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Can a doctor be held responsible for prescription errors?

Prescription drugs are a regular part of life for many people in the Allegheny County area. Whether they are used to abate symptoms of illness or injury or as a near cure, prescription medication is a huge part of life for many people. The thing with prescription medication, though is that it must be accurately prescribed. Any error made in the prescription or dosage of medication can result in unnecessary injuries.

If you suspect that you or a loved one was injured due to an error made in prescribing or dosing medication, it is important to understand your options. A prescription could be written and prescribed for the wrong amount or for a drug that should never have been prescribed to begin with. A medical professional should be made aware of all medications a patient is taking. This is to minimize any unexpected side effects that could occur due to mixing medications.

Hospitals and other medical care facilities will often administer medication when a person in receiving medical care. There have been instances where a person was unable to communicate or were otherwise unable to consent to receiving medication. While medical providers are sometimes required to make a judgment call, if they overlooked medical information and the administration of medication caused injury, this is also unacceptable. There is a way to seek reparation for unnecessary, negligent injury due to medication errors.

Typically, when a doctor or other licensed prescriber ignores a manufacturer's instructions, or make an error in dosage or selecting the medication, it can be possible to hold that professional liable if the error causes an injury. These "learned intermediaries" are relied upon for their medical knowledge and understanding of the drug or medical device, and so that person is the best possible person to make the appropriate decision regarding its use.

Because of the nature of the medical professional's training and knowledge, a primary duty owed to the patient is established in terms of legal liability. Therefore, a breach of this duty may allow those affected by an error to seek appropriate legal remedies.

Source: FindLaw, "Proving Fault in Medical Malpractice Cases," Accessed January 1, 2017

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