Laird Barron

Not Lord Baron


Minimizing Medication Errors


Posted By on Jul 13, 2013

Medication errors may seem relatively harmless compared to surgical errors or misdiagnosis, but it has lead to serious injury for more than a million Americans every year. According to the website of  Crowe & Mulvey, LLP, it can even result in death. Medication errors include the wrong drug being dispensed, the wrong dosage, and conflicting drugs. These errors all sound preventable (because they are), and the key to minimizing medication errors is communication.

Many of the errors made in drug dispensing is due to lack of information. When a patient is first admitted for examination, an extensive medical history is taken because there are drugs that may seem to be the right ones for the condition but have adverse effects under specific circumstances. For example, for a patient complaining of muscle pain, one of the drugs that may be taken for relief is over-the-counter acetaminophen. But if that patient is already taking acetaminophen as part of a prescription drug, then the dosage may exceed safe levels and affect the liver adversely.

A more acute effect is when a patient is given medication that he or she is allergic to, but which either the patient failed to mention or did not know, or the nurse or doctor failed to check in the patient history. A good example is penicillin, to which 10% of the world’s population has an allergic reaction to. One of the protocols in hospitals is to take a skin test to determine if the patient has an allergy to particular medications that may be prescribed.

Health professionals have a duty of care to their patients, and must make every effort to prevent harm. Patients, on the other hand, must provide complete medical information inasmuch as they are aware of it. If there is adequate communication between healthcare professionals and between patients and healthcare providers, medication errors may be minimized.

If you have suffered adverse effects from medication errors caused by negligence or carelessness of a healthcare provider, then you may have recourse for compensation through the civil court. Confer with a medical malpractice lawyer in the area to find out your options.

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Child custody is perhaps one of the most sensitive issues that come up when parents separate, whether they are married or not. According to the website of  Holmes, Diggs & Sadler, when a child custody case is not handled correctly, it can very quickly become acrimonious, something which is not in the best interest of any child.

Under the Texas Family Code, biological parents have equal rights to obtain conservatorship (custody) or visitation rights to a child. However, when the biological relationship between a father and child is brought into question in a custodial dispute, establishing paternity of the child becomes of paramount importance.

Under Chapter 160 of the Texas Family Code (Uniform Parentage Act), the paternity of a child may be established in three ways:

  • Presumption of Paternity
  • Acknowledgment of Paternity
  • DNA Testing

Perhaps naively, Texas law states that when a couple has a child while they are married, the husband is the presumed father. If this is not actually the case, the biological father cannot sign an Acknowledgement of Paternity (AOP) unless the husband first agrees to sign a Denial of Paternity. If the husband refuses, the biological father can bring the case before the Texas Attorney General which will then establish paternity.

Unless there is a existing dispute, the state recommends that both parents, married or not sign an AOP at the time of birth in establishing paternity. The father’s name is then inscribed on the birth certificate. Until that is done, the father has no legal standing with regards to the child, and this includes all responsibilities, rights and benefits including child custody. All Texas hospitals have the necessary forms available, and signing the AOP then saves time and money, rather than accomplishing it later which would incur a fee.

DNA testing only becomes necessary when there is no AOP because one parent refused to sign it and establishing paternity becomes necessary, such as during a child custody case. If the father fails in establishing paternity, he will not have the right to request for legal or physical conservatorship, visitation rights, or any confidential information about the child such as medical records.

If you are having problems with child custody in Texas, contact a child custody lawyer in your area to get help in establishing paternity. You will not be able to gain access to your child unless you do so.

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Workers or employees who suffer job-related injuries are entitled to workers’ compensation. This benefit is part of what the state law mandates that the employer pays for each employee every month. However, according to the website of the LaMarca & Landry, P.C., filing for workers’ compensation is no longer a simple, no-fault process in Missouri. It has become much more complicated partly because of changes in the laws governing it, making it almost always necessary to seek professional legal advice through a workers’ compensation lawyer.

Some issues that may also come up would involve unemployment benefits, Social Security Disability, Second Injury Fund, Medicaid and Medicare which would complicate matters further. In order to unravel what could become a tangled web of legal proceedings, one may actually have to not only consult with a workers’ compensation lawyer but actually hire representation before the state’s Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC). Insurance companies and employers at least are required to have legal representation, so it is probably a good idea. No employee attached to DWC may officially dispense legal advice to any workers’ compensation claimant.

The law does not require an employer to be the party to file a claim, and may not in order to keep the insurance premiums low. If no claim is made within the prescribed period that specific injury may no longer be used as a basis for receiving any medical or monetary benefits under workers’ comp. Employees should make sure that a claim is made and not assume it has been even if benefits are already being received or an insurance adjuster has made contact.

If you are having problems with your workers’ compensation claim, find a lawyer to help you out. A workers’ compensation lawyer will typically not charge anything for the initial consultation, and many will agree to a contingent fee basis (not more than 25%) so there will be no out-of-pocket expenses. The cost of success is rather steep but a good lawyer will probably be able to get you much more than you would have gotten on your own.

 

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