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Medication Errors & Overdoses

Health Care Negligence Lawyers Based in the Syracuse and Rochester Areas

Medications are commonly used to treat many different medical conditions. However, medication errors and overdoses can occur due to an error by a doctor, nurse, or other health care provider. Some common errors are results of over-prescribing that results in an overdose, messy handwriting that results in a mistake at the pharmacy, a failure to take an appropriate history, or a failure to check whether two drugs should be taken together. In some cases, the wrong dosage is administered, drugs are mislabeled, or a patient is allergic to a drug. Injuries can arise out of medication errors and overdoses by Syracuse or Rochester health care providers. Anybody that is involved with medications can be held liable by a Syracuse medication error lawyer for errors that cause injuries or death, including doctors, nurses, hospitals, pharmacists, and pharmaceutical manufacturers.

Medication Errors and Overdoses

It is easy for doctors or nurses to make mistakes about which medication should be prescribed or about the appropriate dosage. Sometimes there are errors related to where on the body a medication should be administered. For example, if a nurse is supposed to provide an injection, but she injects into the wrong location, she could be liable for malpractice. Similarly, if a doctor's poor handwriting results in a pharmacist prescribing 10 times the amount of a medication, this may be medical malpractice.

In a hospital or nursing home setting, elderly individuals are sometimes medicated with psychoactive drugs as a form of control. Elderly people have weaker immune systems and are at significant risk for serious side effects that look like other conditions. In some cases, an elderly person suffers from an overdose and dies based on nursing home efforts to keep them calm or under control with antipsychotics or chemical restraints. A doctor or nurse who permits or administers this type of chemical restraint through medication in situations in which a reasonable doctor or nurse would not do so may have committed medical malpractice.

To establish medical malpractice, a medication error attorney in Syracuse will need to prove a doctor-patient relationship giving rise to a professional duty, a breach of that duty, causation, and damages. In most cases, it is necessary to retain an expert to provide testimony on what the standard of care was in the specific situation, whether the defendant deviated from it, and whether the deviation was the cause of the injuries or death.

Manufacturers are supposed to provide warnings about dangerous side effects and interactions. However, they may discharge their duty by providing this warning to doctors under the learned intermediary doctrine, since it is assumed that a doctor is in a better position to determine whether the benefits outweigh the risk for a particular patient.

A doctor or pharmacist may have a duty to warn about dangerous side effects for which you should seek medical care, or which foods to avoid to prevent altering the effect of the medication. For example, grapefruit juice is to be avoided with a number of medications. If the doctor or pharmacist fails to provide appropriate warnings, they may be held liable by a Syracuse medication error attorney. In other cases, a pharmacist may have mislabeled a medication, such that the wrong medication or dosage is taken. When this occurs, the pharmacist can be held liable for medical malpractice.

In some cases, overdoses or medication errors are the fault of the manufacturer. In that case, you may be able to recover damages in a product liability lawsuit. However, each case is different, and we will need to determine an appropriate course of action based on the specific facts.

In a medical malpractice case, you may be able to recover compensatory damages, including lost wages, medical treatment, mental anguish, pain and suffering, and loss of consortium. In New York, family members may be able to recover pecuniary losses for medication errors or overdoses when these kill a patient. Pecuniary losses can include funeral and burial expenses, as well as loss of services to parents, children, or a spouse.

Consult a Skillful Medication Error Lawyer in Syracuse or Beyond

If you are harmed by a medication error or overdose, our law firm may be able to help you recover damages from the responsible parties. We represent injured patients in Syracuse, Rochester, Binghamton, Auburn, Elmira, Norwich, Cortland, Delhi, Herkimer, Watertown, Lowville, Oneida, Wampsville, Utica, Canandaigua, Oswego, Cooperstown, Ithaca, Lyons, and all of Upstate New York. Call us at 833-200-2000 or contact us via our online form to set up an appointment if you have been a victim of emergency room negligence or another form of health care malpractice.

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"We were very impressed with how Jeff DeFrancisco represented us at trial and we were extremely happy when the jury found in our favor." D.M., Auburn, NY
"I suffered a serious injury as a result of medical malpractice. My husband and I retained Jeff DeFrancisco to assist us in this case. We were extremely happy with his representation and highly recommend him." Kelley R., Syracuse, NY
Since the insurance company was unwilling to settle the matter my case ultimately went to trial. At trial Jeff DeFrancisco did an absolutely amazing job by obtaining a very favorable result for me." T.H., Oneida, NY
"I highly recommend DeFrancisco & Falgiatano - Charlie represented me for a medical malpractice case. He is the best of the best. He is friendly and I am very happy with the representation he provided." Roger N., Oneida, NY