Pharmacy Error Lawyers
Medications are often the key to helping patients who suffer from certain medication conditions. Drugs that contain various chemicals are provided to patients that have an effect on the function of their brains and bodies. When medications are misused or prescribed incorrectly, it can have fatal consequences. For this reason, medical professionals are required to take a thorough review of factors into consideration when prescribing medications to patients. If the doctor or medical professional is not considering the health and wellness of the patient, it could cause irreversible damages to the patient. In some cases, patients end up losing their lives due to the improper type or dose of medication.
If you were the victim of medical malpractice due to pharmaceutical errors, you need pharmacy error lawyers who will fight to ensure the costs of your medical treatment are covered, and you get the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering. Our team at The Medical Negligence Group has decades of experience fighting to protect the legal rights of patients who have been harmed by negligent and careless medical professionals. Our attorneys, who are also doctors, have extensive knowledge of both the medical and legal fields, which uniquely positions our firm to protect the legal rights of victims and to fight to get them the justice they deserve. Contact our pharmacy & medication error lawyers today to see how we can help you.
Causes of Medication Errors
There are many cases where medication errors are caused by the negligence of the prescribing doctor, nurse practitioner, or other medical professional. Many negligence claims stem from poor written and oral communications, system errors, understaffing, being overloaded with work, carelessness, and taking ineffective precautionary measures.
Some common physician errors that cause medication mistakes include, but are not limited to:
- Providing illegible scripts to patients
- Using the wrong abbreviations
- Spelling the drug name incorrectly
- Writing down the incorrect strength or frequency of medication for the patient
- Communication errors
In addition to physicians making mistakes, there are many instances where pharmacists engage in negligent actions as well. Over recent years, we have seen a drastic increase in the number of pharmacy errors across the country. Some of the most common reasons pharmacists cause medication errors include:
- Lack of training on how to handle medications
- Inadequate supervision while filling prescriptions and handling medications
- Miscommunications between doctors and pharmacists
- Errors in the medication computer system
Medication mistakes can have severe consequences as they often deprive patients of the treatment they need for their illness or an injury. In some cases, victims are placed at an increased risk of suffering adverse reactions from medications or from suffering an overdue due to improper dosages. There are actions that constitute negligence when it comes to pharmacy errors. These include:
- Prescribing patients the wrong medication in a careless manner
- Unintentionally giving patients the wrong dosage
- Giving patients the wrong medication unintentionally
- Not warning patients of the risks associated with taking the medication they receive
- Not taking a history of the patient to determine if drug interactions or issues would occur
- Mixing medication drugs in a dangerous manner
- Prescribing medications without considering the family history of symptoms
- Administering the wrong medication to a patient
Working with a pharmacy & medication error lawyer will ensure you get the justice you deserve for your injuries.
Common Types of Pharmacy Malpractice Errors
A pharmaceutical error can occur at any time during a doctor’s visit through the time when the prescription is filled. Several parties communicate with one another, order prescriptions, and are responsible for filling and distributing them to the patient. As a result, there are many ways in which pharmacy errors can occur. Some of the most common types of pharmacy malpractice errors include:
Dosage Errors: These errors occur when the pharmacist fills a prescription for a patient with a dose that is either higher or lower than what they were actually prescribed.
Incorrect Prescription: When doctors prescribe the wrong medications, or when pharmacists fill the wrong prescription, it can lead to devastating consequences. This often results in patients not receiving the appropriate treatment to overcome their illness.
Patient/Prescription Mix-up: These errors occur when pharmacists give medications to the wrong person or switch two patients’ medications. If patients take medicine without noticing the mistake, it can result in serious side effects.
Failure to Counsel Patients: After receiving a prescription, pharmacists are required to provide the patient with a consultation regarding how to use the medication, possible drug interactions, and side effects they may experience. If a patient does not receive a consultation, and they experience complications, they can file legal claims against the pharmacist.
Prescribing Medications without a License: Although not as common of an error at local pharmacies, there are instances where patients have medications filled through online pharmacies. When patients receive medicines from internet pharmacies without having valid prescriptions or licenses, it can have serious legal implications.
In addition to recognizing when medication mistakes can occur, it is crucial to understand the types of medication mistakes that can take place and what some of the potential consequences can be. When pharmacists or other medical professionals fail to uphold their legal and ethical responsibilities when administering medication for patients, they can be held liable for resulting injuries. Some errors that commonly impact patients include, but are not limited to:
Wrong Medications: It is critical that pharmacists exercise precautions and verify that the medications they provide for patients are exactly what their doctors prescribe. Not providing a patient with the correct medication can cause them serious harm.
Wrong Dosage: There are many instances where pharmacists provide the wrong size pills, measure the incorrect dosage amount, or offer inadequate instructions to patients. Should patients experience any complications from having the wrong dosage of medication, they can seek justice.
Drug Interactions: Although most pharmacies utilize computer programs that tell them when patients are prescribed medications that can interact in a dangerous manner, or if the system fails to flag a hazardous interaction, the pharmacy can be held liable.
Failure to Administer: There are instances where pharmacies simply do not fill prescriptions for patients. When pharmacies do not have the proper type or dosage of the medication for a patient, they are deprived of the ability to treat their illness or injury. This can result in severe consequences for patients, especially those facing life-threatening illnesses.
If you were the victim of these or any other type of medication error, it is crucial that you reach out to a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible to get the justice and compensation you deserve. Our team at The Medical Negligence Group has decades of experience fighting to protect the legal rights of victims who were injured as a result of pharmacy error and various other forms of medical malpractice.
Legal Claims for Negligence and Medication Errors
When patients suffer as a result of negligence and medication errors, they are able to file legal claims against those at fault. In order to prevail, victims must prove that specific elements of negligence existed. The four components of negligence in medical malpractice claims include:
Duty of Care: Healthcare professionals are required to adhere to the proper standard of care and professionalism while treating patients. Doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals have to act in the same manner as another medical professional would act under similar circumstances. When doctors deviate from the acceptable standard of care, they increase the risk of harming patients.
Breach of Duty: After proving that the medical professional had a duty to provide you care, it is imperative that you are able to demonstrate that they breached the duty. Medical professionals are required to provide care that meets the acceptable standard of care. This standard is determined by reviewing the typical treatment or care a medical professional with a similar background would provide to a patient under similar circumstances. You must show that the defendant failed to provide this level of care to you.
Causation: Next, you must demonstrate that the negligence of the medical professional was the direct cause of your injuries. Without experiencing any mental or physical problems, prescribing or filling the wrong medication in itself does not constitute malpractice. It is imperative that victims prove that the prescription for or the filling of the wrong medication caused them to suffer either physically or emotionally.
Damages: The injuries suffered by the patient must have caused either economic or non-economic damages. Claimants must be able to demonstrate that they are dealing with medical expenses, lost wages, and other financial expenses or that they are dealing with pain and suffering and other mental and emotional injuries.
Side Effects Patients Experience from Pharmacy Errors
Patients who receive the wrong medications can experience an array of side effects. Whether a person is provided the wrong dosage, mixes drugs unintentionally, or takes the wrong type of medication altogether, they can experience serious consequences. In some cases, the effects of taking the wrong medication can be fatal.
Some of the most common reactions and side effects patients experience from taking the wrong medications include, but are not limited to:
- Having an allergic reaction to the drug
- Experiencing internal bleeding
- Dangerously high or low blood pressure
- Dangerous heart rate
- Having a baby suffer congenital disabilities
- Unintentional overdose
- Organ failure
- Pregnancy complications
- Difficulties breathing
- Drug addiction
- Brain damage
- Problem solving
- Experiencing suicidal thoughts
- Experiencing extreme depression or anxiety
- Loss of consciousness
- Heart failure
The majority of prescription errors occur during the ordering process. When medications are prescribed, and scripts are sent over to pharmacies, clinicians must select the appropriate medication for the patient and determine the dosage amount. In paper-based systems, a pharmacy tech, pharmacist, or a clerk will read and interpret the script to give it to the pharmacy to fill. If there are any problems in transcribing, patients may not receive the appropriate medication.
The dispensing process is the second time during which errors can occur. During the dispensing process, the pharmacy is charged with utilizing a drug review system to determine if any of a patient’s current medications will interact with the new one. Once the allergies are recognized, and current medications are verified, pharmacists should also check that the dosage and duration of use are appropriate on the label.
The administration period is the last possible time errors can occur. It is at this time when the prescription changes hands from the pharmacist or medical professional to the patient.
If you were injured as a result of medical malpractice, or your loved one lost their life due to pharmacy negligence, it is crucial that you reach out to knowledgeable pharmacy error lawyers as soon as possible. You may be entitled to compensation.
The Medical Negligence Group Can Help You
Every year, more than 8 million people are subjected to medication errors in the United States. Adverse drug events send more than 3.5 million people to local hospitals and more than 1 million patients to the emergency room each year. Many patients suffer life-threatening injuries, permanent organ damages, and pain and suffering that is overwhelming. When patients are injured by medications, as a result of a negligent medical professional, it is essential that they reach out to a pharmacy & medication error lawyer as soon as possible to protect their legal rights.
Our attorneys at The Medical Negligence Group have extensive experience fighting to protect the legal rights of victims harmed by negligent and careless medical professionals. Our level of dedication and commitment to helping victims throughout the United States get the justice and compensation they deserve is unmistakable. Over the years, our medical malpractice attorneys have helped several victims secure multi-million dollar verdicts for their legal claims. If you were injured as a result of a medical professional, or your loved one lost their life due to a medication error, contact our pharmacy errors lawyers as soon as possible. Call (410) 220-6609 to schedule a free no-obligation case evaluation and explore legal options available for you.
Gershon, Willoughby & Getz, LLC25 Hooks Lane Suite 304, Baltimore, Maryland 21208