Medication Errors

Every year, over 1.5 million Americans are injured and more than 7,000 are killed due to medication errors. There seems to be a large pharmacy chain on every corner, and patients depend on these pharmacies to get their prescriptions right, yet they make errors at an alarming rate. Hospitals, Doctors and Nurses are also responsible for Medication Errors. We often hear reports about another patient being seriously injured or killed when they are given the wrong drug or wrong dose. The most frequent Medication Errors include the:

  • Wrong Drug
  • Wrong Dose or Strength of Drug
  • Wrong Directions for Taking the Medicine
  • Wrong Patient given another's Medication
  • Giving a Patient a Drug to which they are Allergic
  • Giving a Patient Drugs that should not be taken together - Drug Interactions
  • Failing to Counsel or Warn about Serious Side Effects and What to Do

What makes these cases even worse and more unacceptable is that Medication Errors are easily preventable. There is no excuse for a medication error, and there are simple safety precautions and procedures that, if followed, would have prevented these horrible medication errors. For example:

  • Pharmacists must check their work and compare the pills in the bottle to what was actually prescribed. 
  • Legible handwriting - there is no excuse for sloppy penmanship when lives are at stake.
  • A Pharmacist should call the doctor is he is unsure of what is written on the prescription.
  • "Take as directed" is not a proper instruction. Write out the medication directions.
  • Abbreviations should not be used. They can be misinterpreted and are confusing.
  • Pharmacists need to pay attention to look alike drug names.
  • Pharmacies must be properly staffed with enough Pharmacists to handle the volume of prescriptions. 
  • Drug Allergies should be checked before writing or filling a prescription. 
  • If a Pharmacist takes a moment to discuss the medication with the patient errors can be discovered.
  • Check a Patient's wristband to ensure the medicine is not for another.

The harm from getting the wrong prescription, wrong drug, or wrong dose can be devastating. Death and serious injuries from Prescription Errors and Pharmacy Malpractice are, unfortunately, common, and include Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS), Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN), and other permanent injuries.

If you or a loved one has been injured, you need an attorney with a proven record of results and success, who knows the ins and outs of Medication Error, Prescription Error and Pharmacy Malpractice cases.

If you or a loved one have been the Victim of a Medication or Pharmacy Error, please call us for a Free Consultation at 877-781-7080 or 770-457-9222. If you'd prefer, you can email us at trent@speckhalslaw.com