The Different Types of Medication Errors
When we get sick, we depend on qualified medical practitioners, such as doctors, physicians, nurses, and pharmacists, to do everything in their power to keep us healthy and free from injury and illness. We trust these people with our lives, as well as the lives of our loved ones. A single mistake when it comes to prescription medicine can have catastrophic, possibly even fatal, consequences. That’s why it is crucial that the individuals who prescribe and administer medications act responsibly and carefully while doing so.
Despite the fact that most prescription medication errors are preventable, there are still more than one million injuries and illnesses suffered by Americans every year as a result of these kinds of mistakes. Many of these medication error victims die, with a large percentage of the fatalities involving seniors and children.
Sometimes, the problem is that there are not enough trained medical personnel to counsel patients and take the time needed to verify that the right prescriptions, in the right dosages, are being administered. When staff is overworked, it is often the patients who suffer.
Other times, the fault for a medical error lies directly with the doctor or pharmacist. Negligence cannot be tolerated – especially not in the medical field, where neglect can easily lead to injury, illness, or death.
Common Prescription Medication Errors
Some of the most common types of medication errors in New Jersey and elsewhere include:
- Improper dosages: A medication needs to be taken in the proper dosage because some medications are extremely powerful. When a patient accidentally overdoses on a medication, it can result in serious injury or even death. In fact, according to a report issued by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), more than 40 percent of all fatal medication errors stem from improper doses.
- Prescribing the wrong medication: Most medications have very particular intended uses because of their different components. When the wrong medication is prescribed to a patient, and the patient uses the incorrect drug, it can have disastrous consequences. At a minimum, use of the wrong medication can lead to unnecessary pain for a patient who is suffering from a serious medical condition.
- Mislabeling: A labeling error on the prescription bottle can lead to an accidental overdose, especially when the wrong dosage is on the label. Additionally, if the label indicates the wrong drug inside the bottle, the patient might mistakenly ingest an improper medication.
It is important that anyone who has been prescribed a medication, especially a powerful medication, verify that the prescription is accurate. Talk to your doctor and your pharmacist and make sure that you understand how to properly use the medicine.
If you or a loved one suffered an injury or illness as a result of a doctor’s negligence, you need to speak with an experienced medical malpractice attorney. New Jersey medical malpractice victims have been relying upon the expertise of personal injury lawyers at Drazin and Warshaw, P.C. for more than 70 years. We have vast experience helping victims who have been injured as a result of a doctor’s negligence. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation about your case.