Although modern medicines can save lives, a prescription mistake can lead to medical complications or worse. According to the National Patient Safety Foundation, 1.5 million Americans take medicines incorrectly each year, which causes serious side effects for at least 1.3 million of them. This is where a medical malpractice attorney may be able to assist.
Every year, thousands of patients die because of medication errors. Survivors often face overwhelming medical bills, and some cannot return to work.
If you received the wrong prescription or incorrect dosage, then contact a medical malpractice attorney from the Bowling Law Firm. David A. Bowling has more than 30 years of trial experience, so he is not afraid to take your case to court for a fair payout. To schedule a consultation, call our office today at 877-757-3539.
In the meantime, read on to learn the top five pharmacy errors in New Orleans:
1. Incorrect Person
There are many reasons why pharmacists might give one patient another person's medication. They could accidentally switch the names, or patients may share the same name. Unfortunately, many people do not check their drugs or the name on the label, and this can lead to disastrous consequences.
2. Wrong Drugs
All too often, pharmacists dispense the wrong drugs. Sometimes, they are overworked and make a mental error; other times, they are negligent and read prescriptions without care.
If patients take the wrong medicines, then their symptoms could worsen. They may also suffer new illnesses or drug interactions. Drug names are often similar, and this can lead to confusion.
3. Drug Switches
Pharmacists can cause major complications if they substitute drugs without asking the doctor who wrote the prescription. If, for example, a drug is not on the shelf, then the pharmacist may choose to substitute it for another drug that "matches" the prescription.
4. Old Medicines
It is also possible for pharmacists to dispense expired medicines. If a drug passes its expiration date, then it may lose its efficacy. The medication may not treat the symptoms, and expired drugs can seriously harm patients. Thousands of people enter hospitals each year because of complications that expired medicines cause.
Misinterpreting a prescription is one of the main reasons for dispensing the wrong medications. This often happens when pharmacists cannot read the doctor's handwriting. For this reason, many physicians are resorting to typed prescriptions. If the pharmacist misinterprets the prescription, then the patient could receive an entirely different medication, which may cause serious health complications.
Most prescription errors occur because pharmacists are overworked or distracted. Patients suffer the consequences of these mistakes in the forms of medical issues, exorbitant health-care bills, decreased quality of life and even death.
If you were the victim of a pharmacy mistake, then contact the Bowling Law Firm. A New Orleans pharmacy error lawyer can evaluate your case to determine if you may have valid grounds for a medical malpractice claim. To learn more, call us today at 877-757-3539.