Atlanta Medication Error Lawyers
Medication errors include any mistake that results in the patient receiving the wrong medication, dose, or instructions for use from a physician, pharmacist, or other health care professional. Approximately 1.5 million medication errors are made in the U.S. each year, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Since medication errors in Georgia can occur at any point between when the medication is manufactured and when the patient takes it, it's not surprising that these errors can be caused by any number of factors. For instance, a pharmacist may not be able to read a handwritten prescription or may miss-hear the name of the medication over the phone, resulting in a patient getting a different medication with a similar-sounding name. Similar errors can occur when a patient is given a medication in a hospital, nursing home, or other inpatient health care facility.
Patients may also suffer medication errors if the wrong amount of the medication is prescribed or if it is given in the wrong way. For example, a pharmacy worker may give a medication measured in milligrams, not micrograms, which results in the patient receiving a dose that is a thousand times higher than it should be. Failure to follow instructions for administering medication means the patient may receive the medication the wrong way, which can cause serious complications. Also, improper or incomplete labeling may mean that patients don't receive the information they need to understand what they are taking, how to take it, or what to do if serious side effects occur.
Finally, patients may suffer injury from medication errors if health care professionals are not monitoring the patient before and after a medication is prescribed. Failing to check a patient's allergies or other medications can result in a dangerous allergic reaction or drug interaction, and failing to follow up with patients while they are taking their medication can cause the health care team to miss signs of developing side effects, allergies, or other adverse reactions to a drug.
Patients over the age of sixty face the highest risk of suffering from medication errors, according to the FDA, especially if they live in a nursing home or other health care facility. Children also face a heightened risk of injury from a medication error. Patients can help reduce their risk and their family's risk of medication errors by making sure doctors and nurses understand what medication the patient is taking and what allergies he or she has. Herbal supplements and vitamins should be listed along with prescription and over-the-counter drugs. However, it is ultimately the responsibility of the professionals taking care of a patient to make sure that the patient receives only the proper medication.
Medication errors can cause serious harm. Most health care facilities, including doctors' offices, hospitals, and pharmacies, use rigorous systems and procedures to cut down on the number of medication errors that occur. Whenever a medication error does occur, however, it's important for health care facilities to review their procedures and figure out how to prevent a similar error from happening again.
At the Law Offices of Wayne Grant, P.C., our Atlanta medical malpractice lawyers understand the many physical, emotional, and financial hurdles you and your family must tackle after a medication error has caused serious injury or illness. We are committed to helping our clients hold negligent parties liable for their oversight or wrongdoing. Contact us today to find out more about how we can help you obtain compensation for your losses and damages.