Medication Errors – Seemingly Small Mistakes That Can Be Lethal

We often go to the pharmacy, hand over the medication prescription given to us by our physician and assume that we will be given the proper medication. Not once do we take into consideration that the pharmacist will make a medication error.
There are a several types of medication errors that can occur that we should dedicate more time reviewing before assuming that the vial of medication you were handed is the proper medication you should take.
pills-tablets-1-1184376.jpgPerhaps a simple yet safe way of cross-checking is by taking a picture of your medication prescription before handing it over to the pharmacist. That way, when you pick up your medication you can compare the information on the vial with that of the written prescription that was provided by your doctor. If there are any concerns or questions, you can ask the pharmacist right then and there prior to leaving home with that medication.
Dosage Error – Often times, the pharmacist will make a dosage error and issue the wrong dosage of medication. This can be a very dangerous and lethal mistake especially in medication involving infants. Always be sure the dosage and frequency that was prescribed by your physician is what is duplicated both on the vial and the sticker on the medication box or bag. This is especially important in cases where your infant may be in daycare and you are handing that medication bag and vial to a daycare worker to administer to your infant.

Medication Error – When medications have similar names or the pharmacist simply misreads the script, a patient may be provided with the wrong medication altogether. Not only are there obvious risks to taking the wrong medication but there may be allergic reactions resulting in anaphylaxis and/or anaphylactic shock which can be deadly if not timely and properly treated.

Contraindication – Perhaps one of the more subtle mistakes is one that involves medications that are contraindicated. In this case, let’s suppose you have several ongoing medical issues and are being seen by various specialty physicians (e.g. a primary care physician, a gastroenterologist, a psychologist and an endocrinologist), it is crucial that you provide all of your doctors with a recent and up-to-date list of all the medication s you are on from the various doctors you are seeing to make sure that the one doctor does not provide a medication that has an adverse reaction with a medication that another one of your doctor’s may have already prescribed for you.. Another way to cross-check this is to confirm with the pharmacist that the medication prescribed is not contraindicated with any of the current medications you are taking. There is a system in most pharmacies that should red flag contraindicated medications, but you should not always rely on their system.

The lawyers at David J. Halberg P.A. have assisted individuals and families that have been injured as a result of medical malpractice for over 40 years. If you or a loved one has been injured, it is important to contact a qualified and knowledgeable attorney who can help you, and your family, recover the compensation that you deserve. The lawyers at David J. Halberg, P.A. have years of experience handling these types of cases and are willing to speak to you at any time for a free consultation.