Prescription Errors May Lead To Tragedy in Florida
Prescription errors are common in the U.S. and may seriously injure or kill unsuspecting patients.
Millions of Americans depend on their prescription medication to keep them healthy, cure a condition, minimize their symptoms and help them to achieve a better quality of life. A team of medical professionals, including physicians, nurses, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are responsible for writing, filling, dispensing and sometimes administering medication to patients. Surprisingly, there are a number of incidents where patients are given the wrong prescription medication in Florida and around the country. These prescription errors may lead to serious patient injuries or death. According to a Forbes report, more than one million drug errors occur each year, resulting in the death of at least 7,000 people.
HOW PRESCRIPTION ERRORS OCCUR
A prescription error may occur in a number of different ways. Errors in the way the prescription was written by the physician called in to the pharmacy by a nurse or filled by the pharmacist may result in tragedy. According to the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, common types of drug errors include:
- Prescribing error: The physician prescribed the wrong drug based on the patient’s symptoms or without taking into consideration any interactions that may occur with the patient’s existing drug regimen. The doctor may also write illegibly leading to a prescription misfill.
- Omission error: When a health care professional fails to administer a patient’s medication on time.
- Improper dose: Patient was given the wrong dose of medication based on the patient’s weight and condition. For example, a doctor writes a prescription for colchicine 10.0mg when the proper dosing should be 1.0mg. The 10.0mg dosing may lead to colchicine poisoning and ultimately the patient’s death.
- Dispensing error: The medication given to the patient was not the medication that the physician ordered. This can happen with medications that sound and look similar to one another, such as Celebrex and Celexa.
- Wrong patient: A prescription was given to the wrong patient. The patient may have taken the wrong drug, resulting in complications.
While some prescription errors are caught before they are ever ingested or administered to the patient, others can be erroneously given to a patient for a significant amount of time before it is discovered.
CASE IN POINT
One little boy was extremely fortunate that his mother caught a prescription error before she allowed her child to take the drug. According to WPTV News, the child had been taking a popular medication for Attention Deficit Disorder, and the doctor had just changed the boy’s dosage. Yet, when the mom went to give her child the pill, it looked odd to her, triggering a call to the pharmacy. The drug had been misfilled with a medication given to adult schizophrenics. One dose of the drug would have taken the young boy’s life.
WHEN TO CONTACT A LAWYER
Whether you have been seriously injured as a result of a prescription error, or you have lost a loved one due to a health care professional’s negligence, you may want to consider contacting an attorney. A medical malpractice lawyer may help you to better understand your rights when it comes to filing a legal claim. You may be eligible for compensation for your injuries. Partnering with an attorney may help you through the legal process.