The lawyers at Kennedy Hodges L.L.P. have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions in response to the overwhelming number of people who have suffered an injury after receiving the wrong prescription, wrong dosage, or incorrect instructions for use from their pharmacy. If you have been injured due to the negligence of another person, read on to learn how to protect your legal rights.
What Happens When Kids Get the Wrong Dosage of Medication
Kids Suffer from Wrong Dosages of Prescription Medication
What Justice Looks Like After a Child Medication Error
It depends. Just sleep alone might not qualify you to receive monetary damages; however, if you went to the emergency room or your child’s primary care doctor, you may be entitled to reimbursement for your medical bills associated with the pharmacy error.
Sometimes excessive sleep can be a sign that your daughter received a powerful toxin—which could damage her liver. This is why it is critical that you have your child thoroughly examined by a doctor to determine if she is suffering from a toxic overdose.
In the meantime, it is important that you keep the prescription bottle, label, instructions, and anything elses you received at the pharmacy. This will help prove that the pharmacy did give your daughter the incorrect medication dosage. Also, this evidence will help strengthen your case if you do decide to pursue a legal claim.
If it is determined that your daughter suffered harm from receiving the incorrect dosage of drugs, then your family may be entitled to financial compensation for medical bills, rehabilitation, pain and suffering, and other damages. Because these types of cases can be complex, it is in your best interest to speak with an attorney experienced in pharmacy malpractice claims.
A lawyer who has represented prescription drug error victims will be able to help you seek justice and make sure this type of pharmacy error doesn’t occur to another child or family. For answers to other questions you may have, download a free copy of our report, How to Make Pharmacies Pay for Injuries Caused by Medication Errors.
The Harsh Reality of Patients Being Harmed by IV Dosing Errors
Who Is to Blame for the Wrong Dosage of IV Medication?
You most likely should have a claim for damages. Nurses or other medical professionals are supposed to follow the rules and procedures put in place when administering a drug using an intravenous (IV) medication system. When they fail to follow protocol and cut corners, they can injure patients.
Unfortunately, the rate of IV medication errors has risen substantially across the nation. According to the Institute for Medicine, there are about 7,000 deaths that result from IV medication mistakes as well as millions of people suffering sicknesses annually. Sometimes this occurs due to medication contamination, and other times it happens as a result of nurse fatigue or failure to follow procedures.
When medication mistakes are made in hospitals by trained professionals, patients should be compensated for the side effects and pain and suffering they endured. Sadly, IV medication errors are preventable mistakes that should never occur in the first place.
If you were harmed as a result of an IV medication, requiring a longer hospital stay and other treatments that increased your hospital bill, you should be compensated for those financial damages as well as for your emotional trauma and pain and suffering.
You went to the hospital for help and not to be harmed, which is why you probably have a claim against the nurse, doctor, or hospital involved. To learn more about your rights to a claim for damages, order a free copy of our report, How to Make Pharmacies Pay for Injuries Caused by Medication Errors.
What to Expect from a Great Pharmacy Lawyer
Does it Matter Which Attorney I Hire?
When searching for a lawyer to handle your pharmacy error claim and represent you, it is in your best interest to select the most qualified attorney possible. This means that you will want to find a lawyer who handles pharmacy malpractice cases on a daily basis. You don’t want to hire just any attorney because he or she might not be qualified or have knowledge of the laws that apply to pharmacies.
You will benefit from hiring a lawyer who handles pharmacy error cases because your lawyer will know how to analyze your case and your medical records to determine the extent of your injuries. Having an attorney who understands the side effects and harm that a wrong dosage can cause will help you receive the maximum compensation possible.
Not only is it good to hire a lawyer with experience in pharmaceutical malpractice cases, but you should find out if he or she has been successful in those cases. Additionally, it is important to find out if that attorney has gone up against large pharmacies like CVS, Walgreens, Wal-Mart, Target, Rite Aid, and others. Many attorneys will say they practice in this area of the law, but if they have never settled a claim against a large pharmacy or gone to court to fight for their clients, then you should continue in your search.
If you can find a lawyer who has experience in pharmacy malpractice lawsuits, has tried cases in court, is board certified, and has successful results in similar cases, you can rest assured knowing that you have the right attorney on your side. At Kennedy Hodges, we have the experience and successful results you are looking for. Call us today for a free consultation at 888-526-7616.
Should I Report an Error to My State Board of Pharmacy?
How Does the Board of Pharmacy Discipline a Pharmacist?
What Does the Pharmacy Board Do After Receiving a Complaint?
When a pharmacy error such as receiving the wrong medication or incorrect dosage of drugs occurs, it can be shocking. While you may have notified the pharmacy about the error they made, you may be wondering what they are going to do about it. To make sure they take your complaint seriously, you may want to complain to their authorities.
Every state has a board of pharmacy that monitors pharmacy complaints. To contact the Kansas State Board of Pharmacy, visit the complaint process section on their website and fill out the complaint form. You will then be instructed to mail it to 800 SW Jackson St. Ste 1414, Topeka, KS 66612. Although it is good to report pharmacy errors to the state governing body that handles these issues—ensuring your complaint is logged and accounted for—you need to know that most state pharmacy boards have a hard time launching proper investigations due to staff shortages and lack of funding.
If you are looking to seek justice or compensation for your injuries and damages, you will need to contact an experienced pharmacy malpractice attorney. State pharmacy boards will not help you seek damages. They are there to make sure pharmacies and pharmacists are disciplined appropriately for their negligent actions. When looking for justice and just compensation, you should make your pharmacy complaint known to a lawyer who handles these types of cases.
To learn more about your rights and how to hold a pharmacy accountable for your damages, request a free copy of our report, How to Make Pharmacies Pay for Injuries Caused by Medication Errors.
The Need for Improving Oversight of Pharmacy Compounding
Has the Lack of Oversight Led to Pharmacy Error?
You probably should make a complaint to both the FDA and your state pharmacy board about your incident and illness. Generally, the FDA regulates large compounding pharmacies, and state pharmacy boards oversee smaller pharmacies. However, there are many factory-like pharmacies that have fallen through the cracks and haven’t been regulated by state or federal officials. Additionally, there are many facilities that haven’t been inspected due to the lack of investigators. What’s scary is that many of the compounding pharmacies that have been inspected have been caught making drugs in an unsanitary environment.
Determining if your state pharmacy board regulates your pharmacy depends on where your custom-made medication came from and whether it was sent to you from another state or within your state. If the drug came from a large compounding pharmacy out-of-state, then it is likely your complaint will be with the FDA. However, the laws are changing, and state pharmacy boards are asking for bigger roles in overseeing compounding pharmacies located in their states.
In addition to having a complaint with a state or federal organization, you may also have a pharmacy error claim for damages. If you suffered an illness or injury that resulted in medical bills or time off of work, you may want to pursue a lawsuit to collect the compensation you deserve. To learn more about your rights, please order a free copy of our report, How to Make Pharmacies Pay for Injuries Caused by Medication Errors.
Two Reasons Hospital Patients Suffer from Medication Errors
What Are Some of the Causes of Pharmaceutical Malpractice in Hospitals?
Why Blaming One Person for Medication Errors Doesn’t Work
Most hospitals have nurses administering medications to patients; however, nurses are only allowed to do so with a physician’s order. While nurses work hard to avoid harming patients, factors like illegible prescription handwriting, tiredness, or distraction might contribute to medication mistakes.
In order to reduce risks to patients, some hospitals place pharmacists in emergency rooms to review prescriptions. By having pharmacists on hand in hospitals, they are able to review patients’ current medications, allergies, and other factors that could affect the health of patients when receiving new medication. In addition to putting pharmacists in the ER, hospitals should have nurse-pharmacist teams so that nurses can consult with pharmacists about patients’ medication. Having programs like this in place aids in reducing medication errors—and helping patients stay safe.
While doctors and pharmacists are known to have more knowledge about medications than nurses, doctors can also make mistakes and get a similar drug confused with another. Additionally, pharmacists may mistakenly give the correct drug to a patient but the wrong dosage. Unfortunately, there is no foolproof way to eliminate medication errors in hospitals because healthcare workers are human. They might be overworked, distracted, tired, or in a rush, leading them to make medication mistakes.
If you or a loved one received the wrong medication or wrong dosage of drugs from a nurse, doctor, or pharmacist, you may have a malpractice claim. To learn more about your rights, check out our other articles and blogs or request a free copy of our report, How to Make Pharmacies Pay for Injuries Caused by Medication Errors.
When Can Pharmacists Be Sued for Malpractice?
You may be able to pursue a pharmacy malpractice lawsuit against the Houston pharmacy that gave you the wrong medication, wrong dosage or drugs, or wrong instructions. Because there are many causes of medication errors, it is important to determine the exact cause of your situation in order to confirm if you have a valid case against the pharmacy or pharmacist involved.
Some ways to determine if you have a valid claim include:
- Were you harmed by their mistake?
- Did you go to the ER or incur medical bills as a result of taking the incorrect prescription?
- Did you suffer injuries?
- Did you miss out on work and earning your wages?
A pharmacist could have overlooked a drug allergy you have, neglected to check a pharmacy technician’s work, or failed to clarify a poorly handwritten prescription with your doctor. Additionally, a pharmacist or pharmacy technician could have confused a similar drug with your prescription—sending you home with the wrong drug—or they could have accidentally left off a decimal point that could have caused you to overdose.
Because there are many reasons why pharmacy errors can occur, it is in your best interest to save the medication bottle, prescription, medical bills, and anything related to this incident and contact a pharmaceutical malpractice lawyer to find out your rights. Generally, anyone who has been harmed from a pharmacist’s mistake should have a legal claim for damages due to a pharmacist’s breach in duty of care. To learn more about your rights, please order a free copy of our report, How to Make Pharmacies Pay for Injuries Caused by Medication Errors.
What Can Happen When Pharmacies Fill the Wrong Dosage of Drugs
While we understand that this is a shocking discovery for you to make, it is great that you caught the pharmacy error and can seek help. While you are probably panicking that you gave your daughter an incorrect dose of medication, take a deep breath and read the following recommendations.
First, you may want to call your local Poison Control Center and tell them the name of the medication that your daughter has been taking, the dosage, how long she has been taking the wrong dosage, and your daughter’s age and weight. Poison Control will inform you if your child is in danger, if you should make your daughter vomit, or if you should take your child to the ER.
When in doubt, always seek a medical evaluation. While it may take time to sit in the emergency room and money to undergo tests, it is critical to do so, so that you will learn if your daughter will suffer from dangerous side effects of a toxic dose—an overdose. Depending on what the doctor indicates, you might want to file a lawsuit against the pharmacy if your daughter has suffered harmful side effects as a result of an incorrect dosage.
Even if your daughter hasn’t suffered life-threatening injuries, you may still want to file a claim against the negligent pharmacy for your medical bills and emotional trauma the incident caused. Make sure you report your concern to the pharmacy manager; however, do not sign any forms or give them back the wrong medication. Keep it for proof in case you want to pursue a claim.
Because most lawyers give free consultations, it is wise to call a pharmacy error lawyer to find out more about your rights and what you should do. For more information, please order a free copy of our report, How to Make Pharmacies Pay for Injuries Caused by Medication Errors.
Concerns Over Medication Mistakes Involving Wrong Drug Dosages
Received the Wrong Dosage of Prescription Medication?
All you need to do is have the pill or capsule in your hand and access the Internet to determine whether the drug you are taking is the correct medication and the right dosage. Because all pills approved by the FDA are required to have an identification code on them, you should be able to search for the pill based on the unique imprint, color, shape, and drug name.
There are several different searchable database sites that you can access to identify the drug dosage. For the sake of this answer, we will provide you with two tools that you can use to help you identify the dosage and medication information, including:
- Drugs.com Pill Identifier
- RxList Pill Identifier
These sites have access to tens of thousands of medications. After you access one of these websites, or use their smartphone app, you can type in the identifying imprint that is stamped on the pill. Generally, the bottom of the pill will have one set of numbers, and the top of the pill will have a different identifier code. One code identifies the dosage of the pill. After typing in the code, you may find out if it is a 20mg pill or a 500mg pill.
While it is very easy to use these pill identifier sites, it is always in your best interest to check with your pharmacist if something doesn’t seem right or if you believe you were given the wrong dosage of drugs. Because pharmacists can make mistakes, we always encourage people to check the pill identifier online before taking any medication.
If you found this answer helpful, we urge you to share it on Facebook so that your friends and family will learn about the importance and ease of using pill identifiers to help them avoid taking the wrong dosage.
Questions to Ask to Ensure You Don’t Get the Wrong Medication
It is no surprise that many people are taking the wrong medication for treatment of their colds. You may have heard about this on the news and want to make sure you and your family get the right medication for your runny nose, cough, and aches and pains.
Here are four ways to help you avoid getting the wrong medication when you have a cold:
- See your doctor. You can schedule an appointment with your doctor to confirm your cold is not a bacterial infection that may require antibiotics. While there, you can ask your doctor what he or she would recommend that you take to treat common cold symptoms.
- Talk with a pharmacist. You can ask a pharmacist at your neighborhood pharmacy what medication he or she would recommend when your runny nose and cough won’t subside.
- Read over-the-counter labels carefully. You can take a stroll through the cold and allergy medication aisle and carefully read the ingredients and labels.
- Go online and review the pill through a pill identifier. If you received a prescription medication, you can go online to use a pill identifier to double check the pill’s size, shape, and color to confirm you are taking the correct medication.
While all of these tools are great to help you avoid taking the wrong medication, it is important to remember that doctors and pharmacists are humans who can make mistakes. If something doesn’t seem right, ask questions before taking any pill to help prevent medication errors. If you found this answer helpful, please feel free to share it with those you know on your favorite social media site.