Different doctors all over the world utilize a wide range of medicines to cure a variety of illnesses. These drugs are only effective if the correct medicine is given for their condition. Pharmaceutical errors, either on the part of a doctor or a pharmacy, can be scary because they can have potentially life-threatening side effects. Any medical professional incorrectly dispensing medication that causes a patient to suffer may be guilty of malpractice.
All pharmacy technicians are trained to avoid dispensing the wrong medication, but human error is always a possibility. A pharmacy technician may grab the wrong medication from the shelf or misread a label. If a doctor writes a prescription for the wrong medication, a pharmacy technician may not catch the error. The patient may not realize they were given the wrong medication until it is too late.
If you have suffered from any medical malpractice, you should consult an experienced injury lawyer. By investigating your case from the initial phase, they will analyze everything and provide practical legal solutions. They will stand by your side in all types of medical malpractice cases.
Pharmacy Error and its types
Pharmaceutical errors can occur whenever a patient has been prescribed the incorrect medication dosage or given the wrong medicine. This error can also happen when miscommunication occurs while placing a prescription order, if either the pharmacist or doctor exhibits some form of negligence when setting or filling the order, if medications are improperly combined, or when the product is incorrectly labeled.
There are different types of pharmaceutical errors that can occur at different stages of prescription. The type of error will generally determine who is at fault and how severe the consequences may be.
A doctor’s prescription should contain a lot of medication information, including the type of medication, daily dosage amounts, and the total dosage amount. This information should be mentioned on both the prescription and the medication bottle. Pharmacy errors usually occur in those three areas, as mentioned above. For example, patients can be given too little or too much medicine, or they may receive the wrong drug altogether.
Causes Of Pharmaceutical Errors
There are many causes of pharmaceutical errors. One cause is when a doctor prescribes the wrong medication for a patient. This can happen if the doctor is not familiar with the patient’s medical history or if the doctor does not properly communicate with the pharmacist.
Another cause is when a pharmacy technician fills a prescription incorrectly. This can happen if the technician is not properly trained, or if they are distracted while filling the prescription.
There can also be a miscommunication between the physician and the pharmacist due to poor handwriting. It is important for the physician to write clearly to avoid any confusion.
Mistyping dosage instructions for patients is also a common cause of pharmaceutical errors. If the doctor prescribes the wrong dosage, the pharmacist may fill the prescription with the incorrect amount of medication.
The use of abbreviations is also a common cause of pharmaceutical errors. There are many medical abbreviations that can be easily misinterpreted. For example, the abbreviation “qhs” can be misinterpreted as “qhr” (every hour) instead of “qhs” (every night at bedtime). This can lead to the patient taking the medication too often or not often enough.
Physicians and other medical professionals might make mistakes when they are overworked, tired, or stressed. It is important for them to double check their work to avoid any errors. When overloaded with patients, it is important for physicians to take breaks and not rush through each patient.
These negligent acts can have a serious impact on a patient’s health, and in some cases, can even be life-threatening. Whether medical professionals are rushed or stressed or distracted, they have a duty to make sure that they are providing the best possible care for their patients.
Consequences of Pharmaceutical Errors
Pharmaceutical errors may have several dangerous consequences for the patient, which usually includes the following:
- Incorrect dosage: The patient may not receive the correct amount of medication, which can either be too little or too much. If the patient does not receive enough of the medication, their condition may not improve or may even worsen. If the patient receives too much of the medication, they may experience dangerous side effects or an overdose.
- Wrong medication: The patient may receive the wrong medication, which can either be a less effective medication or a more dangerous one. The wrong medication can cause the patient’s condition to worsen or can cause dangerous side effects.
- Allergic reactions: The patient may have an allergic reaction to the medication, which can range from a mild reaction to a life-threatening one.
- Contraindications: The patient may have a contraindication to the medication, which means that the medication should not be taken because it can interact dangerously with another medication that the patient is taking.
- Compounding errors: The patient may receive a medication that has not been prepared correctly, which can either be too strong or too weak. This can cause the patient to experience dangerous side effects.
- Interactions: The patient may experience a dangerous interaction between the medication and another substance, such as alcohol.
The consequences of pharmaceutical errors can be very serious, and in some cases, can even be life-threatening. It is important for patients to be aware of the potential dangers of taking medication and to report any strange side effects to their physician immediately.
How to Prevent Pharmacy Errors from Happening?
There are several steps that patients can take to prevent pharmacy errors from happening:
- Make sure that the physician writes the prescription clearly.
- Make sure that the pharmacist reads the prescription carefully before filling it.
- Make sure that the patient receives the correct medication and dosage.
- Ask questions if there is anything that the patient does not understand.
- Be aware of the possible side effects of the medication.
- Report any strange side effects to the physician immediately.
By taking these steps, patients can help to prevent pharmacy errors from happening and can ensure that they receive the correct medication and dosage. Asking questions and being aware of the possible side effects of medication can help to keep patients safe.