Getting Ready For Trial The Day You Walk Into The Office

Common types of pharmacy errors

On Behalf of | Apr 2, 2024 | medical malpractice

Many medical malpractice cases involve the negligence of doctors or healthcare professionals, but some involve the negligence of pharmacists.

Pharmacists are an important piece of the healthcare system. They are responsible for making sure patients get their proper medication and are educated on the risks and benefits of all medications they take.

While some pharmacist mistakes are harmless, other can cause serious injuries to patients or have major side effects that cause long-term harm or in some cases even death.

There are some common types of pharmacy errors that you should be aware of.

Dispensing the wrong medication

One of the most common is giving the wrong medication. This happens when a pharmacist misreads the prescription. Sometimes the prescription is written incorrectly, but sometimes the prescription is written correctly and the pharmacist reads it wrong.

Another common pharmacy error is a pharmacist failing to disclose the side effects of a drug or how it can interact with another drug in a way that could be harmful.

Sometimes when two drugs interact, they can cause serious and irreversible health problems, including organ damage or a coma. Pharmacists have a legal duty to know the potential ways medications interact.

Miscalculating a dosage

Other times a pharmacist can miscalculate the dosage of a medication. This may seem like a minor error, but even small changes in dosage can have severe health consequences.

There are many reasons pharmacy errors such as these occur. Pharmacists are often extremely busy and frequently interrupted when performing their tasks, leading to mistakes being made.

This also sometimes results in rushing with each patient due to not having enough time to properly discuss the medication with patients.

Pharmacists may lack adequate support staff, only increasing their workload and the chance of making a mistake.

Preventing pharmacy errors

There are steps you can take to protect yourself against a pharmacy error. When you receive a prescription from your doctor, ask them to tell you the name of the drug, the proper dosage and what it is for.

Make sure you understand the directions for the medication, including how it should be stored, when it should be taken and any special instructions.

Tell your doctor the names of all other medication you take, including non-prescription medication such as vitamins or dietary supplements.

Ask questions if you do not understand anything. Do not be afraid of bothering the doctor or pharmacist. Carefully examine your medication and if it looks different than usual or the directions seem different than what your doctor told you, contact your doctor or pharmacist before taking it.

When you are harmed by a pharmacist error, you can hold them accountable for their negligent behavior through a medical malpractice lawsuit. A successful claim can result in compensation for your losses.