Medication / Pharmaceutical Errors

Each day, millions of people rely upon prescription and over–the–counter medications to treat various medical conditions. In fact, almost seventy percent of all Americans take some form of prescription drugs. This number has risen, and will continue to rise, as the Baby Boomer Generation ages. With this rise will come an increase in the number of people harmed or killed by pharmaceutical errors.

How do pharmaceutical errors happen?

Pharmaceutical medical malpractice errors occur when a healthcare provider is negligent in providing the proper medications to a patient. According to the National Institute of Health a medication error occurs when there is a significant reduction in treatment being effective or timely. These errors can be a result of negligence on the part of a pharmacist, but also from mistakes made by nurses, physicians or other direct-care workers. In most instances, the injury or death occurs because when someone is given the wrong type of medication or the incorrect dosage. Errors related to medication can also include inappropriate prescribing, as well as the over and under prescribing of medications.

Medical malpractice claims due to medication errors arise from the following negligence:

  • Adverse drug reactions due to undocumented allergies
  • Errors in administering medication to patients– wrong dose or wrong type
  • Mistakes filling medication prescriptions
  • Incorrect labels on medications
  • Failure to properly advise patients on proper use
How can medication errors be reduced?

Medication errors are one of the most preventable aspects of medical malpractice. A prescription error can arise of misinformation or health care provider carelessness. Physicians and nurses can avoid drug errors by using computerized entry, which could eliminate handwriting misinterpretations. Another way to reduce medication errors would be for hospitals to minimize interruptions when nurses are administering required medications.

Who is liable for a medication error?

There may be multiple people or companies who may be liable for any medication errors. Physicians and nurses may be liable for administering wrong medications, or administering medications in improper ways. A medication error may also result from improper labeling which would be the fault of the drug manufacturer. A pharmacist may also be liable for failing to warn of drugs side effects or a drug's interaction with other medications

Have you or a loved one been harmed because of a medication error?

When a medication error occurs, the effects can be devastating to victims and their families. These errors can result in serious medical complications and may even cause death. It is important for victims to understand their rights in order to receive fair and reasonable compensation for their injuries or loss.

The Chicago injury lawyers at Levin & Perconti have represented numerous clients who suffered serious personal injuries due to medication errors and have recovered notable compensation on their behalf, including a $650,000 settlement against a Chicago-area doctor, medical group and pharmacy.

If you believe that you or a loved one may have a medication error case in Illinois, please call us for a FREE consultation at 877-874-1417 or 312–332–2872 or contact us online.

Illinois Medical Malpractice Blog - Drug and Pharmacy Errors