January 30, 2017
Here at Cuming & Gillespie, one of Calgary's premier personal injury and medical malpractice law firms, we're dedicated to providing the best possible legal advice to our clients and the most useful information to the general public regarding personal injury and medical malpractice law. That includes keeping an eye on news stories that create headlines in our Calgary community, and helping to make sense of the details and the larger principles at play.
Though this story comes to us all the way from Halifax, the issues involved are very relevant to the citizens of Calgary. It involves an allegation of an incorrectly administered medication that may have contributed to the failure of a newly-transplanted kidney. Though already a complex case, the plaintiff's legal struggles are being further exacerbated by the inaccessibility of her medical information—several companies and healthcare providers are involved, and no one will acknowledge or deny that the medication was ever administered.
While most people in the Calgary area and throughout Canada receive excellent care from their medical providers, similar cases of wrongly administered medications leading to prolonged illness and injury are all too common. Here are three important takeaways from this medical malpractice case that everyone should be aware of.
1. Medication Mistakes Can Have Serious Consequences
Medication errors, including errors in administering the correct medicine, giving the wrong medicine, giving the wrong dosage, and interactions between medications, are a common cause of medical malpractice complaints. Just because they happen with relative frequency doesn't mean they shouldn't be taken seriously, though. If a medication error did indeed occur in this case, it nearly cost the patient her life and did cost her a kidney.
2. Obtaining and Maintaining Your Medical Records Can Help Protect You
Because most people in Calgary never experience an incident of medical malpractice, they aren't always aware of how important their medical records can be in a medical malpractice case. While there's no guarantee in this case that immediately requesting a detailed copy of the records related to the patient's care would have preserved the evidence the patient is now seeking, it might have helped. You have the right to know exactly what care you received, and the sooner you obtain your medical records the better.
3. Everyone in Calgary and Canada is Entitled to Legal Assistance for Medical Malpractice
No matter what situation you're facing, and no matter what anyone else tells you, you are entitled to consult with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer if you suspect you have been the victim of negligence at the hands of a medical provider or institution. In this case, the patient is seeking information and/or compensation from a hospital and a nurse staffing company as well as at least two individual nurses directly involved in providing her care. It's a complex case with multiple entities involved, and the knowledge provided by a lawyer is all but required to pursue this case effectively.
If you believe you have been seriously injured as a result of medical malpractice, we urge you to contact a Calgary medical malpractice lawyer today.
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