Prescription Medication Errors

Studies have shown that approximately 60% of all adults in the US take some form of prescription medication. Utilization of these medications is particularly high for those with chronic health conditions and for elderly people. Prescription medications help ensure that we can heal after receiving a diagnosis and they also help maintain our overall well-being. Unfortunately, there are times when medical professionals make mistakes when it comes to prescription medications. When these mistakes occur, patients can suffer serious harm. Here, we want to discuss some of the ways that prescription medication errors happen and what victims can do if they have sustained an injury because of this type of malpractice.

How do Prescription Medication Errors Occur?

Researchers from Johns Hopkins have said that medical mistakes are the third leading cause of death in the US each year. While these mistakes occur in a wide variety of ways, many of them revolve around prescription medications.

Most people do not think twice about taking a prescription after a doctor has written the orders. This includes patients who are in the hospital undergoing treatment as well as those who take their prescription to the pharmacy to get it filled. However, there are things that can go wrong in these situations.

In the hospital setting, both nurses and doctors have cited problems with written communication, interruptions while administering medications, overworked staff, and supply and storage of medicines as the main issues that created complications with prescriptions. In a hospital setting, prescription mistakes can cause the patient to:

  • Receive the wrong medication
  • Not receive their medication at all
  • Received the wrong dosage of their medication

Outside of the hospital setting, these errors can occur due to the patient’s prescription being written incorrectly (which can include the wrong medication or the wrong dosage). These errors can also occur while the prescription is being filled by the pharmacist or the pharmacy technician. It is crucial that doctors list the right medication and the correct dosage on the prescription paperwork and that pharmacists appropriately fill these orders.

Any patient who receives the wrong medication or the wrong dosage of their medication can suffer from serious injuries, including allergic reactions, negative reactions due to one medication interacting with another, internal organ damage, and even death.

Will You Need Help From an Attorney?

Any person who believes they have sustained an injury due to a prescription medication error must seek assistance from a skilled attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can use their resources to fully investigate what happened in order to determine liability. The goal of an attorney will be to show:

  • That the medical provider owed a duty of care to the patient
  • The medical provider breached their duty of care
  • The breach of duty caused harm to the patient
  • The patient suffered economic or non-economic damages due to the breach of duty

Prescription medication medical malpractice cases can become incredibly complicated, but an attorney will handle every aspect of the claim on behalf of the patient. In these scenarios, victims of prescription medication errors may be able to secure compensation for their medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering damages, and more.