One of the most common forms of medical malpractice is errors with prescription medications. In fact, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) estimates that 1.3 million American citizens may be harmed by medication errors every year. The National Quality Forum, a U.S. based non-profit organization that promotes patient safety and healthcare quality, conservatively estimates that preventable medication errors costs $21 Billion dollars. In their report To Err is Human, the Institute of Medicine estimated that 7,000 deaths in the United States each year are the result of medication errors.
According to the Texas State Board of Pharmacy, medication errors occur when medications are improperly prescribed, dispensed, or administered in any health care setting. Here are some examples of common medication errors that patients experience:
- Mislabeling medications
- Failing to inform the patient about medication side effects
- Prescribing or administering the wrong medication
- Prescribing or administering the wrong dosage of medication
- Prescribing or administering a medication that the patient is allergic to
- Prescribing or administering a medication that interacts negatively with any other medication the patient might be taking
Research on medication errors suggests that health care providers make mistakes in prescribing and administering medications for a variety of reasons. Understaffed health care settings, high-stress environments, health care provider bias or inaccuracy, and confusing or illegible handwriting on prescription notes are all believed to contribute to medication errors. Unfortunately, many of these errors are the result of medical negligence and likely could be avoided with proper action from the health care provider.
Medication errors happen in a number of settings. While you or a loved one is coping with illness or injury, the last thing you should be worrying about is the reliability and quality of care you are receiving. At The Brothers Law Firm, we understand the pain and frustration of receiving poor health care during this time of need. If you or someone you love has been harmed by a medication error from improper dosages, an incorrect prescription, being prescribed or given medications that caused allergic reactions or interfered negatively with other medications, were not informed of the side effects of medications, or suffered undue harm from medications for any other reason, contact us today. We can help you understand your legal rights and determine the best options possible to ensure you and your family get the help you need. At the Brothers Law Firm, we have represented numerous clients who have suffered serious injury and even death as a result of medical malpractice medication errors. To get started, fill out our online form to request a free consultation or give us a call today.