Medical practitioners are highly trained professionals who must pass strict criteria and educational requirements to legally work in the United States. Unfortunately, doctors, surgeons, and nurses are only human, and they do make mistakes like everyone else. If you have been in a situation where a nurse provided you with the wrong medication or wrong dosage, this is not usually the kind of mistake that can simply be forgotten — particularly if the medication (or lack of medication) causes complications to your health.
Nurses often have the duty of administering medication to their patients based on what a doctor has ordered. When the nurse makes a mistake, does not follow orders, gives drugs to the wrong patient, or does not inject them the correct way (such as into a muscle instead of a vein) this can fall under the category of medical malpractice.
Medical malpractice is especially likely if the actions of your nurse can be seen as negligent as compared to what another nurse with similar training would have done in the situation. Not every mistake is considered malpractice or negligent, especially if it is something that caused you no harm.
Depending on what occurred when you were given the wrong medicine, the hospital might be liable and in some cases, the doctor could be held responsible. For example, if the nurse is an employee of a hospital, the charges can often be filed with the hospital’s insurance company. If you were in surgery and a nurse provided you with the wrong dose of medicine while the doctor was present and the doctor is considered an independent contractor with the hospital, the doctor could be found liable. They are responsible for monitoring everything that occurs during surgery.
On the other hand, in cases when the hospital is aware of the incompetence of a doctor, yet continues to employ them, the hospital can sometimes be sued.
Obtaining Fair Coverage
If you think you have a possible malpractice case that requires compensation to cover your additional medical bills as well as the pain and suffering that was caused by the incorrect medication, read up on your state’s medical malpractice laws and consult with an experienced malpractice attorney. They will know whether you have a valid case to file a lawsuit.
Keep in mind that it is usually recommended that you wait to speak with the hospital’s or clinic’s insurance adjusters until after discussing it with a lawyer, like a medical malpractice lawyer in Charlottesville, VA. The insurance company might try to settle with you for far less than what you need or deserve for your incident.
Thanks to MartinWren, P.C. for their insight into what you should do if you are given the incorrect medicine by a medical professional.