MEDICATION ERRORS


Cincinnati Medical Malpractice Lawyer and Ohio Hospital Negligence Attorney Represents Injured Plaintiffs Nationwide
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Patients expect to be helped, not harmed, when they take medication, however, that is not always the case. Medication errors cause at least one death every day and injure approximately 1.3 million people annually in the United States.

Every person will at some point in their life take medications to prevent or treat illness. However, medicines sometimes cause serious harm or death. Medication errors can be caused by health worker fatigue, overcrowding, staff shortages, poor training and the wrong information being disseminated to patients.

Any one of these errors, or a combination, can affect the prescribing, dispensing, consumption, and prescription error, which can result in severe harm, disability and even death.

Hospital medication errors are almost always preventable with ordinary and reasonable care.  Often the medication error is deadly or catastrophic due to an overdose or improper or contraindicated administration of the drug. Often, the lack of consistent care affects the most vulnerable patient population.

For example, older people and those suffering with certain aliments may be at greatest risk for medication errors because they often take multiple prescription medications. In one study by the FDA that evaluated reports of fatal medication errors from 1993 to 1998, almost half of the fatal medication errors occurred in people over the age of 60.

Hospital medication errors contribute to the more general death toll of Medical Errors, which are the third leading cause of death in the United States.

One study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine concluded that clinically important medication errors were present among 50 percent of patients after hospital discharge.

The most common types of reported medication errors were inappropriate dosage and infusion rate. Medication mishaps and pharmacy malpractice can occur anywhere in the distribution system, including the following:

  • Prescribing
  • Repackaging
  • Dispensing
  • Administering
  • Monitoring

Medical malpractice is the area of law that provides legal recourse and compensation for individuals injured by preventable medical errors. Hospital Error Lawyer focused on pharmacy malpractice and medication errors in hospitals improve patient safety by forcing hospitals to recognize the gaps in their system and make changes to prevent others from suffering the same unnecessary complication.

Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Cincinnati Pharmacist malpractice lawyer who represents plaintiffs in pharmacy malpractice cases to obtain compensation for the economic and human damages caused by preventable medical errors.


Hospital Medication Errors


Medical Malpractice/ Medication Error: Benicar Causes Terminal Birth Defect: Joe Lyon successfully represented a family who lost their newest member at birth.  Through extensive litigation, it was proven that the family doctor and obstetrician failed to properly monitor the mother’s medications, and, specifically, the physicians and nurses failed to discontinue Benicar (a hypertensive medication recognized to cause birth defects).

As a direct result of the physicians’ and Hospital negligence, the fetus suffered toxicity, and the baby was born with terminal birth defects following a full term pregnancy. After expert depositions, and two years of litigation, the case was resolved at mediation for a confidential amount.

It takes courage to challenge a health care provider in Ohio, and The Lyon Firm can help plaintiffs find the answers to the many questions that have gone unanswered. Together we can make a difference in your life and the lives of others by making medicine safer.


Medication Error Deaths


Analyzing medical death rate data over an eight-year period, Johns Hopkins patient safety experts have calculated that more than 250,000 Americans die each year from medical errors. That would make medical errors the third leading cause of death in the United States.

On the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) official list, medical errors would rank only behind heart disease and cancer. The researchers urge the CDC to immediately add medical errors, and medication errors, to its annual statistics on the leading causes of death in the US.


Prescription Errors


The situation is so dire that the World Health Organization (WHO) launched a recent global initiative to reduce severe medication-associated harm worldwide by 50 percent over the next 5 years.

The Global Patient Safety Challenge aims to address the weaknesses in health systems that lead to medication errors and the severe harm that may result. Most harm arises from systems failures in the way care is organized and coordinated, especially when multiple health providers are involved in a patient’s care.

The WHO initiative calls on countries to take early action to address key factors, including carefully monitoring medicines with a high risk of harm if used improperly, monitoring patients who take multiple medications, and patients going through transitions of care.

The WHO aims to make improvements in each stage of the medication use process including prescribing, dispensing, administering, monitoring and use.


Nursing Home Medication Error


Not long ago, before much litigation targeted nursing homes for certain abuses, many assisted care facilities used heavy medication to easily manage residents. Patients who are heavily sedated and sleep the majority of the day don’t require as much staff time.

The situation has improved, but unfortunately there are still hundreds of cases where nursing home overmedication of residents is still an issue. Elderly patients are often prescribed multiple medications to treat chronic conditions, raising the risk of dangerous drug interactions and serious side effects. Many times drugs are prescribed by different specialists who don’t communicate with each other.

Older adults account for more than 50 percent of hospital visits involving drug-related complications, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Many of these cases involve patients of Ohio nursing homes who are not receiving the care they require.

Many times a patient may be on many medications that cause no issues but they are not always necessary. A study conducted at Veterans Affairs hospitals showed 44 percent of elderly patients were given at least one unnecessary drug at discharge.

If a loved one has been overmedicated by a nursing home, they may show drug-related symptoms that include the following:

  • Atypical confusion
  • Instability and falling
  • Low blood pressure
  • Respiratory complications
  • Sudden sedation
  • Severe and unusual fatigue
  • Development of secondary infections

Pharmacist Malpractice 


Better Communication: Certain recommendations have been made by multiple medical organizations to alleviate the risk of hospital medication errors.  The primary focus is on improving communication between health care providers.  While this seems simple, the medical system continues to struggle with consistent and reliable communication and patients continue to be affected adversely.

Medical Malpractice Lawsuits: Given the preventable nature, the overwhelming medical and societal cost, and susceptibility of the patient population to hospital medication errors, medical malpractice lawsuits in this area of incredibly important to deter and motivate the health care providers to simply communicate better.

Every other industry is required to have quality control standards that are consistent and designed to improve the quality of the service or product. It is not much to ask that the medical community, who is causing billions of dollars in additional medical costs, develop appropriate mechanisms to avoid these mistakes.


Medication Injury Lawsuits


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) receives more than 100,000 U.S. reports each year associated with a suspected medication error.

The global cost associated with medication errors has been estimated at US$ 42 billion annually or almost 1 percent of total health expenditure. Aside from the human cost, prescription errors place a huge strain on personal and state health budgets. The vast majority of errors are preventable, and health care systems must be held accountable to make the necessary changes.

Common causes of such errors include poor communication, ambiguities in product names, unclear directions for use, misinterpreted medical abbreviations or writing, poor procedures, and patient misuse because of poor product guidance. Preventing errors clearly saves money and saves lives.

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A Voice for Those who have suffered 

Why are these cases important?

 When management or individuals fail to provide a sufficient level of care, victims may seek legal recourse and file suit against the negligent parties. Medical malpractice lawsuits improve the quality of healthcare by holding physicians and hospitals responsible when they fall below a professional standard of care. 

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Questions about Medical Malpractice

What is a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?

Hospitals, medical staff, nurses and doctors are responsible for providing proper patient care. When management or individuals fail to provide a sufficient level of care, victims may seek legal recourse and file suit against the negligent parties.

Without medical malpractice laws, medical mistakes would go without consequence, patients would be uncompensated for preventable injuries, and medical providers would have less incentive to improve the medical system to prevent future injuries.

Despite the reports discussed above, frivolous claims brought by medical malpractice attorneys and runaway juries have been blamed as causing a medical crisis. There is no medical malpractice crisis, it is simply propaganda created by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and large insurance companies to pollute the American jury pool and change the law in a manner that is favorable to them and adverse to the average American. And sadly, it has worked.

Currently, 90 percent of juries side with the physician over the patient at trial. As a result, insurance companies are bolder than ever and refuse at times to settle even the most meritorious of cases knowing that the chances of the patient finding a fair and impartial jury is extremely low, especially in more conservative parties of the country such as Hamilton County, Ohio.

What is a “Never Event” in Hospital Care ?

The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 required that conditions be identified that (a) are costly and occur at high rates, (b) are assigned as cases to the Diagnosis-Related Group, and (c) could have ultimately been prevented with appropriate care. These hospital-acquired conditions occur as negligence on the part of hospital staff and often result in a multitude of medical malpractice lawsuits.

Conditions that meet the three requirements for identification:

What if a hospital makes me an offer directly?

Many hospitals and physicians are taking proactive approaches to resolve viable medical malpractice claims by approaching patients who do not have legal counsel. The “family meeting” presentation will include deterring patients from seeking legal counsel. This is a very concerning development in the course of medical liability and risk management.

We strongly advise patients not to engage in “family meeting” settlement negotiations without an experienced Cincinnati medical malpractice lawyer present. Hospitals and physicians have lawyers who are specialized in medical malpractice claims advising them on how to approach the case, and it is only fair that the patient is afforded the same benefit of qualified counsel.

The “family meeting” practice of settling hospital negligence cases without an attorney does not benefit the patient in most cases, but almost always benefits the negligent hospital.

Do not be deterred by a hospital representative implying that the case will be compromised if you seek counsel. While attorney fees will need to be paid, those costs should not be a deterrent. The Lyon Firm adopts a lower contingency fee structure and offers hourly rates for cases that can be resolved without litigation.

If the parties wish to resolve the matter, having qualified counsel on both sides is beneficial to the process. The goal should be a settlement where both parties are satisfied, not a case where the hospital pays substantially less than the fair value of the claim.

There are numerous issues that need to be considered before settling a medical malpractice case, and you should know what the fair value of the claim is before accepting a settlement.

The hospital knows the fair value having been involved in other cases. You as the patient should work with counsel who has successfully worked on other cases and can advise on the appropriate risk of future litigation and settlement value.

If a hospital is approaching you or a family member about a settlement without a Cincinnati Medical Malpractice lawyer, please call (800) 513-2403 for a free consultation.

Why hire the Lyon Firm?

Our Firm will help you find the answers.  The Firm has the experience, resources and dedication to take on difficult and emotional cases and help our clients obtain the justice for the wrong they have suffered. 

 Experience:  Joe Lyon is an experienced Cincinnati Medical Malpractice Lawyer. The Lyon Firm has 17 years of experience and success representing individuals and plaintiffs in all fifty states, and in a variety of complex civil litigation matters. Medical malpractice lawsuits can be complex and require industry experts to determine the root cause of an accident or injury. Mr. Lyon has worked with experts nationwide to assist individuals understand why an injury occurred and what can be done to improve their lives in the future. Some cases may go to a jury trial, though many others can be settled out of court.

Resources/Dedication: Mr. Lyon has worked with experts in the fields of accident reconstruction, biomechanics, epidemiology, metallurgy, pharmacology, toxicology, human factors, workplace safety, life care planning, economics, and virtually every medical discipline in successfully representing Plaintiffs across numerous areas of law. The Lyon Firm is dedicated to building the strongest cases possible for clients and their critical interests.

Results:  Mr. Lyon has obtained numerous seven and six figure results in personal injury,  automotive product liability, medical Negligence, construction accidents, and auto dealership negligence cases.  The cases have involved successfully litigating against some of  the largest companies in the world

Learn About the Medical Malpractice Legal Process

Video: Investigating Medical Malpractice

The process for investigating a medical malpractice claims involves the following steps: 

  1. Gather a full and informed history from the family addressing their concerns and thoughts on what went wrong; 
  2. Gather the complete medical records including film studies, if any; 
  3. Review of the records and applicable medical literature by attorneys; 
  4. Review of the records by a qualified physician practicing in the relevant areas on standard of care and causation; 
  5. Final consultation with expert to review opinions;
  6. Signing of Affidavit of Merit by the Expert before case filing, for cases where medical malpractice is identified. 

Our Victories

The Lyon Firm aggressively, professionally, and passionately advocates for injured individuals and families against companies due to a defective product or recalled product to obtain just compensation under the law. 

FAILURE TO DIAGNOSE BOWEL OBSTRUCTION

WRONGFUL DEATH

(Cincinnati, Ohio):  Confidential settlement for a family due to a wrongful death. An emergency room physician failed to recognize the common symptoms associated with bowel obstruction and prescribed a contraindicated medicine of GoLytley.  The patient died at home the day of discharge after taking the medication. The case against the emergency room physician was resolved by settlement following extensive discovery. The settlement was paid to the spouse and surviving adult children for the loss of their mother. While no amount of money could bring back their mother, the case provided answers and held the hospital accountable.

FAILURE TO DIAGNOSE BREAST CANCER

$910,000 Settlement.

(Cincinnati, Ohio):   Joe Lyon was second chair in a case involving the failure of a physician to promptly communicate a positive breast cancer result to a patient. As a result of the delay, the cancer progressed from in situ carcinoma to stage 3B with lymph node involvement. The treatment required mastectomy and radiation/ chemotherapy rather than a simple excision. The case settled after extensive discovery. The defense argued: “the patient should have called the physician.” The settlement provided recovery for suffering through a misdiagnosis and the loss of a spouse and a mother. While the settlement cannot bring this wonderful woman back, it helped her family move forward with life’s challenges and encouraged  future accountability.

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