Modern medicines have helped prolong people’s lives and treat diseases that were once thought to be incurable. In certain situations, though, these powerful drugs can be deadly. If the patient receives the wrong medicine or dosage, or if the drug interacts with another medicine, then the result could be a serious medical complication.
According to the National Patient Safety Foundation, medication mistakes affect 1.5 million people in the United States each year. Of these, 1.3 million suffer serious health complications.
A large portion of medication errors result from the negligence of health-care workers. Victims may face exorbitant medical bills due to the effects of these mistakes. Fortunately, a personal-injury lawyer may be able to help these patients recover much-needed financial relief.
If you were the victim of a medication mistake in Florida, then contact a Fort Lauderdale medical malpractice attorney from the Law Offices of Needle & Ellenberg, PA. We can evaluate your case to determine if you may have valid grounds for a claim. Call 305-290-1736 to schedule a consultation.
Until then, read on to learn five medication mistakes that are common in Florida:
1. Wrong Patient
Pharmacists sometimes dispense prescriptions to the wrong patients. This usually occurs if the pharmacist confuses people’s names.
Due to a typing error or a simple oversight, a patient may receive a drug that does not treat his or her symptoms – or causes side effects that lead to medical complications. Always check your medicines before taking them.
2. Incorrect Drugs
Even if there is no name confusion, the pharmacist may accidentally provide the incorrect drugs. Fatigue is often the cause of this error, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
Many drugs have similar names, and pharmacists can easily mistake one for another. This can have tragic consequences for the patient.
3. Switching Drugs
Sometimes pharmacists switch drugs without asking the doctor who wrote the initial prescription. This can happen if a drug is unavailable and the pharmacist decides to substitute it for another that treats similar conditions. Unfortunately, a slight difference in the drug’s chemistry could cause major complications for the patient.
4. Expired Medications
Certain drugs lose their efficacy after they expire. As a result, they offer little to no benefit for patients.
Furthermore, old medicines can have side effects that endanger people’s lives. Every year, thousands of patients go to the hospital because of complications that stem from expired drugs.
If a pharmacist misunderstands a prescription, then the patient may not receive the right medication. Misinterpretation is a leading cause of dispensing errors. Often, this is because pharmacists cannot read the doctor’s handwriting. This is why more physicians are using typesets.
The majority of dispensing mistakes happen because pharmacists are too busy, distracted or overworked. As a result, patients may face devastating medical conditions that cost a veritable fortune to treat.
If you were a victim of a health-care worker’s negligence, then contact the Law Offices of Needle & Ellenberg, PA. Call 305-290-1736 to discuss your situation with a medical malpractice attorney in Florida.