Although many pharmacists take great care when filling prescriptions and explaining potential side effects to a patient, mistakes still occur at an alarming rate. Mixing up a prescription or filling the wrong medication can result in serious health complications that can be extremely expensive to treat, so if you suffered an illness or injury as a result of a pharmaceutical error, it is critical to retain an experienced Richmond medical malpractice lawyer who can help you seek compensation to cover your medical bills.
Not all medication-related injuries are attributable to pharmacist negligence. In fact, in many situations, it is the prescribing doctor who was negligent in prescribing a certain medication because he or she failed to take a patient’s history or did not recognize a contraindication. Still other problems can be linked to the manufacturer of the medication if it failed to adequately test the product or warn doctors and patients of potential side effects.
Common Pharmacy Errors
There are many ways that pharmacists and pharmacy employees can cause injury. Some of the more common errors they make include the following:
- Filling a prescription with the wrong type of medication or an incorrect dosage;
- Giving inaccurate medical advice during distribution;
- Attaching the wrong prescription label to a bottle of medication;
- Failing to explain possible side effects to patients;
- Failing to recognize that a patient suffers from an allergy to certain medications; and
- Failing to record a patient’s current medications and drug history.
These types of errors can be attributed to a number of different problems. However, a lack of communication between the pharmacist and the prescribing doctor, a lack of pharmacist supervision, inadequate training, and a failure to implement appropriate procedures are the most common culprits.
Filling the wrong prescription or failing to recognize a conflict between a patient’s medications can have devastating consequences, including:
- Allergic reactions and anaphylactic shock;
- Heart failure;
- Birth defects;
- Seizures and convulsions; and
- Organ failure.
Some of these conditions, such as an allergic reaction will manifest immediately by rashes and difficulty breathing, while others may not become apparent for many months. For example, an expectant mother who was prescribed the wrong medication could suffer a miscarriage or give birth to a baby who suffers from a serious birth defect. These types of health problems are often permanent.
Injuries resulting from medication errors are often expensive to treat, which makes it especially important for injured parties to seek compensation for their losses from the responsible party, which could include any of the following parties:
- Pharmacists who filled the wrong prescription, kept inaccurate records, or failed to instruct a patient on a drug’s proper use or potential side effects;
- Pharmacy employees who did not enter a patient’s information correctly or failed to use reasonable care when labeling medications;
- Doctors who prescribed an incorrect medication or who failed to keep accurate records of a patient’s history; and
- Drug manufacturers who failed to warn of side effects, did not label a medication appropriately, or who did not adequately test a product.
Call Today to Schedule a Free Consultation with a Richmond Medical Malpractice Attorney
A pharmacist’s failure to use reasonable care can have life-threatening consequences for patients, so if you or a loved one sustained an injury as a result of a pharmacist’s error, please contact the legal team at Emroch & Kilduff by calling (804) 358-1568 to speak with a Richmond medical malpractice lawyer who can explain your legal options.