In the United States, patients place an extraordinary amount of trust in doctors, pharmacists, and other medical professionals. You trust these individuals to prescribe you drugs and recommend treatments based on their schooling and insight. Few people will question their doctor’s or pharmacist’s orders. Yet medication errors happen with shocking regularity. According to a 2016 article published in the Journal of Community Hospital Internal Medicine Perspectives, medication errors cause harm to about 1.5 million patients every year. These mistakes prolong about two million hospital stays every year by as much as 4.6 days. Please keep reading as our medication error attorney lists signs your doctor or pharmacist may have been negligent.
Medication Errors and Medication Negligence
A medication error attorney may use the term “medication error” or “medication negligence” to describe a wide variety of mistakes. Some of these mistakes could include:
- Giving you a medication that had not been prescribed to you
- Giving you the wrong dosage of medication
- Not checking for potential negative interactions between medications
- Filling a prescription with a different medication
- Not explaining how to properly take the medication or what side effects to look for
Both doctors and pharmacists play a critical role in making sure patients are prescribed appropriate medications and that they receive the medications they are prescribed. Unfortunately, both doctors and pharmacists are human and can make mistakes. Some errors may be unavoidable, but others may be due to:
- Not reading a patient’s chart or medical history correctly
- Reading labels too fast before filling a prescription
- Keeping poor notes or making illegible notes that cannot be deciphered
- Confusing similar-sounding medications
Medication errors that happen because of any of these or similar reasons may support a claim with a medication error attorney for compensation against the negligent doctor or pharmacist.
Be Vigilant for Medication Errors
Patients, too, can reduce the likelihood of a medication error injury. Make sure you understand what medications are prescribed to you, what dosages you are prescribed, and what conditions each medication treats.
If you have trouble remembering or understanding your doctor, take a trusted friend or family member with you to appointments.
Make certain both your doctor and your pharmacist know all medications and supplements you are taking. Keep a list if you are worried you might forget and bring this list with you to appointments.
Even over-the-counter medications can react negatively to certain prescriptions, so it is important that your medical team knows about every pill or medicine you are taking.
Finally, read the labels of your prescription bottles after filling your prescription. Do the name of the medicine and dosage instructions look familiar? Make sure the medicine itself looks similar to what you’ve taken in the past.
If you have any questions or concerns that you may have received the wrong medicine, contact your pharmacist immediately.
Lowcountry Law, LLC’s Medication Error Attorney Can Help
Receiving the wrong medication can be dangerous and, in some cases, deadly. If you or a loved one have been hurt in this way, attorney Matthew Breen with Lowcountry Law, LLC wants to speak with you. You may be eligible to pursue a claim for damages.
Start by calling our offices today and asking to speak with an attorney in a free, no-obligation case consultation.