A report published by the Institute of Medicine in 2013 revealed that approximately 98,000 patients die in US hospitals every year due to medical malpractice. One such malpractice is related to the administration of wrong medicines to child patients.
The Journal of the American Medical Association conducted a study in 2014 to compare the relative rates of medication errors among hospitalized children and hospitalized adults, and found that the rate of adverse drug events in case of hospitalized children was three times higher than the rate of adverse drug events in case of hospitalized adults.
Research proves that parents who are intensely involved at every stage of their child’s treatment and hospitalization processes are generally better off in detecting any prescription drug malpractice during hospitalization.
How to detect if your child has been administered the wrong medicine?
The task of monitoring a child patient in the hospital is ideally a joint responsibility between the hospital administration and the parents of the child. The parents of a hospitalized child must be as or more vigilant than the hospital staff about monitoring the progress of the child on a daily basis.
When you visit your child at the hospital every day, you should request the hospital administration to share the detailed written records of daily administration of medicines to your child, and any adverse effect of a particular medicine on the child. If you as a parent have been vigilant enough, any adverse effect of a particular medicine can be easily monitored, recorded, and submitted to the physician or other hospital-in-charge as quickly as possible following the incident.
The causes of any adverse effect of medication may be:
· Your child is allergic to certain ingredients in the medicine
· The strength of the medicine is too high for a child
· The medicine administered was an alternative product by other drug manufacturer in absence of the prescribed medicine
· The nurse did not follow precise instructions on administering the medicine
Whatever may be the case, if you feel that your child’s condition has suddenly deteriorated to a large degree after negligent drug administration or due to the hospital staff’s callousness, you certainly have the right to pursue a prescription drug malpractice case against the hospital or a particular hospital staff, depending on the specific situation.
How to file prescription drug malpractice case against the hospital?
The first step is to engage a lawyer and send a legal complaint letter detailing the incident to the hospital authorities. If you decide to pursue a legal case against the hospital, your lawyer’s office will request you to furnish the following information to build a strong, convincing case:
- The details of the medical practitioner who prescribed the medicine to the child.
- The details of the hospital where the child was admitted for treatment.
- The details of the medicine, manufacturer, strength, administration methods etc.
- The doctor’s prescription detailing the medicine with specific instructions, if any.
- The copy of the complaint letter submitted to the hospital authority detailing the date, time, and description of the incident, as gathered from hospital records.
- If a drug malpractice incident happens in presence of a parent in the hospital, then may be an eye witness account will be required along with Item No. 3.
- A detailed record of all adverse effects as observed by the doctor, the nurse, and other observers like the parents during and after the administration of the medicine.
A prescription drug malpractice case is much more than a bunch of documents; you as parents of a victimized child, will have to sit down with an experienced and knowledgeable lawyer’s team to discuss the specifics of your case to see how strong your case is.
What are your chances of winning the case?
The chances of your winning the case will depend on:
· The severity of the damage done to your child due to the malpractice
· Your ability to gather and submit all relevant and evidentiary documents to build a strong case
· The skill and experience of your lawyer’s team
But it does not hurt to gather your courage and pursue the case, which affects your child’s future!
If your child has been a victim of prescription drug malpractice, do not waste time in pondering whether you will win or lose the case. Contact the experienced and reliable legal team – Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff of RMFW Law by calling us at 212 697 9280 for a free consultation. These medical malpractice lawyers will evaluate your case and guide you about the available legal options.