The opioid epidemic has been an issue for a while. Unfortunately, it does not appear that it is going away anytime soon. One of the drugs that has been at the center of the opioid epidemic is fentanyl. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid. Fentanyl is a prescription drug. Although, in some cases, abusers gain access to fentanyl illegally. When fentanyl is prescribed, it is generally for treating severe pain, especially for those who have recently undergone surgery. However, in some cases, prescribing fentanyl to a patient could be a mistake. Does making that type of mistake rise to the level of medical malpractice? That depends on the circumstances.
Are Prescription Errors Considered Medical Malpractice?
Sometimes, when a doctor or pharmacist prescribes a patient medication, it is a mistake. Those types of mistakes are a form of medical malpractice known as prescription errors. In some cases, a prescription error happens because the doctor prescribed the wrong medication or the incorrect dosage of the right medication. In other instances, a pharmacist might be at fault for providing the patient with the wrong medication or incorrectly labeling the medication.
Medical malpractice involving medication can also happen if medication is incorrectly administered to a patient. When doctors or nurses administer medication to a patient, it is usually via a pill, IV, or injection. If they make a mistake while administering the medication to the patient, it can happen for a wide range of reasons. In some cases, they may have misread the instructions. Other times it may be because they mixed up a patient’s chart with another patient’s chart. Sometimes, they may have written down the wrong information on a patient’s chart.
Whatever the reason, if a doctor, nurse, or pharmacist makes a mistake that leads to a patient overdosing, they are likely going to face a medical malpractice claim.
Is a Fentanyl Overdose Grounds for a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit in Florida?
If a doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other type of medical professional in Florida makes a mistake prescribing, providing, or administering fentanyl to a patient, and that mistake leads to the patient suffering an overdose, the incident could be grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. In Florida, to have a valid medical malpractice claim, a case must meet the following criteria:
- Duty of Care – In the situation in question, the doctor, nurse, or other medical professional must owe the patient a duty of care.
- Breach of Duty of Care – The medical professional must breach the duty of care they owe the patient.
- Patient Suffered Harm – The patient must suffer harm because the medical professional breached the duty of care they owed them.
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