A recently published study says that as many as 9,000 people in the U.S. lose their lives annually because of a medication error. This is not just a medical problem but a financial one as well since the errors cost more than $40 billion each year. The mistakes happen most often when the medications are being ordered or are prescribed. Misreading the prescription itself can cause substantial risk. One referenced example involved a person being prescribed a drug to treat psychosis but was mistakenly given a blood pressure medication. The patient suffered permanent damage due to the error.
Writing down the wrong medication, an inappropriate dose or instructions to take it more often or less often than it was supposed to be taken are other possible mishaps. The decline of local pharmacies and individualized service is also considered a potential hazard as larger pharmacies and online entities will not have the same familiarity with patients who are getting their prescription filled. They might therefore miss signs of a medication error. Another challenge is the Pharmacist Drug Review in which the person is asked if he or she has any questions or concerns and then checks a box on a keypad before signing. This process lends itself to simply checking the box and signing without asking relevant questions or making sure the prescription is accurate.
Medical malpractice can happen in myriad ways. People who are seeking medical care for issues small and large are certainly not expecting there to be an error occurring in the course of treatment. If it is due to a medication mistake, there can be long-term damage or even death. Understanding the steps necessary to recovering compensation may require legal assistance. An experienced law firm might help with negotiating a settlement or pursuing compensation in court.