Medication errors can occur at a variety of steps in the process of providing patient care, from ordering the medication to administering the drug. Some of the most common errors, however, take place during the dispensing part of the prescribing process. Whether the result of miscommunication between a doctor and a pharmacist, illegible handwriting, or even a computer error, medication mistakes can have devastating consequences for consumers. In fact, experts estimate that between 7,000 and 9,000 people die every year in the U.S. because of a medication error, while thousands more suffer injury and side effects. Fortunately, it is possible to hold negligent healthcare providers liable for their failure to dispense the correct medications, so if you were given the wrong medicine or the wrong dosage and were injured as a result, you should consider reaching out to a team of dedicated Miami medication errors lawyers who can walk you through your legal options.
Why are Medications Dispensed Incorrectly?
The causes of dispensing-related medication mistakes are wide-ranging, but most can be attributed to human error, such as:
- A failure to properly communicate drug orders;
- Illegible handwriting, misunderstood symbols, and improper translation;
- Confusion over similarly named drugs;
- Confusion over the use of similar packaging;
- Errors with dosing units or weight;
- A failure to verify patient information; and
- Inputting incorrect data into the pharmacy’s record system.
Even when they are the result of human error, however, many medication errors could be prevented were it not for the use of flawed systems that fail to detect mistakes. Excessive workloads, the use of similar drug names, lack of support staff, and insufficient time to counsel patients have also been linked to many medication errors, including dispensing mistakes.
The Consequences of Dispensing Errors
Whatever the cause of a medication dispensing error, the results can be catastrophic for patients. Potential repercussions include allergic reaction, stroke, heart failure, miscarriage, birth defects, or even death. While some may be fortunate enough to avoid long-term consequences, many victims of dispensing errors are not so fortunate. Emergency treatment, hospital stays, surgery, additional medications, and chronic health problems, for instance, can all take a serious physical and emotional toll on victims for years to come. The financial cost of these kinds of mistakes is also alarming, with many victims forced to pay thousands of dollars in additional medical bills. Fortunately, it is possible for injured patients to recover these losses from the negligent pharmacists that make these kinds of errors by filing a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Available 24 Hours a Day
At Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum, LLP, we dedicate ourselves to helping our clients recover the compensation they deserve from the negligent healthcare professionals whose carelessness caused their injuries. We are available to answer your questions and concerns 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so don’t hesitate to call us at 305-371-2692 to learn more about how an experienced Miami medication errors lawyer can help you seek compensation for your medical bills and other losses.