Legal Rights After A Pharmaceutical Error
Over 7,000 different types of prescription medications exist for purchase in the United States. Pharmaceutical errors are considered a preventable event that involves inappropriate or inaccurate medication use or causes harm to a patient. Unfortunately, statistics from the National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention, tell a harrowing tale. Pharmaceutical errors are responsible for thousands of serious injuries and fatalities each year.
A pharmaceutical error is classified as medical malpractice negligence. If a medical professional, such as a doctor, pharmacist, nurse, or other health care professional did not prescribe a medication with an acceptable degree of care, it is considered medical malpractice. The most common types of pharmaceutical errors include:
- Incorrect medication is given to the patient
- Switching medication between patients
- Mislabeled medication
- Wrong dosage of medication given
- Confusing medications with similar names
- Providing medication to a patient that has negative interactions with other medications they are currently taking
- Failure to discuss or confirm a patient’s allergies or medical history
- Incorrect communication is given regarding the medication
- Lack of proper protocol in the distribution of the medication to the patient
Many of these mistakes are easily preventable, through communication or checking the medication properly. These types of pharmaceutical errors can cause severe injuries or even death. The cost, both physically and financially, to patients is oftentimes devastating and permanent.
Failure to Discuss Risks
Many pharmaceutical errors occur at the pharmacy. Some of these errors could be easily avoided through pharmacy protocols and safeguards, as well as direct communication from the pharmacist. Double-checking to ensure that the medication does not interact with any other drugs, or with any allergies that the patient may have is an important way to ensure that there are no medical errors.
Additionally, a patient should have a consultation with a pharmacist every time a new medication is prescribed. The option to visit with a pharmacist can provide valuable information that can prevent any possible dangerous side effects, other drug interactions, or allergic reactions.
Patients should at a minimum be informed of all risks associated with the medication by a pharmacist. A conversation with a medical professional or pharmacist should include the following:
- Determine and confirm that the correct medication was provided and distributed to the correct patient, along with the correct dosage
- Make sure that the patient has no allergies or any medical interactions that would create any adverse effects or dangerous interactions
- Visit with the patient about their medical history to discuss any types of medical interactions that may not appear in their medical chart or history
Failing to have this conversation can lead to permanent injuries or even death.
Let Us Help You Today
Every patient has the right to the correct prescription that is provided without errors that could lead to severe personal injury or death. If you have been injured due to a pharmaceutical error, you may have the right to receive compensation for your injuries. Contact an experienced Columbia personal injury attorney at The Stanley Law Group. Call 803-799-4700 and set up a consultation today.