Chemotherapy related malpractice is a tragic circumstance that can slow down the treatment of cancer or have lasting consequences on patient outcomes. Chemotherapy prescriptions are commonly given to cancer patients in an attempt to halt the growth of cancer, prevent it from spreading, and ultimately drive it into remission. But whether chemotherapy is the right solution for you depends on a number of factors such as what type of cancer you have, the stage, whether it has metastasized, and your overall health situation.
There are many options available for treating cancer, from surgery to radiation. Each patient reacts differently and it’s important that healthcare providers be mindful when selecting chemotherapy – and if so, which form – is the right solution for a specific patient’s situation. Once chemotherapy has been prescribed, it’s important that it be administered and monitored throughout the treatment process.
The Basics of Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy may be the sole treatment that’s given to cancer patients, or it can be prescribed in combination with other treatments such as medication, radiation, and complementary therapies. It’s sometimes given as a shot, an IV, a pill, or even in cream form. The frequency varies, and ranges from daily to monthly depending on what type of cancer is being treated.
Understanding Chemotherapy’s Side Effects
There are many common side effects that patients experience as a result of chemotherapy. The range of side effects include symptoms such as changes in appetite, weight loss, constipation and diarrhea, fatigue, loss of hair, pain and swelling. It can also lead to serious conditions including infections, anemia, or chronic pain.
Chemotherapy Administration Errors
If errors are made during the administration of chemotherapy, patients who are already struggling with side effects can experience further complications. Errors can be made by any healthcare provider, including doctors, nurses, and medical assistants working to administer drugs. Errors can be caused when medications are mislabeled or in the incorrect packaging. Problems may arise with dosages, medication mix ups, or a failure to monitor and follow up with patients as needed.
Complications Associated with Chemotherapy
When complications arise from chemotherapy, it’s critical that they be identified and remedied as quickly as possible. Chemotherapy is a powerful drug, and can have deadly unintended consequences when errors occur. Malpractice related to chemotherapy is entirely preventable, with clear communication, following protocols, and proper oversight eliminating these issues. Cancer patients deserve the opportunity to receive potentially lifesaving medications without having to deal with further complications.
Have you or a loved one experienced a chemotherapy error? If so, contact Rasmussen and Miner today to arrange for a confidential consultation with an experienced malpractice attorney. Our attorneys will review your case and determine if your chemotherapy related malpractice case may serve as the foundation for a lawsuit.