Types of Pharmaceutical Errors
Pharmaceutical and medication errors are pervasive in our country's healthcare system. The average patient knows little about the potent prescription medications they are prescribed and must depend on the expertise of highly trained professionals. It is the responsibility of a pharmacist or doctor to accurately determine the proper dosage of medications, and change the dosage to correspond with changing conditions of the patient. It also is important that medical professionals recognize which drug may create a conflict with another medication to avoid adverse drug interactions, a common problem that can result in dangerous side effects, or render a medication ineffective. Precise labeling of a drug is also vital, and pharmacies sometimes make labeling mistakes that cause a patient harm.
A MEDMARX report revealed that not following the correct protocol and workload increase are some of the contributing factors to pharmaceutical errors in the United States. When strict protocols are not followed, or if there is miscommunication between doctors and pharmacists, several errors can occur, including:
- In a hospital setting, a nurse or other staff member may misread or overlook a patient’s chart. This may lead them to dispense the wrong medication or dose, or to administer medication to a patient with a severe allergy.
- A doctor may misdiagnose a patient’s condition and prescribe the wrong medication.
- The patient may be prescribed a medicine that reacts negatively with other medications that they may be taking.
- The pharmacist misreads the doctor's instructions and dispenses the wrong medication.
- The pharmacy staff may give a patient someone else's medication.
- The patient may be prescribed drugs in the wrong dosage, which may not be effective in treating their medical condition.
- Hospital equipment that dispenses medication intravenously may fail, resulting in the patient getting too little or too much of a drug too quickly.
Any of these scenarios can result in severe harm to a particular patient. A pharmacy error can cause a patient to be deprived of life-saving drugs or medicines. In other cases, the wrong medication can cause severe allergic reaction. Often, pharmaceutical errors are not discovered till precious time is lost and the patient is forced to undergo corrective treatment, adding to the already expensive medical care. These situations can cause victims to take additional time off work and lose wages. In some extreme and unfortunate cases, these mistakes can even lead to the wrongful death of the patient.
Similar-sounding Drug Names
According to a study published in 2008 by MEDMARX Data Report and released by the U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP), one of the major causes of medication errors in the United States is lookalike or soundalike drugs. This report sheds light on more than 1,400 commonly-used drugs that had been mistakenly prescribed between 2003 and 2006. The data reveals that each of the ten most prescribed drugs in the US alone was confused with at least one other drug.
Overall, the similar sounding and lookalike brand names or general names caused thousands of medication errors across the country. To counter this problem, USP called on prescribers and pharmacists to clearly communicate the use of the drug apart from just its name on the packaging. This step can significantly reduce medication errors arising out of similar-sounding drug names. However, many patients have already suffered because of errors.
Compensation for Pharmaceutical Error
If your family has been hurt by the negligence of a medical professional, you may have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. You deserve to be compensated financially for your losses, which may include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Reduced income potential
- Rehabilitation care
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
In tragic cases of wrongful death, your family will have long-term needs that may require substantial financial assistance. Oklahoma recognizes the traumatic impact an untimely death can have on the loved ones of the deceased person. Unlike many other states where only the spouse and children can claim damages after a wrongful death, in Oklahoma, even the parents can receive compensation for the death of a loved one. In addition, seeking restitution is not dependent on whether the victim was a minor or adult at the time of death.
Our team of dedicated lawyers have successfully litigated against insurance companies, hospitals, and nursing home companies. We have also secured damages for clients in big cases against multinational companies such as Ford, Dow Chemical and Pfizer.
Seek the Legal Counsel of a Medical Malpractice Attorney
Tawwater Law Firm has more than 35 years of experience defending the rights of victims in Oklahoma and the surrounding areas. We always fight for victims who have been injured due to the carelessness or negligence of other entities. Our focus on the needs of each individual client has resulted in our firm being listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers of America, a publication that includes only the most respected law firms in the country. Tawwater Law Firm is highly experienced and proven in personal injury, medical malpractice, and civil trial practice. Our team of dedicated lawyers have successfully litigated against insurance companies, hospitals, and nursing home companies. We have also secured damages for clients in big cases against multinational companies such as Ford, Dow Chemical and Pfizer.
When you choose us as your legal representative, we will use the most advanced techniques to build your case. Our attorneys have the experience and resources to perform a thorough investigation into your medical malpractice case, identifying all potentially negligent parties and calling in medical experts, if needed. We have attained multi-million dollar settlements and jury awards, taking on national corporations and insurance companies alike, and we work to obtain the best possible result for each client. Tawwater Law Firm works on a contingency basis, so you pay us no fees unless and until you receive a settlement or jury verdict.
Receive Proven Representation
If you think you may have a medical malpractice case, it is important to act quickly because statute of limitations laws dictate the timing requirements for filing a lawsuit. Contact us to schedule a consultation with a compassionate lawyer, so we can start building your case, and seek the compensation you deserve.