Though patients assume that their doctor and pharmacist are fully informed and have made the best possible decisions for their health, sometimes prescription drug errors can put the lives of patients at serious risk. There are two major types of prescription drug errors that are pervasive within the Memphis area: physician malpractice and pharmacy error. Both of these problems can cause considerable physical problems, long-lasting impairments, and even death. According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), about 7,000 people per year are estimated to die from medication errors alone; more than breast cancer, motor vehicle accidents, or AIDS. Those found responsible for medicinal errors that injure a patient may be held responsible through a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Have you or someone you know been the victim of a prescription drug error by a physician or pharmacy? The attorneys at Morgan & Morgan are skilled at dealing with litigating cases having to do with Memphis prescription drug errors. Receive a free, no-obligation consultation by filling out the form on the right.
Although technology is constantly improving pharmaceutical processes, many medication errors still occur as a result of poor oral or written communications, negligence, or system errors by doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals. Common problems include the legibility of prescriptions, spelling of drugs, authorized abbreviations, the strength and frequency of the drug, prescriber information, and other vital information surrounding prescription writing. Health professionals are generally expected to meet a standard known in the medical community as "the five rights": the right drug, right dose, right route, right time, and right patient. When they fail to meet this standard, doctors may make an error of omission (failure to act correctly) or an error of commission (acted incorrectly). These problems put patients at serious risk of adverse reaction to the wrong drug, improper dosage, incorrect frequency, or other problem caused by the doctor's negligence.
Prescription drug errors may also occur at the pharmacy. According to the National Patient Safety Foundation, there are 30 million dispensing errors out of 3 billion prescriptions at outpatient pharmacies. This has been attributed to inadequate support systems, pharmacy work overload, few safety nets, bad communication between doctors and pharmacies, influxes of patients at pharmacies at certain time periods, and other problems. Pharmacists have a duty to check any unclear or questionable prescription with the prescriber, as well as check multiple times to make sure the right medication and dosage is going in each bottle. When this does not happen, irreversible harm can be done to patients and the responsible parties may be held accountable through a lawsuit.
Prescription drug errors and mix-ups could have disastrous consequences for patients. First, some patients that badly need their prescription could possibly end up with different drugs that do not fulfill their needs. Second, those allergic to drugs accidently prescribed or provided could accidentally take one of these pills and have an adverse reaction. Third, mistakes could lead to an unanticipated interaction between other medicine and the provided prescription, as the cocktails would not have been approved by a doctor. Fourth, the frequency of drug ingestion and the dosage amount could be such that the patient accidentally overdoses. These and other scenarios could lead to tragic circumstances for a patient, possibly leading to debilitating injury, illness, or even death.
Sadly, it is not completely uncommon for doctors, nurses, and pharmacists to prescribe and administer the incorrect medication to patients. This kind of medical neglect and medical malpractice poses serious risks to patients and, if unreported, puts future patients in considerable danger. If you believe that you or a loved one may have been the victim of a doctor's medical negligence, neglect, or malpractice, contact a medical malpractice attorney to see if you could possibly be entitled to compensation for your pain, medical bills, and lost wages. Fill out our case review form on the right for a free consultation from an experienced Morgan & Morgan medication error attorney.