“Small” Prescription Drug Error Can Mean Big Malpractice
In most instances, the difference between one and two of something is not very significant. With medication, however, particularly when administered to the very young or the very old, a seemingly tiny difference like this can be fatal. While we can expect some over dosages to be attributed to errors of inexperienced parents or pharmacists, an unfortunate increase in medical doctor prescription drug mistakes has come to light. There are many possible reasons behind this: the increase of technology, making typographical errors more common; too many individuals on one patient in ERs, making inconsistencies and mistakes more common; and pharmacy coding schemes that change without knowledge or vary from place to place making uniformity nearly impossible. Regardless of the reason, prescription drug errors can cause lasting disability or death and should be taken very seriously.
Prescription Drug Distribution
Most people erroneously assume that so long as you take a prescription as directed, it cannot cause you harm. This is generally a true statement, if the prescription adequately reflects what the physician intended to prescribe. This concern reaches beyond mere typographical errors. A doctor has an obligation to take a detailed medical history of the patient before writing any prescriptions. While the patient should always disclose the information necessary to allow the doctor to make an informed decision about a course of treatment, the doctor must ask as well. Failure to take a detailed patient history may lead to overlooking allergies, previous negative interactions with medication the patient is currently taking, or a significant medical history that would change the approach the doctor would otherwise take.
Prescription Drug Injuries
The best case scenario is that a patient takes a pill of an incorrect dosage or a pill they have an aversion to and they feel a bit nauseous. Conversely, the worst case scenario is that the patient dies. And, while this is clearly a severe and unlikely outcome, it does happen. Even failures to inform patients of side effects of medication can be actionable legal issues if the patient experienced dizziness and caused injury to another person while driving, for example. Other negative possibilities include organ damage, heart trouble, breathing trouble, loss of vision or motor control, and other side effects.
Miami Prescription Drug Error Lawyers
We trust our doctors to prescribe us with medication that we can safely take, and we are not wrong for doing so. However, when a doctor fails to abide by his duties and writes a prescription that leads to injury, illness or death, he must be held accountable. At Alan Goldfarb, PA, our experienced medical malpractice attorneys know how to navigate complex medical malpractice claims and will determine where the responsibility lies, whether it be with the doctor, the pharmacist, or administrative staff. It is our objective not only to ensure your health and safety, but to make sure that the physician is held responsible for his errors and to advocate to make sure those errors do not harm anyone else in the future. If you or anyone you know has been injured or became ill due to a prescription drug error, contact our Miami-based legal offices to learn more about your legal options.