpractice. They often consult with medical experts to determine if a doctor or hospital’s conduct deviated from the norm.

Components of a Medical Malpractice Claim

There are four components to a medical malpractice claim:

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When Is Delayed Diagnosis Considered Medical Malpractice?Doctors are required to complete rigorous degree programs and training before becoming licensed physicians. They learn about the signs and symptoms of countless medical conditions so they can diagnose these conditions and provide the necessary treatment. However, doctors are not always able to pinpoint the exact cause of a person’s health concerns. It may take dozens of diagnostic tests and procedures before the person has an accurate diagnosis. In some cases, doctors and specialists are not able to determine the cause of a patient’s symptoms. While not every diagnostic mistake is the result of negligence, there are some situations in which a doctor’s failure to make a timely and accurate diagnosis is considered medical malpractice.  

Doctors Have a Duty to Provide Reasonably Skilled Medical Care

Doctors and other medical professionals have a legal obligation to provide reasonably proficient medical treatment. They are not expected to be perfect, but they are expected to be competent. The question of whether or not a diagnostic mistake is flagrant enough to be considered malpractice is often very difficult to answer. Medical malpractice attorneys have a variety of tools and resources at their disposal that are used to investigate doctors’ actions and inaction and determine if malpractice occurred. To win a medical malpractice lawsuit, a medical malpractice attorney must prove that:

  • A doctor-patient relationship was established.
  • The doctor provided treatment that did not meet the medical standard of care
  • The doctor’s failure to provide quality care caused the patient harm
  • The patient suffered damages as a result of this harm

The standard of medical care is a hypothetical measuring stick used to determine if a doctor’s actions deviated from what a typical doctor of similar status would have done under similar circumstances. Expert testimony from respected medical professionals is often used during a medical malpractice lawsuit to shed light on the reasonableness of a doctor’s actions.

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Can I Sue a Pharmacy for a Prescription Medication Error?When you get a medication prescription from the doctor and have it filled at your local pharmacy, you probably trust the pharmacy staff to do their jobs accurately. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. It is estimated that 1.3 million people are injured by medication mistakes in the United States every year. While some of these errors are minor and do not cause harm to the patient, others result in hospitalization and death. If you or a loved one were the victim of a pharmacy error, a medical malpractice claim may help you recover compensation.

Common Pharmacy Errors

Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are responsible for ensuring that patients receive the medications that their doctors have prescribed them. In addition to dispensing medications, they also review prescriptions for accuracy, check for drug interactions, and explain medication directions to patients. When a pharmacy worker makes a mistake during any of these steps, the patient can suffer serious harm. Some of the most common pharmacy errors include:

  • Dispensing the wrong medication or an incorrect dosage of the medication
  • Mislabeling medications
  • Dispensing medication with an incorrect delivery method
  • Failing to provide adequate information about the use of medication
  • Failing to warn the patient about side effects or risks of using the medication
  • Failing to account for potential drug interactions with other medications or allergies
  • Failing to ask about other medications or allergies before dispensing the medication
  • Failing to confirm prescription information with the physician if the prescription is difficult to read or contains inaccurate information

Consequences of Prescription Medication Errors

If a person receives the wrong medication or the wrong dose of a medication, he or she may not realize it until he or she starts experiencing symptoms. Depending on the type of medication and the person’s medical conditions, a medication error can cause the person’s existing medical condition to worsen and may also result in new medical problems. A serious medication error may even be fatal. Pharmacy prescription errors can result in problems that require hospitalization and extensive medical care. Through a pharmacy malpractice claim, a medication error victim may be entitled to compensation for his or her medical expenses, lost income due to missed work, pain and suffering, and more.

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