Over 100,000 Americans die each year of adverse drug reactions according to a Journal of the American Medical Association report. This is one of the six leading causes of death. When pharmacists are asked to work long, grueling hours, mistakes happen. When drugstores put profit over patient safety, pharmacy mistakes can occur. If you’ve suffered from a medication error, contact a Columbia, SC medication error lawyer today.
The National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention defines medication error as “any preventable event that may cause or lead to inappropriate medication use or patient harm while the medication is in the control of the healthcare professional, patient, or consumer.” These mistakes generally come in the form of a doctor who prescribes the wrong drugs or a wrong dosage or a pharmacist who gives out the wrong medication or a wrong dosage. When a patient takes the wrong drug or wrong dosage, life-threatening consequences may result.
Legal action can potentially be taken in both of these instances, and unlike most dangerous drug lawsuits, medication error claims and pharmacist negligence claims are filed against the medical professional who prescribed/gave out the drugs and not the manufacturer of the drugs themselves. In these types of lawsuits, it must be determined that someone prescribed or handed out the wrong drug and/or dosage and that error resulted in injury and/or sickness.
The Food and Drug Administration received about 30,000 reports of medication errors since 1992. The situations involve something as simple as a mix-up or misreading a label, but can result in death. One example is the death of a patient after getting injected with 200 units of insulin. The label read “20 U” for 20 units of insulin, but the U was misread as a zero. Another patient had a fatal hemorrhage because they were given another patient’s blood thinner warfarin medication. One patient had a prescription for 260 milligrams of Taxol, but the pharmacist filled the prescription for 260 milligrams of Taxotere.
If you or someone you love has suffered serious injuries or if someone you know has died due to a pharmacy mistake in South Carolina, it is crucial you seek the advice of attorneys experienced in the field of pharmacy negligence. From preservation of the evidence and proof of negligence to the ability to secure expert testimony regarding the standard of care that should be followed, The Solomon Law Group has the resources and the ability to help you through this devastating time.
What Kind of Medication Errors Can Occur?
Pharmacists and medical professionals can make prescription medication errors that endanger your health and sometimes your life. Common medication errors include:
- The wrong prescription is filled.
- The prescription doesn’t have the correct dosage.
- Data errors.
- Medication directions are not legible.
- Doctor doesn’t warn about how this drug could interact with others.
- Doctor doesn’t realize that a patient could have a dangerous drug interaction.
Why Do Medication Errors Happen?
When you go to the hospital or pick up a prescription, you expect everyone to be on the same page. The possibility of someone making a mistake doesn’t cross your mind. Unfortunately, medical professionals can and do make mistakes. The FDA lists several reasons for these errors to occur:
- Poor communication.
- Drug name and drug label confusion.
- Lack of employee knowledge.
- Patient doesn’t understand drug’s directions.
Something as simple as messy handwriting or similar names could be the reason why these possibly life-threatening mistakes happen.
What Is the Standard of Care?
While those are some of the reasons why medication error happens, it doesn’t excuse it. Medical professionals owe their patients standards of care. These dictate how the medical professionals should do their job. When the standards of care aren’t met, people suffer. Medical professionals should:
- Dispense the correct medication with the right dosage.
- Identify possible allergies or side effects of the medication, especially if the patient is taking more than one kind.
- Document previous allergic reactions.
What Do You Do If Your Medication Is Incorrect?
If you find that you have the wrong medication, stop taking it immediately and inform your doctor so you can get the correct medication. But your actions don’t stop there. Taking the wrong medication might have given you health complications.
Feeling like you can’t trust your doctor is a scary, isolating experience. Your recovery could take more hospital visits, other prescriptions, or care like physical therapy. Filing a medication error claim can help you get compensation for your expenses and damages.
Keep everything. Save the packaging, the bottle, receipts, and instructions. It’s okay if none of the medication is left. Keep a detailed journal about the effects of the medicine, or symptoms you have that could be related to the medicine.
How Do You Prove a Pharmacist Negligence Claim?
You should do the following before filing your medication error/pharmacist negligence claim. You must prove that the doctor or pharmacist’s malpractice is the reason why your injuries occurred. Follow these steps to help prove your claim:
- Hire a lawyer. Getting a medication error lawyer from the beginning is a smart move because you’ll have someone with expertise and knowledge of the process on your side.
- Get an expert opinion. Your lawyer can help you get an opinion from a medical professional to look at what happened to you. They will be able to establish the standards of care and how your doctor/pharmacist didn’t meet those standards and connect how that affected your wellbeing. Their testimony could be crucial.
- Gather evidence. In addition to keeping the medication and the notes on how it affected you, get medical records and receipts of everything that was a result of the error. This includes hospital visits and prescription receipts.
When you have everything together, your lawyer will help you with the filing process. They can even act as the main point of communication between insurance companies and the hospital or pharmacy.
Free Consultation with a Columbia, SC Medication Error Lawyer
Medication errors can leave you hurt and unsure of where to turn to next. It’s important to know you don’t have to go through this alone. The Solomon Law Group is ready to help you get the compensation you need so you can get back to your daily life.
Our lawyers have experience in medication error cases and we understand the stress you’re going through. Our goal is to get you or your loved one the justice they deserve.
If you or a loved one has been injured or died because of a pharmacy error, call The Solomon Law Group at 1-877-323-3120 for a free consultation.