The pharmaceutical industry is a multibillion dollar industry in the United States. It seems like every pharmacy that patients visit are overflowing with business. As more drugs are invented, more are prescribed.
Experienced medical malpractice attorneys know that many people are injured and even die every year from receiving the wrong medication, the wrong dosage, and even from not receiving medicine at all when the patient should have received medication.
So what causes these medication errors that impact over a million patients every year? Administering an improper dose of medicine is known to account for almost half of all medicine error related deaths. Prescribing and or administering the patient with the completely wrong drug accounts for around 15 percent of medicine errors. Most of the fatalities will occur to senior citizens.
Improper dosages and or improper drugs are given to patients for a variety of preventable reasons. The handwriting on the prescription could be illegible. If the names of drugs are similar and the prescription is given by the physician to the pharmacist via oral communication, the name can be misheard.
Doctors and pharmacists might not have an accurate or complete record of medications that the patient is using or has used recently. The doctor might have simply made a mistake when writing the prescription; the pharmacist might have simply made a mistake when filling the prescription even though the prescription was legible and proper.
As you can probably garner from the title of this post, both physicians and pharmacists can be held accountable for their mistakes if a patient receives the wrong drug or the wrong dosage. The treating physician can also be liable if he or she should have prescribed a medication, but failed to do so.
This is because medical professionals are supposed to treat their patients according to the standards prescribed by the profession. When there is a failure to do such, the medical professional can be held accountable for the deviation.
We use the term ‘medical professional’ because any person working within the medical field has a responsibility to properly treat a patient once a doctor patient relationship is created. It doesn’t matter the kind of doctor, whether a surgeon, primary physician, or a pharmacist. The professional can also be a nurse, aid, technician, or any other type of medical professional.
Once the deviation occurs, the patient can recover compensation via civil litigation from the offending physician or pharmacist. So long as the patient can prove that there was an injury, that the injury was caused by the deviation, and that the injury gave rise to damages, the patient may have a legitimate claim founded in medical malpractice.
But what do you think? I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at [email protected] You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.