Medical mistakes can have serious consequences for Oregon patients. A doctor mistake such as an overdose, prescription error or misdiagnosis of a fatal condition can lead to the wrongful death of a patient. In one such case, a physician is now facing a formal complaint before the state medical licensing board after an emergency suspension of his medical license. Several patients of the doctor have died from drug toxicity.
The family of a woman with diabetes was recently awarded $140 million by the jury in her wrongful death lawsuit. A prescription error led to the death of the woman after she was given 10 times the amount of insulin needed. The woman was discharged from a hospital in 2008 and was to receive follow-up care at a rehabilitation facility. The prescription was incorrectly transcribed in India, calling for 10 times the amount of insulin actually prescribed. The overdose caused irreparable brain injury and cardiopulmonary arrest. Her family subsequently filed a wrongful death claim on her behalf.
A prescription typically requires the involvement of several health care professionals. A doctor initiates the process by diagnosing a patient's condition. A nurse may transcribe a doctor's notes and send the authorization to a pharmacy. A pharmacist, in turn, must correctly label the medication and ensure its accuracy. Of course, mistakes can be made anywhere along that chain of communication.
Many patients in Oregon rely upon prescription drugs to treat their symptoms. For many, medication may be the primary reason they schedule a visit with their doctors. When a prescription error is made or the wrong dose is administered, however, the result can be tragic.