What Are the Consequences of Medical Malpractice Involving Improper Medications?

Medical malpractice may be based on a variety of causes, including providing improper medication to a patient. Medical malpractice involving improper medications impacts more than one million patients every year, resulting in possible claims for medical malpractice. If you have been given the wrong medication or the wrong dosage, you may wish to consider a medical malpractice claim.

Types of Improper Medication Errors

Prescription drug errors may occur when a healthcare provider does any of the following:

  • Administers the wrong medication to the patient
  • Administers the wrong dosage of medication
  • Fails to warn the patient of possible side effects of the medication
  • Fails to review the patient’s history for other medications that may have an adverse reaction because of the newly prescribed medication
  • Mislabels the medication
  • Prescribes medication that the patient is allergic to

Dangerous Consequences

Patients who receive improper medication may suffer from dangerous consequences that can range from minor injuries to fatalities. Some of the possible consequences of improper medication include:

  • Allergic reactions including anaphylactic shock when receiving the wrong medication
  • Coma, stroke, heart attacks or other serious injuries
  • Failing to be treated for the condition that they have
  • Failing to receive preventative treatment due to the improper medication

Why Improper Medication Mistakes Occur

Improper medication mistakes are often preventable. They are often due to a provider’s lack of attention to detail. Some common causes of improper medication mistakes include:

  • Mixing patients’ charts
  • Mistyping the prescribed medication into the patient’s chart
  • Mixing up prescription bottles when filling orders
  • Failing to double check orders
  • Transposing a decimal point on a medical record
  • Improperly converting medicine in one form like a liquid into the equivalent capsule amount
  • Injecting the patient with medication in the wrong part of the body
  • Picking up the wrong medication because of similar packaging
  • Failing to research a patient’s medical history, list of allergies and medication list
  • Illegible handwriting
  • Fatigue

Contact a Medical Malpractice Attorney

Medical malpractice cases are often complex in nature, requiring the trained eye of an experienced medical malpractice attorney. The attorneys at Udall Shumway have extensive experience in reviewing and investigating medical malpractice claims. They gather important information including medical records, witness statements and documentation regarding potential damages to determine if there may be a viable medical malpractice claim. We try to identify all legal theories that may apply under the circumstances so that our clients can make informed decisions about how to proceed.


This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding Medical Malpractice Involving Improper Medications, or any other personal injury, please feel free to contact Brian T. Allen at  480.461.5335,  log on to udallshumway.com,  or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.