Data indicates that approximately 66% of all adults in the US use prescription medications. In many cases, individuals are on more than one prescription medication at a time. These medications are used for hundreds of reasons, including blood pressure regulation, controlling diabetes, pain management, infection control, and more. However, when a prescription drug error occurs, patients can sustain significant injuries or illnesses. Here, we want to discuss some of the most common prescription drug errors that occur.
What Are Some Common Prescription Medication Errors?
When Johns Hopkins researchers stated that medical mistakes were the third leading cause of death in this country, one of the main errors they were referring to was prescription medication errors. There are just so many ways that the prescription medication process can go wrong, both inside of a healthcare setting and outside of a healthcare setting, through normal pharmacy procedures.
Some of the most common mistakes that occur when prescribing medications include the following:
- Errors about insufficient or missing information related to co-prescribed medications that may have contraindications
- Handwritten prescriptions are illegible to those who receive them
- Failing to adequately conduct a patient medical history to understand any previous complications or allergies to medications
- Sound-alike medications transmitted orally from doctor to pharamacy
- Incorrect dosage of the medication transmitted to the pharmacy
- Dispensing an incorrect medication
- Failing to give the correct medication at all
In a healthcare setting, such as a hospital, most prescription medication errors will fall to the medical professionals responsible for prescribing the medication, transmitting the order to the pharmacy, and sending the correct medication back. Additionally, those responsible for giving medications to patients can certainly make a mistake.
Mistakes can also occur outside of the healthcare setting. If a patient receives the wrong medication or the wrong dosage of a medication due to incorrect communication between a doctor and pharmacy, this can cause significant health issues for the patient. Additionally, individuals could be responsible for causing their own medication errors if they misread the instructions.
What Happens if a Medication Error Occurs?
If a person is harmed due to a medical error, including a prescription medication mistake, they should reach out to a skilled medical malpractice attorney who has experience handling these claims. Medical malpractice cases are notoriously complex, and determining liability is a challenge. When you work with a skilled lawyer with experience handling these claims, you will have an advocate who can use their resources to fully investigate the incident.
If an attorney is successful in proving that medical malpractice did occur, the individual harmed due to the medical mistake may be able to recover various types of compensation. This includes coverage of medical bills associated with the prescription medication error, lost wages if the mistake led to a person missing work, physical and emotional pain and suffering damages, and other recoverable damages.
Dr. Bruce Fagel is an attorney and a doctor, and he has the resources and experience necessary to handle these claims on behalf of clients. He will work with other trusted medical professionals to recognize any prescription medication error that occurred and help clients recover the compensation they are entitled to.