What is a Prescription Drug Error?
Prescription drug errors are one of the leading causes of hospitalization and overdoses across the country, affecting over a million Americans each year. As lawyers and former doctors, we at Gershon, Willoughby, & Getz, LLC, leading birth defect attorneys in Baltimore, want to educate you about the risks associated with such errors.
A prescription drug error can occur anytime a pharmacist doesn’t administer the exact drug and dosage the doctor prescribed. An oversight such as this should not be taken lightly given the consequences some patients might suffer. Some of the most common pharmacy prescription drug errors include:
- Administering the wrong medication prescribed to a patient by his or her doctor
- Administering the right type of medication prescribed to a patient by his or her doctor, but with the wrong dosage
- Administering a medication the patient is allergic to
- Administering a medication that interacts dangerously with another medication the patient is taking
- Mislabeling the patient’s medication
- Failing to inform the patient of the serious side effects of the medication
How Can a Pharmacist Prevent Such Errors?
Life-threatening errors like these are prevalent in pharmacies, even though they can consciously be avoided. Miscommunication between the doctor and pharmacy will most certainly lead to such a mistake. When first receiving the prescription, pharmacists should make sure they understand what is being prescribed and be mindful when administering the drug. Often, pharmacists will misread a prescription and dispense a sound-alike, but nonetheless wrong, drug. Additionally, pharmacists need to be cognizant of the dosage.
One of the leading causes of prescription drug errors caused by pharmacists is unmanageable workload and stress. Pharmacists often work incredibly long hours, with little breaks in between. Sufficient staffing is vital in operating workplace stress, as well as providing workers with ample break time during shifts.
If you or a loved one have been a victim of a prescription drug error, don’t hesitate to call Gershon, Willoughby, & Getz, LLC, LLC. We specialize in medical malpractice for prescription errors, birth injury, and cerebral palsy in Baltimore, MD.