Common Pharmaceutical Errors and Injuries

When we pick up our prescription from the pharmacy, we expect that we will pick up the appropriate drug at the correct dose to treat our ailments. We know that several sets of eyes have been on our medication, from the doctor prescribing it to the pharmacist who fills the prescription and provides the medication.

We know everyone has a role in ensuring our safety. However, when medical staff make mistakes or miss something, it can have dangerous consequences that may leave you with lasting injuries. If this has happened to you, the team at our Portland medical malpractice law firm may be able to help.

Understanding a Pharmaceutical Error

We can define a pharmaceutical error as any error relating to a medicinal drug. Errors in medications can significantly affect your health and may cause lasting damage. Your treatment team will ideally work together to ensure the highest quality of care for you as a whole person. This includes ensuring clear and accurate communication regarding all medications, possible interactions, and your medical history.

A pharmaceutical error can be made by physicians, pharmacists, nurses, and caregivers. When a pharmacist or physician makes a mistake with medication, it could be one of many things. A study, Medication Dispensing Errors and Prevention, cites that many of these errors include:

Part of your pharmacist’s job is to notice if something seems off about your prescription. For example, suppose they see your physician prescribe a higher dosage than usual. In that case, they may call your physician to confirm the dosage is appropriate for you to prevent a possible overdose.

Your pharmacist may also take action if they notice that a new prescription may negatively interact with your already prescribed medication. In this case, they may call your physician to confirm the prescription, or they may educate you on the interaction possibilities and what symptoms to be aware of.

Injuries From Pharmaceutical Error

Injuries resulting from a pharmaceutical error can vary depending on the type of error. This variation may range from a rash or mild discomfort and, or death, which is seen in 7,000-9,000 people annually, according to the above-referenced study. Some injuries could be something severe, including:

You may find yourself recovering quickly from some of the consequences of a pharmaceutical error, but often, they can have consequences that last a lifetime. Some of these lasting consequences may require you or a loved one to live with ongoing medical conditions or require assistance from medical devices or aides.

Preventing Pharmaceutical Errors

The first line of defense in preventing pharmaceutical errors lies in attention to detail and clear communication among your care team. You can assist in protecting yourself in a couple of ways. Some preventative actions you may take could be:

You could take all of these steps and more to prevent pharmaceutical errors. However, it is ultimately up to your medical team to ensure your medication’s safe prescribing and dispensing. If you have been significantly injured from an error with your medication, it may be worthwhile to contact Paulson Colleti Trial Attorneys to discuss your options.