Each year, medication mistakes injure over one million people in the U.S. Many wonder whether they have any recourse against these preventable events. We look at where in the medication-use system medication errors can occur, and what options are available to you if these errors have caused you to suffer serious injury.
Where and How Do Medication Errors Occur?
Unfortunately, medication mistakes can occur at every point in the medication-use system. For example, the wrong medication can be prescribed for a patient. As well, prescription errors can occur when the information on a prescription is misinterpreted.
The incorrect entry of prescription information into doctor, pharmacy, or hospital computer systems can also result in mistakes. The incorrect dosage of medications can also be administered in a hospital setting.
Errors can occur during medical education. An individual can be under-qualified to perform their duties but be given a license to practice. The list goes on and on.
What Injuries Can Occur as the Result of Medication Mistakes?
Medication mistakes can cause a wide range of injuries. They can place patients in life-threatening situations. Patients can become temporarily or permanently disabled. Unborn children can develop birth defects, and health problems can also develop later on in a child’s life. Medication errors have also resulted in patient deaths.
What’s Being Done to Prevent Medication Errors?
There are many strategies to prevent or reduce the likelihood that medication errors will occur. Guidance recommendations by the FDA include distinct and legible imprint codes on oral medications that allow consumers and healthcare providers to verify the product and its strength.
The FDA recommends that the packaging design for drugs should be appropriate for their use. For example, a topical medication should not be packaged in a container that looks like a product for oral, nasal, or optical use.
Another FDA recommendation is to ensure dosing devices like oral syringes that are packaged with their liquid dosage form contain the same measurement amounts, as opposed to a syringe being in milligrams and the dose being stated in milliliters.
Hospitals, pharmacies, and many other locations where pharmaceutical products are prescribed and administered also have a wide range of protocols and procedures in place to prevent medication mistakes. Despite this, however, millions of Americans continue to sustain serious or fatal injuries as a result of these errors.
You Can Sue for Your Injuries
The unfortunate consequences of medical errors can last for months, years, or a lifetime. If the correct measures were followed in the first place, you would never have had to suffer at all. If you’ve been injured as the result of a pharmacy prescription error or another type of medical negligence, you have options.
The first step is to contact the experienced medical malpractice lawyers at Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers. We have secured millions in recovered damages for our clients, and we can help you get the compensation you deserve. Claim your free consultation today; just call 713-364-0723 to speak with an attorney.