It is very difficult to avoid being the victim of a medication mistake, but there are some things you can do to protect yourself and your family.
The Institute of Medicine estimates that there are at least 1.5 million preventable injuries and deaths a year from prescription drug errors.
- Types of Medication Errors
- Learn About Your Legal Options
- High-Risks for Medication Errors
- A Specialized Medical Background
- Protect Yourself From Medication Mistakes
- Incorrect dosage
- Bad drug interactions among different drugs prescribed
- Allergies to a particular class of drugs
- Mixing up names of medicines prescribed, such as Fosomax vs. Flomax or Celebrex vs. Crebyx
- Bad handwriting by doctors
- Bad phone calls by doctors or medical staff to the pharmacy.
- Mistakes in abbreviations used
- Fragmentation of care among different doctors
- Medicines prescribed for a treatment they are not approved for
- Communication problems among medical staff
Who is Responsible for Prescription Drug Errors:
Research shows that the greatest risk of medication errors comes from doctors rather than pharmacists.
But errors can be made by any medical professional, including nurses, who is responsible for your medication.
Medication errors happen in:
- Dispensaries by pharmacists
- Out-patient clinics.
- Nursing homes and long-term care facilities
- Doctors’ offices
By law, if a medication error is made and can cause you a significant injury, the hospital is required to notify the patient or the family about the medication error and the effect on the patient. Because there is no good excuse for a medication error, doctors often will either downplay the possible injuries or say they do not know what the results of the medication error will be.
Often people who are victims of medication errors have more than one medical condition. This makes it even more difficult to determine what is the result of the medication error. Also, sometimes doctors use the patient’s other medical conditions to hide the results of the medication error.
This is why it is critical that the patient’s medical records be examined as soon as possible by a medical expert with the Law Offices of William H. Newkirk. In most cases, medication errors can only be detected by close evaluation of medical records.
Research shows that patients are at high-risk in:
- Intensive care units
- Chemotherapy out-patient clinics
- Nursing homes and long-term care facilities.
Prior to law school, he worked in the pharmacology industry. As a leading medical malpractice attorney, Bill Newkirk has a deep understanding of medical issues that works in your favor.
Bill Newkirk’s success for his clients comes from a deep understanding of the law, a knowledge of pharmacology, and familiarity with the effects that serious injuries have on the human body.
Sometimes your doctor prescribes the wrong medication for you.
Sometimes the pharmacist gives you the wrong pills or the wrong dosage.
In the hospital a nurse might misread the doctor’s handwriting.
The result is that thousands of people every year suffer a wrongful death or serious personal injury because of a medication error.
Protect yourself and family members from a medication mistake:
- Give your doctor a list of all prescription medications, herbal remedies, and over-the-counter medications you are taking. This will reduce the chance of your doctor prescribing a drug that will clash with something you are taking.
- Before you leave the doctor’s office, read the prescription, including the dosage and how often the medication should be taken, to the doctor.
- When you pick up your prescription from the pharmacist, read the label, including the dosage and the prescription, and compare it to what the doctor ordered.
- Before you leave the pharmacy, always ask the pharmacist what the drug is for to confirm you have the right medication for your condition.
- When refilling medication, be aware if there is any change in the size, color, or shape of the pills. Ask the pharmacist about any differences.
- When you are in the hospital, have a family member or friend check the medications and dosages you are given against a list they keep of what has been ordered.
If you or a family member suffered a wrongful death or a serious personal injury because of a medication mistake, contact Bill Newkirk for a free, no-obligation consultation.