Following a doctor’s appointment or hospital stay, patients might anticipate receiving a prescription to aid in their recovery. However, delays or omissions in medicine prescriptions are an ongoing problem in modern health care facilities. When a doctor does not prescribe a patient vital medication, it can have devastating consequences.
How do omissions or delays in medication happen?
In general, omissions or delays in medication can happen when patients do not receive the proper prescription due to a medical practitioner’s negligence. It can happen while a patient is admitted, checking out of the hospital or visiting their doctor for a check-up or follow-up.
Here are common scenarios of how omissions or delays can happen:
- A physician fails to include a vital drug on the list of prescriptions that must be given to an admitted patient
- A nurse fails to administer the patient the drugs as prescribed
- A doctor forgets to add a critical drug while prescribing medication to a patient
- Pharmacy staff fails to put in an order and delays giving the patient their medicine
Patients who do not obtain a prescription for a specific drug or wait too long to get it may endure severe symptoms or death. For instance, Parkinson’s disease patients may experience unstable blood pressure, coma, muscle twitching and an increased heart rate if they do not receive medication at the right time.
When patients with chronic conditions miss doses, it can worsen their health, increase their risk for hospitalization or heighten their risk of developing life-threatening conditions.
Hospitals may consider enhancing patient review procedures and communication to minimize such instances. However, this is easier said than done.
Patients can also do their part by researching their condition, alerting doctors about new symptoms, and informing doctors if they cannot afford certain medications or are taking other drugs. If patients are unsure how or when to take their medication, they should ask their doctor to explain it until they fully understand.
Patients suffering from their doctor’s negligence may want to look into New Jersey medical malpractice laws. Medical malpractice cases are notoriously difficult to win, but if successful, they can compensate the victim for the harm they endured and make the medical practitioner liable for their actions.