Prescription errors are one of the most common medical mistakes that
occur in hospitals, doctor's offices, pharmacies, and nursing homes
across the nation. In 2002 alone, prescription errors resulted in at
least 100,000 patients being given the wrong medication. Seven
thousand people died that year as a result of serious prescription
errors. When a medical professional fails ensure that the right
patient receives the right dose of the right medication, they can be
liable for any resulting damages that are caused by their medical
Prescription errors due to medical malpractice can be the product of
many mistakes. If a medical professional does not exercise proper
care, prescription errors may involve ordering a medication for a
patient with known allergies to that drug. If a patient's medical
record is not properly evaluated before prescribing, their current
medications could adversely react with the new medication. Persons
with special health concerns, such as liver or kidney problems, may
suffer as a result of prescription errors when an inappropriate or
unsafe medicine is administered.
Prescription errors can also involve the wrong medication or the
wrong dose being administered altogether. When a person receives the
wrong medication, they are most likely not receiving the necessary
treatment they need. A person may actually develop health symptoms
as a result of prescription errors. These drug reactions may be
mistaken for another condition and treated inappropriately with
additional medications. Doctors are notorious for illegible
handwriting. If a pharmacist is unable to read their handwriting or
misreads the instructions they may make prescription errors that
could be injurious to that patient's health.
Prescription errors can be particularly dangerous when they involve
children and infants. Young children are much more vulnerable to
injuries because of dose related prescription errors than adults
are. Children don't have the immune systems or the chemical
tolerance to handle taking the wrong medicine as well as adults.
Evaluating specific age and weight factors are of particular
importance in pediatrics to ensure that prescription errors are
avoided. It is estimated that one in every eighteen prescriptions
written for children involve prescription errors related to the type
of medication or dosage.
While there is absolutely no excuse for a medical professional's
negligence, there are some actions that consumers can take to avoid
prescription errors. Checking all medications to ensure that the
information is correct, asking the pharmacist about drug
interactions and side effects, and reading available information on
the drug you are given can help you catch any possible prescription
errors that may have occurred.
Medical research has found that 90 percent of all prescription
errors are preventable when proper medical protocol is adhered to.
If you or a loved one has suffered injury or illness as a result of
prescription errors, you may wish to learn more about your legal
rights and options. To learn more about medical malpractice
involving prescription errors, please contact us to speak with a
qualified and experienced attorney in your area.
Contact us by
Email or call us today at (401) 788-0600 to speak with a
someone from our firm..