Prescription Medication Errors and Medical Injuries

Medical Negligence Lawyer Salt Lake City, Utah

Watch any prescription television ad, and you will usually hear a litany of possible side effects that medication may have. Many of these commercials have such a long list of side effects that they have become the butt of many jokes by comedians and television viewers, alike. However, there really is nothing comical about the injuries patients can suffer if they are given the wrong medications.

Whenever a patient is given a new medication, there is always a risk that they could have an adverse reaction to that medication. This risk becomes even higher if the patient is also taking other medications. Each medication is designed to have a certain effect, but when you mix multiple chemical processes, the chances increase that certain ones will be incompatible.  This is why many of the television ads also issue warnings that patients should not take a certain medication if they are taking other types of medications.

When those warnings are ignored, there are potentially serious consequences that can occur. The patient can have previously unknown allergies to a certain medication and can have a bad reaction. There can also be a decrease in the effectiveness of the medications caused by other medicines the patient is taking. Unfortunately, there may also be unexpected side effects of the new medication that can be dangerous and, in some cases, even death.

Who Is at Fault?

The majority of people put complete trust in their physicians and often do not question any of the treatment they may prescribe, even if the patient doesn’t feel comfortable about what the doctor is giving them. What those patients may not realize is that many medical personnel, like doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and others, are often rushed and overworked. They may even just be careless. Whatever the reason, these factors can lead to medication errors. These errors can include taking the time to ensure there are no harmful drug interactions, allergies, or they fail to monitor the different medications the patients take.

There are steps that a patient can take to decrease the risk of medication injury. Although it is the doctor or pharmacist’s duty to check for any possible interactions, the number of medication errors that take place is a sure sign that patients need to protect themselves:

  • Make sure your medical and pharmacy records have any known allergies you have, as well as all medications you are taking. You also want to make sure that any medical staff you deal with know, too.
  • When a doctor gives you a prescription, make sure it is legible so there won’t be a mistake by the pharmacists. This type of mistakes is becoming less common since many doctors’ offices now either call in prescriptions to pharmacies, send it through the computer system (if the pharmacy is in-house, such as a hospital), or give the patient a computer printout instead of a written out prescription.
  • Make sure to verify the medication you are being prescribed with the pharmacy.
  • When you receive your medication, read the name on the bottle and confirm that is what the doctor prescribed for you.
  • Verify with the pharmacist what the directions for taking the drug and what the potential side effects are. Many pharmacies will provide you with a print out of all this information.

Contact a Medical Error Attorney for Help

If you have been injured because of a medication error, set up a free consultation with a medical negligence lawyer Salt Lake City, Utah relies on at Rasmussen & Miner who will discuss what type of damages you may be entitled to.