When Prescription Errors Result in Permanent Injury or Death
Prescription medications are used by millions of Americans every year to treat a huge range of medical conditions, from minor illnesses to life-threatening diseases. For the most part, patients are effectively treated through the use of prescription drugs manufactured and distributed by major pharmaceutical companies. These medications are rigorously tested and monitored to ensure that no harm is caused, other than the known side effects associated with each drug. However, just as powerful prescriptions have the ability to heal, they also all too often have the power to result in permanent injury or death if they are not administered properly.
There are few things as tragic as a person who is trying to do what is right for their health but instead unknowingly ingests a medication that does more harm than good. Here at McGehee ☆ Chang, Landgraf, we understand just how much harm a prescription or medication error can have to an individual as well as a family.
How Do Prescription Errors Occur?
There are many steps taken during the process of selecting and prescribing a medication to a patient, with potential errors at each phase. For instance, the prescribing doctor could choose an incorrect medication for the condition being treated, or he or she may write down the wrong dosage. Likewise, a doctor may accidentally prescribe a medication that interacts with other prescription drugs the patient is taking, or select a medication that the patient is allergic to. Even if the doctor does write a prescription that is completely correct and that takes all these factors into consideration, a pharmacist may still read it incorrectly or fill the prescription with the wrong potency or drug. Additionally, a nurse dispensing medications in a hospital setting may make an error. With so many people involved in providing medication to patients, there is plenty of room for mistakes that could have deadly consequences.
Common Prescription Error Types
Exact prescription errors vary and every case is unique, but there are some common types that we at McGehee ☆ Chang, Landgraf see all too frequently, including the following:
- Interactions – Taking more than one medication at the same time can sometimes cause interactions, but both doctors and pharmacists should be aware which drugs could cause these issues.
- Incorrect Doses – Some medications can be extremely harmful if a dose that is too high is taken. Overdosing on a prescription medication has the potential to result in death. Indeed, almost any substance can be toxic at too high a dose.
- Allergic Reactions – Patients could experience an allergic reaction to a drug prescribed by a doctor who was negligent in checking their medical histories. Even if the patient has never taken the exact drug in question before, there could be reason to believe they may be allergic if they are allergic to other related drugs.
- Side Effects – Some drugs have serious side effects, and medical professionals should provide patients with information regarding the risks of those side effects. Certain side effects may be more hazardous to certain people.
- Wrong Medication – Some errors can result in the wrong medication being prescribed or dispensed to the patient.
Contact Us Today
No one should ever have to suffer from permanent injury or the loss of a loved one as the result of medical malpractice due to prescription error. Let McGehee ☆ Chang, Landgraf help you if you or someone you love has been harmed by the negligence of a medical professional in prescribing or administering prescription medication. Give us a call today at 713-864-4000 for a consultation.