Medications are used to treat many types of injuries and ailments. And although medication ends up helping most people, some people are harmed by medications due to negligence on the part of a doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or anesthesiologist. Sadly, when medicine mishaps occur, an innocent victim can suffer the adverse health effects. In some cases, a medication error can even result in permanent brain damage.
Although rare, brain damage is a serious outcome that some patients suffer during their stay in the hospital. Brain damage is usually permanent and causes lifelong challenges for the victim. Some of the ways in which medication errors can lead to brain damage include:
- Anesthesia errors. During surgery, anesthesiologists may give the wrong type of anesthesia or too much anesthesia and overmedicate patients, causing a patient’s heart to stop and the brain to experience a lack of oxygen. The result can be irreversible brain damage.
- Wrong dosage. Doctors who aren’t thinking clearly or nurses who are overworked and tired may give a patient the wrong dose of a powerful drug. In some cases when too much medication is given, a person can suffer brain damage.
- Incorrect medication. Sometimes healthcare workers get patients confused or information mixed up and administer the wrong medication to a patient. In some circumstances, this type of medication error can cause patients to go into shock and suffer oxygen deprivation that results in permanent brain damage.
Medication errors that cause brain damage don’t just occur in the hospital setting. Unfortunately, patients aren’t even safe at their local pharmacies. Medication mistakes take place behind pharmacy counters all too often. Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are often pressured to fill a certain number of prescriptions per hour, which leads to mistakes. Consequently, patients can be given the wrong dose, the wrong medication, or incorrect instructions. These types of medication errors can lead to brain damage and other serious injuries.
If you believe you suffered brain damage or serious injuries as a result of a medication mishap at the hospital or pharmacy level, you may have a medical malpractice claim. To find out more about your rights, you should order a free copy of our book, Do I Have a Case? A Patient’s Guide to Virginia Medical Negligence Law. If you would like a free consultation, please call us at (703) 591-0067 to speak with a knowledgeable medical malpractice attorney.