Medication errors are alarmingly common in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that adverse drug events cause an estimated 700,000 emergency department visits and 120,000 hospitalizations every year.
Merck and Co, one of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies, categorizes adverse drug reactions into three groups based on their cause:
· Dosage: You may suffer an adverse reaction if you take too much or too little of a drug;
· Allergies: Your body's immune system may react adversely to a new drug; and
· Idiosyncrasies: You may suffer serious side effects if your body responds to a drug in an unexpected way.
Many adverse drug reactions happen because a prescribing doctor or pharmacist behaved negligently. If you were injured due to a medication mistake in Louisiana, contact a New Orleans pharmacy error attorney from the Bowling Law Firm.
David A. Bowling will assess your case to determine if you may be entitled to compensation. Call 877-757-3539 to schedule a consultation. You can also visit http://medical-malpractice.usattorneys.com/ to learn more about medical malpractice lawsuits.
3 Medication Errors That May Constitute Medical Malpractice
There are many reasons why medical errors happen. Sometimes pharmacists mix up the names of two patients or two medications; other times, doctors prescribe the incorrect medication or an unsafe dosage. Depending on the type of drug and the patient's health, a small oversight by a physician or pharmacist could be deadly.
Let's take a look at three of the most common medication errors in the United States:
1. Prescribing the Wrong Drug
Patients often suffer tragic consequences when doctors prescribe the wrong drugs. Many patients rely on their medications to survive or to maintain their quality of life. If they receive the wrong drug, they may suffer unexpected side effects or even die.
Some medications cause adverse reactions - especially when patients unknowingly combine them with other drugs and certain foods or drinks. While taking a new medicine could have unexpected side effects, not taking the correct drug may cause a patient's condition to worsen while it is left untreated.
2. Prescribing an Incorrect Dosage
Too much or too little of a drug can cause a variety of side effects and leave the original illness untreated. Before you take a new medication, ask your doctor about the symptoms of an overdose and what you should do if you believe that you have taken too much or too little of the drug.
3. Dispensing Expired or Alternative Medicine
Even if your doctor prescribes the correct medication and dosage, it is still possible for your pharmacist to make an error. Due to fatigue and other factors, it is not unheard of for a pharmacist to dispense expired medication.
If the prescribed drug is not available, your pharmacist may choose to dispense an alternative medication that is used to treat similar ailments. However, minor differences in the makeup of two medications can profoundly impact their side effects and interactions with other drugs, food and drinks.
If you or a member of your family was injured by a negligent doctor or pharmacist, contact the Bowling Law Firm for legal advice. David A. Bowling is a medical malpractice lawyer in New Orleans who will help you claim the maximum compensation for medical bills, lost income and other damages. Call 877-757-3539 to schedule a consultation.