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Medication Mistakes and Prescription Errors Are More Common Than You Might Think

When you head to the doctor to get a prescription for your medication, you expect that medical experts will make you better, not worse. Unfortunately, while most patients get the right medication in the right doses, medical mistakes in Hollywood and Florida occur every year, and some of these involve serious situations where a patient is injured or even killed because they have been given the wrong medication or the wrong dose.

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If you have suffered a complication or injury because of a medical error, you deserve answers. If you would like to speak to a legal professional about your situation, you can always contact Flaxman Law Group for a free consultation.

What are Medication Mistakes?

There are many situations that can lead to you getting the wrong medication or the wrong dose:

  • Prescribing doctors may mistakenly write down the wrong medication
  • Prescribing doctors may write down the wrong dose
  • Prescribing doctors may mix up the names of two medications with similar names
  • Pharmacists may dispense the wrong medication
  • Pharmacists may mix or prepare the wrong dose or the wrong medication
  • Pharmacists may not be able to read the doctor’s handwriting and dispense the wrong dose
  • Medical record errors can happen, so that one patient gets a dosage or a medication intended for someone else
  • Pharmacists may print the wrong drug or dosage information on the package or information handed to the patient
  • Patients may not understand the proper process for taking the medication and may take the medication incorrectly

When any mistakes are made of this nature, they are known as medication errors. Any errors that happen when the doctor is prescribing a medication are known as prescription errors. Some prescription errors are caught by pharmacists but in some cases the mistakes are not caught and patients suffer as a result.

In some cases, medical errors are simple mistakes. In many cases, however, they are preventable and pharmacists and doctors can be held liable. If pharmacists or doctors are overworked or undertrained, for example, errors are more common. If a pharmacy or doctor’s office doesn’t have a good system for making sure that patients get the right medication, the pharmacy or doctor’s office may be held liable if a patient is injured because of a medical error.

How Common are Prescription Errors?

According to some studies, prescription errors can range from 2 to 514 per 1000 prescriptions written, with about 70% of all medication errors being prescription errors. Another study of more than 400 doctors, 1,265 medical errors and 194 medication errors were reported in a 20-week period. Experts estimate that 1.3 million Americans are injured each year because of medication errors.

These medical mistakes are much more common than many patients realize.

The process of getting the right medication starts in the hospital room or in your doctor’s office and continues until you take the medication at home. You can help prevent these mistakes by always confirming with both your doctor the medication you’re given, the right dosage, the proper way to take the medication, and what the medication is supposed to treat. If you have concerns or questions, ask your pharmacist or doctor. Before accepting any new medication, review the medication you are currently taking (including over-the-counter and prescription medication) and confirm that the medications won’t interact in negative ways.

If you are injured after taking medication, seek medical help right away. Then, contact Flaxman Law Group for a free evaluation of your situation. A serious injury or complication caused by medication error can be very costly for you, especially if you miss work, and you deserve to have legal advice about your situation to protect yourself.