Miami Medication Error Lawyer
The Institute for Safe Medication Practices claims that in any given week, four out of five American adults use some type of prescription medicine, over-the-counter (OTC) drug, or dietary supplement. Indeed, a large portion of U.S. society, for better or worse, is heavily reliant upon medicine. While medicines have the ability to help maintain a person’s health, they also have the potential to cause serious injuries and even death when improperly used. Unfortunately, one of the reasons for these injuries and deaths is the occurrence of medication errors. An estimated 1 million medication errors happen every year, resulting in as many as 7,000 deaths. Those who take multiple medications, such as the elderly, are often at the greatest risk for medication errors.
Medication errors come in many forms, and include errors in prescribing, administering, monitoring and dispensing of medicine. These mistakes can be committed by doctors, nurses, nurse’s aides, pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and other medical professionals. In a perfect world, each hospital, clinic and pharmacy would have an effective organizational system for ordering, dispensing, and administering medications with multiple checks such that errors were minimized or eradicated completely. Regrettably, however, this is often not the case. Although some medication errors may be of minimal significance, with few or no adverse consequences to a patient, other errors can result in-disastrous consequences. Call our Miami medication error lawyers for more information.
Common Medication Errors
- Administering an improper dose of medicine
- Prescribing the wrong medicine
- Using the wrong technique of administering the medicine
- Administering a fatal combination of medicines
- Failing to administer a dose of medicine at the proper time
- Administering medicine that has expired
Why Do Medication Errors Happen?
Mistakes happen for a variety of reasons. Some of the more common reasons for these errors include:
- Illegible handwriting – Medication errors often occur when a pharmacist incorrectly fills a prescription because he or she has misread the doctor’s poor handwriting.
- Use of ambiguous or unfamiliar abbreviations – Abbreviations can be misread or misinterpreted. The Joint Commission has even issued a“Do Not Use” list of prohibited abbreviations.
- Mix-ups of medicines – Medicines with similar names can be a threat to patient safety. The Institute for Safe Medication Practices has even created a“List of Confused Drug Names,” noting that many of the medications both look and sound like.
- Poorly trained medical staff – Regulations and medical treatments change. Procedures for administering certain medicines change. Understandably, professional development in the medical field is a constant endeavor. When staff is poorly trained, errors in medication become more likely.
- Poor communication between medical staff – A lack of communication between doctors, between doctors and nurses, between pharmacists and doctors, and even between hospitals can lead to incomplete medical history/context, increasing the potential for error.
Pita Weber & Del Prado is Committed to Providing the Best Representation to Our Clients
No human is perfect – not even the one charged with safeguarding your health. Some medical mistakes, however, are the result of negligence. In these instances, patients or family members of patients who have suffered may have the right to just compensation. If you or a loved one has been affected by a medication error, contact one of Miami’s respected malpractice lawyers at 305-670-2889 for a free consultation.