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Why Do Medication Mistakes Occur?

July 21st, 2017
On behalf of David Bowling of The Bowling Christiansen Law Firm, A Professional Law Corporation posted in Medical Malpractice on Friday, July 21, 2017.

According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, medication mistakes are the most common medical error in primary care clinics. Sadly, anyone can be the victim of a prescription error, and depending on the circumstances, the consequences can be devastating.




As the British Pharmacological Society explains, prescription errors can occur at any stage of the prescribing process, and they can be committed by any healthcare provider who plays a role in its application, from the doctor prescribing the drug to the pharmacist filling it to the nurse administering it. That is why these providers have to undergo frequent and continuous training to maintain their license to practice. Unfortunately, mistakes still happen–and patients are the ones who suffer the consequences.

If you sustained an injury or illness as the result of a prescription error, turn to a medical malpractice lawyer from The Bowling Christiansen Law Firm. David A. Bowling has more than three decades of trial experience, and he will tirelessly help you pursue the compensation to which you are entitled. Call (504) 586-5200 to schedule a consultation with a pharmacy error attorney in Baton Rouge.

Read on to learn four common reasons why medication mistakes occur:

1. Lack of Medication Knowledge

Dosage errors and negative drug interactions often occur when a provider does not have sufficient knowledge of the medication that he or she is prescribing. Both kinds of errors can have serious consequences, so make sure your provider has a thorough understanding of the drug that he or she is prescribing. You can gauge this kind of knowledge by asking about the drug’s side effects and if you should avoid mixing it with certain substances.

2. Lack of Patient Information

Incomplete medical records and inadequate reporting of allergies can result in life-threatening medication mistakes. Although your primary care provider should already know what you are allergic to, you need to be your own advocate when it comes to preventing errors caused by a lack of patient information.

3. Failure to Communicate

Poor handwriting, the misinterpretation of verbal orders, misplaced decimal points, and inaccurate abbreviations can all cause serious prescription errors. Although most healthcare facilities implement procedures to prevent these kinds of mistakes from occurring, the protocol is not foolproof, and patients often end up suffering as a result.

4. Failure to Account for Special Circumstances

Children and the elderly are vulnerable populations, and physicians need to be especially attentive when prescribing medication to these patients. Doctors typically base dosages for children on weight, but there are other factors that can affect how a child’s body metabolizes the medication.

When it comes to elderly individuals, providers need to make sure they know the patients’ current medications and health condition, because it is common for seniors to take multiple prescriptions for various co-occurring disorders. When a drug interaction occurs in an elderly patient, the consequences can be fatal.

If your doctor or pharmacist made a prescription error and you were injured as a result, David A. Bowling can help you pursue compensation for medical bills, lost income, and other damages. Call (504) 586-5200 to schedule a consultation with a medical malpractice lawyer in Baton Rouge. You can learn more about malpractice claims in Louisiana by visiting the USAttorneys website.

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