A substantial number of Americans are taking some form of prescription medication, many of those individuals are taking two or more drugs. The possibility of a doctor or pharmacy committing a medication error is an important issue for many people. Unfortunately, prescription mistakes are a common problem that cause many deaths and serious injuries each year. If you have been hurt due to a pharmaceutical error, share your story with a Philadelphia medication error lawyer at Lowenthal & Abrams, Injury Attorneys to learn more about your legal rights in an instance of medical malpractice.
Causes of Medication Errors
People who have been harmed by incorrect prescriptions naturally want to know how such a mistake could happen. There are many potential reasons that a patient may end up with the wrong medication. These reasons can be grouped into three main categories:
- Pharmaceutical Error: This occurs when a pharmacy fills a patient’s prescription with the wrong drug. It can happen when a pharmacist misreads a doctor’s writing, gives the patient the wrong dosage, or confuses one drug for another.
- Medical Staff Error: This occurs when a doctor makes a mistake when prescribing a medication, or when hospital workers make a mistake while administering a medication to the patient. This can result in the patient receiving the wrong medication, the wrong dosage, or not receiving any medication at all.
- Defective Pharmaceutical Products: This occurs when a pharmaceutical company fails to thoroughly test a product or carefully oversee its production. When this happens, pharmacies and doctors are not liable, as they prescribed and supplied the drug in good faith. The responsibility lies with the pharmaceutical company.
A lawyer in Philadelphia could help determine the cause of a medication error and take appropriate legal action.
How Can you Protect Yourself from Prescription Errors?
Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can protect yourself from receiving the wrong prescription.
- Always ask your doctor or nurse about the prescription. Find out why you are taking it, what the dose is and the various names under which the medication might be dispensed.
- Make certain you tell your doctor about all medications and supplements you are taking. Even a vitamin can interfere or interact with medication, causing serious problems.
- Make certain you tell your pharmacist about all medications and supplements as well. Sometimes pharmacists will catch issues doctors do not.
- Once you get the medication, check the pamphlet to make sure it serves the correct purpose. Also review the dose and the name. If you have any doubts, ask your pharmacist.
- For refills, if you see any difference in the appearance of the medication, ask the pharmacist about the change.
- In the hospital, ask about any medication the staff gives you. Before you put anything in your mouth or a staff member injects anything in your iv, find out what it is and why you are getting it. If the doctor did not tell you about the medication, make sure the item is really for you and not another patient.
A Philadelphia attorney could help someone pursue compensation after suffering losses from a medication error.
Call a Philadelphia Medication Error Attorney
In order to win compensation for your injuries, you would need to demonstrate in court that a medical worker or company’s preventable mistake injured you. It can be difficult to prove the extent of your injuries in court, and even more difficult to prove that the defendant is directly responsible. Having a dedicated Philadelphia medication error lawyer on your side can make the legal process much less difficult, as they have the education and experience to fight for your rights in court.