New York patients who have to take medication for their medical condition should know that opioids have been a common factor in liability claims related to medicine. Based on a report released by a medical liability insurer, opioids were involved in 24 percent of medication-related liability claims.

Forty-six percent of those claims were related to primary care providers. Operating rooms and emergency departments were featured in 22 percent of the claims. Sixteen percent of the medication-related claims involved anticoagulants.

For its report, the medical liability insurer examined over 10,000 resolved medical liability claims that were filed against clients from 2012 to 2016. In a list of the primary causes for liability claims, medication-related claims were ranked fourth, following claims pertaining to diagnoses, surgery and medical management.

In the report, providers were given principles they should keep in mind to improve their risk management and to prevent medication-based claims. They should be aware that the highest point of vulnerability is during the first and last stages when prescription errors can occur and when there are complications with medication reconciliation.

It is important to know that the risks for medication errors peak when the patients is most likely to have certain dosage requirements; this pertains to patients who are the smallest or heaviest in weight as well as the youngest and the most elderly. Providers should also be aware that in order for successful interventions to stop medication errors to occur, it is necessary for the interventions to be supported at every level.

Patients who are victims of medical malpractice may have legal recourse. A personal injury attorney may be able to pursue financial damages on behalf a client for medical complications, such as a worsened medication condition, that resulted from surgical errors, misdiagnoses, delayed treatment or anesthesia errors.