Pharmaceutical Error Attorneys
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Prescription drug use in the U.S. has increased dramatically over recent years, with nearly half of all Americans taking at least one medication at any given time. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), medication errors result in at least one death every day and injure 1.3 million people each year. If you or a loved one have suffered harm due to a medication error, the Alabama pharmaceutical error attorneys with Belt & Bruner, P.C. can help you understand your legal rights and fight to obtain compensation for your losses.
People rightfully expect their doctors and pharmacies to correctly prescribe, administer, and dispense their medicine, but medication errors are one of the most common forms of pharmaceutical malpractice.
What Is a Medication Error?
A medication error is a failure in the treatment process that causes or has the potential to lead to harm to the patient. Medical errors that result in harm to the patient are known as adverse drug events (ADEs). Approximately 770,000 people are injured or killed annually due to ADEs and it is estimated that roughly half of all ADEs are preventable.
Common Types of Medication Errors
Medication errors can happen at any point in the distribution process–prescription, dosage, administration of the drug, filling the prescription at the pharmacy, or monitoring the drug’s effects on the patient.
Some of the common types of medication errors include:
- Dispensing error ¬– Occurs when there is an inconsistency between the prescription provided by the physician and the medication the pharmacy delivers to the patient. This can include incorrectly filling the order, incorrect or ambiguous labeling, giving the patient the wrong prescription or dosage, providing inaccurate medication instructions, or failure to identify potentially dangerous drug interactions.
- Prescription error ¬– Can happen when a physician makes the wrong decision about which drug to prescribe for the patient’s condition, prescribes a contraindicated medication (harmful drug-drug interactions), fails to recognize or ask about a patient’s drug allergies, or failure to warn patient about potentially dangerous drug side effects.
- Transcribing error – Incorrectly transcribing the prescription to the pharmacy such as inadequate patient information, ambiguous abbreviations, typos on dosage, illegible handwriting, or incomplete orders.
- Dosage error – Failure to prescribe the right dosage, timing, frequency, or route of the medication.
- Administration error – Occurs when there is a discrepancy between the medication received by the patient and the medication that was intended by the prescriber. Administration errors usually involve giving the wrong drug to a patient, giving a patient the wrong dosage, missing dosages, giving the drug at the wrong time or by the wrong route, or using the wrong technique.
Common Causes of Medication Errors
Medical errors can almost always be prevented. Common causes include:
- Poor communication between two or more health care providers
- Poor communication between health care providers and patients
- Failure to follow drug administration protocol
- Improper storage of medication
- Inadequate monitoring of patient’s response to medication
- Overworked or high-stress among health care providers
- Inadequate training
- Failure to obtain a full history of the patient’s prescription drug use and their existing medications
- Lack of or poorly designed protocols for high-alert drugs
- Incorrect diagnosis
- Confusing similar sounding drug names during verbal orders
- Failure to double-check a patient’s identity before administering a drug
- Dose miscalculations
Contact Our Alabama Pharmaceutical Error Attorneys For Help
Medical providers and pharmacists that fail to meet the standard of care when prescribing, administering, or dispensing medication, are putting their patient’s lives at risk. Medication errors may rise to the level of pharmaceutical malpractice if your injuries were caused by your provider’s negligent or reckless actions or omissions.
Under Alabama law, the amount of time an individual has to file a medical malpractice lawsuit depends on the age of the person injured and when the medical injury was discovered. If you have been harmed due to a medication or pharmacy error, it is important that you speak with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer right away.
The pharmaceutical error attorneys at Belt & Bruner, P.C. have more than 65 years of collective experience representing individuals injured by the negligence of a pharmacist, hospital, and other healthcare providers.
We have an established track record of success in medical malpractice cases and we will fight for the maximum possible compensation for your case. In the past, we have helped our clients obtain several judgments and settlements in excess of $1 million.