What To Do If You Are A Victim of Medication ErrorsRecent research shows that, on average, 80% of Americans use prescription drugs on a weekly basis. Of this, 100,000 die every year due to medication errors, such as taking the wrong medication or even the incorrect amount of the right medication. A medication error may be defined as any event that is avoidable that has or may cause harm to the patient and that is controlled by a healthcare professional or patient. These events could be related to bad communication, compounding, packaging, product labeling, distribution, dispensing, education and administration. Our medication error attorneys are able to assist you in getting the financial compensation you deserve.
Medication errors are divided into the following classes:
- Prescribing – Prescribing medication errors occur when the incorrect drug product, dose, quantity, administration of drug, concentration, rat, or instructions for use of a drug are ordered by a healthcare professional. For example, you have a heart condition and need medication to keep the side-effects at bay. The doctor prescribes your normal medication only they make an error regarding the concentration of your medication.
- Omission Errors – When your medication requires consistent fill-ups, the slightest error in date and time can be lethal. An omission error is a failure to give the proper dose of medication before the next one is scheduled, or outside of the predetermined interval from its scheduled time.
- Improper Administration Errors – There may be times when your medication is administered by a healthcare professional, but they make a mistake. For example, when a professional administers a medication intravenously instead of orally.
- Fragmented Care Errors – This time of error occurs when there is a lack of communication between the prescribing physician and the other healthcare professional in charge of dispensing the correct medication. For example, the doctor does not tell the nurse the proper medication and this results in a medication error in your medication.
Prescription errors make up for a majority of medical errors at 20-60%.These mistakes are made by healthcare providers when giving prescriptions. Some of the mistakes made while prescribing include:
- Failure to prescribe
- Incorrect drug selection
- Failure to note the patient’s allergy history
- Failure to consider drug-food or drug-drug interactions
These errors are normally caused by:
- Miscommunication between healthcare providers such as doctors and pharmacists — The doctor may have written one thing on the prescription, but the pharmacist reads another. This may lead to a prescription error.
- Incorrect charting and record-keeping — Healthcare professionals rely on the correct charting of the patient in order to prescribe the right medication. If there was an error, it may result in an incorrect medication prescription.
- Distractions — While we are all prone to errors, most errors do not tend to cause health issues in another person. A healthcare professional who was distracted during the time of the prescribing/dispensing/administering can commit errors that can lead to many side-effects.
- Environments — An overworked healthcare worker is prone to mistakes due to excess stress and fatigue.
- Incomplete patient information — Lacking information on any patient can lead to a multitude of errors. For example, if a patient is allergic to a certain molecule in a medicine and the healthcare professional does not have the complete patient information, the patient may suffer severe side-effects, or even die.
- Systemic problems — Medications that are not properly labeled, medicines with similar-looking names placed next to each other, lack barcodes, are just asking for errors.
Some of the common dispensing errors made include:
- Giving patients the wrong prescriptions
- Failing to verify dosage or drug name
- Not adequately advising the patient
Some common cases involving dispensing errors include:
- Mislabeling of prescriptions
- Personnel that is not well trained
- Handwriting that is illegible
- Wrong use of decimals
- Excessive workload
- Poor written and oral communication
Groups of people that are mostly prone to medication errors include: Newborn Babies The ElderlyOur legal team of experts at Downtown LA Law will handle your medication errors case with the attention it deserves. Given the broad amount of experience that we have in medication error cases, we will work hard to ensure that your rights are protected. If you or someone that you know has been a victim of medication errors, contact our experienced team of legal lawyers. We will help you secure the compensation that is due to you.
Largest California Pharmacies
- CVS Pharmacy
- Rite Aid
- Target (CVS)
- Vons Pharmacy