Medication can be a powerful tool in a patient’s healthcare plan. When the correct dosage of a proper medication is used, it can alleviate symptoms of a condition, completely remedy an illness, or prevent a sickness from killing a patient. On the other hand, medication errors can have tragic consequences.

A nursing home is being sued after one of its patients was allegedly killed when she was given medication meant for her roommate. According to the lawsuit, the erroneous insulin injection led to the woman’s quick deterioration which included pneumonia, E. Coli, a urinary tract infection, dehydration, and poor nutrition. The amount sought from the institution has not been released and will likely depend on whether the claim is for medical malpractice or nursing home negligence.

Medication errors are, unfortunately, all too common. Patients are given the wrong medication, the wrong dosage, or another patient’s medication. These pharmaceuticals can lead to complications that leave patients with a new medical hardship, permanent disability, or dead. Paying for additional hospital stays, rehabilitation, and, in the most tragic instances, funeral costs can be difficult. This is where a lawsuit can help.

Proving medical malpractice includes several elements. Amongst these are who administered the medication, whether the wrong medication caused the injury, and the extent of the injuries. However, once these factors are established, compensation can be obtained to help cover outstanding debts and make life a little more comfortable for the victim.

Mistakes are bound to happen in the medical field. Yet, easily preventable mistakes, like giving the wrong medication to a patient, should never occur. Rules and regulations help curb these errors, but lawsuits also play an important role in deterring these negligent actions. Once hospitals, nursing homes and medical professionals realize the financial cost of their preventable mistakes, they will be more likely to take proper precautions in the future.

Source: The Saratogian, “Family sues over Maplewood Manor resident’s death, claims patient was administered wrong medication,” Caitlin Morris, Mar. 28, 2013