Errors in Prescription Filling Constitute as Medical Malpractice
Prescriptions mean life or death for many people in this country. Missing a dose of a much-needed heart medication because the pharmacist filled the prescription with the wrong pills can put that person at immense risk for injury, complications with their condition, and even death. We put our faith in the pharmacists that fill out our prescriptions with the expectation that they will adhere to the professional standards of care yet misfilled prescriptions still injure many across the country to this day.
Medication errors can take many forms like prescribing contraindicated medication or through misdiagnosis, but misfilled prescriptions will typically occur at the pharmacy level where other forms will usually be attributed to physician neglect. The injuries caused by a pharmacist’s neglect in the incorrect filling of a prescription can be incredibly severe in terms of damages not only physical but mental and financial as well.
With a medical malpractice claim, someone injured by the negligence of a health care provider that misfilled a prescription can seek compensation for the damages sustained because of their injuries. By proving that a liable party like a hospital, pharmaceutical company, or doctor was responsible for an avoidable prescription filling error, a plaintiff can secure a settlement that can help pay medical expenses, lost wages, compensate for pain and suffering, and disability.
What Happens When a Prescription is Misfilled
Filling a prescription is not as simple as just filling a prescription bottle with a couple of pills. It’s a process that requires extensive education and training due to not just for the skill required but also to ensure that mistakes are kept to an absolute minimum. Pharmacists can still make errors when filling out prescriptions in a number of ways.
The dosage of a prescription could be incorrect
The prescription is filled with the wrong medication
The prescription is filled with too much or too little medication
The prescription is labeled incorrectly
The prescription instructions and warnings are incorrect
The prescription is filled with a medication of the wrong administration method (pills instead of a liquid, oral instead of a suppository, patch vs injection, etc.)
Misfilled Prescription Injuries
The injuries sustained by the effects of a misfilled prescription can vary as widely as the kinds of possible prescriptions. There are countless ways that thousands of different prescriptions filled incorrectly can interact with any multitude of conditions a person may have. However, there tend to be a few more common types of prescription failures that occur more than others. One can assume that this is due to the more widespread need for these kinds of medications.
Common Types of Misfilled Prescriptions and Possible Injuries
The most commonly misfilled medications consist of insulin, opioid narcotics, antibiotics, and antipsychotics. Insulin prescription errors can have the most damaging effects from the get-go. Should a type 1 diabetic person require a specific dosage of insulin and they receive a misfilled prescription, then they can sustain serious injury in the form of hypoglycemia if they receive too much insulin or they could not get enough and suffer complications with their high blood glucose levels.
In other situations, a prescription filled with the wrong medication can cause a complication with the existing condition that someone is trying to treat. The medication could have an adverse effect on its own when not used to treat something or a person taking it could also be allergic and have a severe reaction.
The most obvious injury to sustain when a prescription is misfilled is kind that one sustains when whatever condition they are trying to treat is left unmedicated. Someone needing an antibiotic could suffer a serious infection that could result in a limb needing to be amputated or worse.
Why are Prescriptions Misfilled?
Mistakes happen. If this wasn’t the case, then there would be no personal injury attorneys in the world. All we can do is minimize the chance of an accident occurring sometimes as is the case with most things like driving and on a more relevant note; healthcare. Humans are unfortunately prone to error and that means there’s always a chance, no matter how minuscule, that something can go wrong with a prescription fill.
A prescription misfill can occur because some medication names might sound familiar. In other cases, the labeling might not be clear or the prescription from the doctor may have been illegible which caused miscommunication. In other situations, the pharmacist may simply have made a mistake because of working conditions that might be particularly busy which leads to an increased chance for a mistake to be made.
The worst case is when a pharmacist is simply incompetent and makes a mistake because they are unfit to handle people’s medication but that is not too common since the training required to become qualified as a pharmacist should eliminate that kind of incompetence.
Misfilled Prescription Medical Malpractice Claims
In order to file a medical malpractice claim against someone because of a misfilled prescription, there are several things that must be proved. The liable party’s actions caused the misfill of the prescription because of negligence. The misfilled prescription also has to be proved to cause an injury to the plaintiff significant enough to warrant seeking compensation.
In order to accomplish these two things, it is recommended that a misfilled prescription victim utilize the services of a lawyer to assist in this legal action. Attempting to take legal action alone is proven to almost always result in a significantly smaller settlement than with an experienced attorney in your corner.
Seek an Experienced New York Medical Malpractice Attorney
If you or a loved one have been injured because of the neglect of a health care provider, then do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Dimitrios Kourouklis, Ph.D about receiving a free consultation on your claim. Our skilled lawyers have the expertise you will need to secure the settlement that you deserve. Allow the Law Office of Dimitrios Kourouklis, Ph.D to assist you in holding those liable for your injuries responsible while you recuperate. Our team of New York Medical Malpractice Attorneys are here to help you if your or a loved one has been injured as a result of a misfilled prescription medication. Please contact or call us at 929-400-7608 for a free consultation today.