Legal Options if Pharmacist Error Caused Serious Harm
When we are ill or need treatment, we are usually confident that the medicine prescribed to us is safe and properly administered. However, when dosages, levels, or instructions are incorrect, a patient can suffer serious harm. If you’ve suffered an injury due to pharmacist error, contact Kisling, Nestico & Redick right away.
When you head to the pharmacy to pick up medicine, you assume what the pharmacist gives you is what’s intended by your physicians. Not only do you accept they are the right medications, you also believe they will be the correct form, dosage, and amount – not to mention safe. While there are almost always a few warning labels and a list of potential side effects, you trust that your doctors and pharmacists wouldn’t hand over medications that could cause you harm. Unfortunately, pharmacist errors can cause you to receive the wrong type or amount of a medication, leading to serious side effects and long-term consequences.
You rightly rely on your physicians and pharmacists to treat your medical conditions. Whether you are prescribed an antibiotic to kill an infection, a SSRI to treat depression, or oral chemotherapy to fight cancer, you assume the white paper bag you’re handed at your local pharmacy is what you should go home and take. When professional pharmacists or their staff do something wrong, you are unlikely to catch the mistake. Instead, you move forward taking drugs that could hurt you.
Pharmacist Errors Lead to Serious Injuries and Death
It can be easy to see prescription medications as harmless. After all, most of your interactions with medications include your taking them and then feeling better. However, prescription medications are highly technical and regulated for a reason. They have extreme effects on the body. Some outcomes are good, like an antibiotic killing an infection. Other consequences are harmful, like pain relievers leading to liver damage.
Pharmacist errors have been known to lead to:
- Organ damage and failure
- Vision loss
- Heart attack
- Brain damage
- Birth defects
Types of Pharmacist Errors
There are a number of dispensing errors that have the potential to harm patients, including:
Providing the incorrect medication
A significant number of patient injuries result from being given the wrong medication by a pharmacist. The risk of this mistake is even higher for patients who are prescribed a medication that may look and sound like another drug such as Flonase and Flomax. Patients who receive incorrect drugs may not only develop serious side-effects from unnecessary medications, but their current conditions are left untreated and can worsen.
Many prescription drugs require certain labels, such as those that warn of drowsiness or other dangerous side effects. Patients who receive their medications without the proper warnings and labels may be unaware of a potential side effect. Without this knowledge, they could drive or operate machinery when they shouldn’t or not notice the signs of a serious medical issue.
Mixing a medication incorrectly
Some medications are not preformed pills or tablets. Pharmacists often have to mix medications, such as a concentrated liquid or powder in a solution. Mixing incorrect components or using the wrong amount of solution means a patient receives the incorrect medication or dosage, both of which can lead to harmful results.
Providing the wrong dosage
Physicians prescribe a type and amount of medication to be taken at predefined intervals. Pharmacists can incorrectly provide patients with too low or too high of a dosage of that medication, which leads to over- or under-treating conditions. Over-treating conditions can cause dangerous side effects. If the drug is addictive, a high dose puts the patient at risk of abuse. Under-treating the problems allows patients to get unexpectedly worse, misleading physicians as to why the medication isn’t working.
Failing to check for drug interactions
Dangerous drug interactions lead to many patient injuries and deaths. Pharmacists are the last line of defense for patients taking multiple drugs. While computer programs may be set to catch common interactions, it is up to experienced pharmacists to review patient records, ask about current medications, and determine whether two or more prescribed medications could lead to a negative interaction or contradiction.
Factors That Lead to Prescription Errors
Some pharmacist errors occur because of poor handwriting, coding mistakes, and miscommunications with doctors’ offices. In these situations, the parties responsible for your injuries may be both your treating physician and the pharmacy. An experienced Ohio medical malpractice attorney can help you investigate your situation and determine what led to your receiving the harmful medication.
However, a majority of dispensing mistakes are simply due to human error that occur because pharmacists or their staff work too fast, do not double check their work, or behave recklessly. Your attorney will thoroughly investigate the pharmacy where you obtained the incorrect medication, including their workload, supervision, internal processes, and quality control checks.
Why You Need an Ohio Medical Malpractice Lawyer
When you have suffered a physical injury due to an incorrect medication, incorrect dosage, or unidentified drug interaction, you should seek advice from an Ohio medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. Ohio Rev. Code 2305.113 states all medical malpractice claims must be brought within one year, or for minors, before the age of 19. This is not a lot of time. By working with Kisling, Nestico & Redick, you have a legal team experienced in investigating and litigating injuries caused by dispensing errors. We will fight for your recovery.
Contact Kisling, Nestico & Redick Today
At Kisling, Nestico & Redick, we have decades of collective experience handling complicated medical malpractice claims. We have the knowledge regarding pharmacist errors and the resources you need to hold your medical providers responsible for your injuries. Our main focus will be recovering you compensation for your injuries.
Call us today at 1-800-HURT-NOW or use the online contact form to schedule a consultation.