The lawyers at Kennedy Hodges 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. If you have been injured due to the negligence of another person, read on to learn how to protect your legal rights.
While it doesn’t seem like a prescription error like this should ever take place at a pharmacy, it could happen because your name is similar to another patient’s name, you resemble another customer, or the pharmacy employee was not paying close attention.
The reality is that pharmacy technicians and pharmacists are often in a hurry. They are busy answering phone calls, answering patients’ questions, managing the drive thru window, filling prescriptions, and ringing customers up at the cash register. Unfortunately, because they have so many duties, they often get interrupted in the middle of a task. In addition, many pharmacy technicians and pharmacists work very long hours—sometimes 10- or 12-hour shifts—and are often working while drowsy. Any one of these things can contribute to medication error where a member of the pharmacy team ends up giving the wrong medication to a customer.
In addition, medication errors can occur when a member of the pharmacy staff takes a short cut or isn’t paying close attention to his duties. In fact, this lack of attention to detail is often what causes pharmacy employees to hand out the wrong medications to customers.
No matter what the reason, it is never ok to hand out the wrong drug to a customer. Serious injuries can result from taking medication that was intended for someone else, and pharmacies that push their employees to work long hours and carry unreasonable workloads should be held accountable for serious medication mix-ups.
Have you been hurt after receiving someone else’s prescription drug? Request your free copy of our book entitled How to Make Pharmacies Pay for Your Injuries Caused by Medication Errors or contact our office today using our live chat.
Reasons Hospital Patients Receive the Wrong Medication
Yes. Although pharmacy consultations are a great way to stop a pharmacy error from occurring—giving a pharmacists one last chance to review the pills in your bottle—you still have rights to pursue a pharmacy error claim. Pharmacists have a duty to care for their patients and double check their work to make sure their patients are getting the correct medications.
When pharmacists fail to carefully check their pharmacy technicians’ work, or if they mix up your pills with another customer’s prescription, you have a right to pursue a pharmacy malpractice claim for your injuries. Some of the damages you may be entitled to after suffering injuries from the wrong medication include compensation for your hospital bills, rehabilitation, lost income, pain and suffering, and more.
Taking the wrong medication can be very serious and even fatal. This is why it is critical that you seek justice for what happened and speak up about it to help others avoid getting incorrect medications at their pharmacies.
Although it is always in your best interest to take a pharmacist up on a consultation to review your medication with him or her, you don’t lose your rights to pursue a pharmacy malpractice lawsuit if you choose not to have a consultation. To learn more about your rights, get a free copy of our report, How to Make Pharmacies Pay for Injuries Caused by Medication Errors.
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.
Shockingly, many local or corner drugstores have actually given out the wrong prescription, wrong dosage, or switched patients’ prescriptions. Even pharmacy giants like Walgreens, CVS, and Rite Aid have had accounts where medication mistakes occurred behind the pharmacy counter. Because it is not required in most states for pharmacy errors to be reported—most people don’t hear about the incidents that have occurred at their own local pharmacy.
The real reasons you should switch pharmacies include:
- Not being able to consult with your pharmacist. Unfortunately, many stores keep pharmacists too busy, and it can be difficult to talk with a pharmacist. Your pharmacist should be accessible to speak with about your prescription, and your pharmacist should be knowledgeable about the medication you are taking. “If he or she is not, then you should take your business elsewhere,” says Lucinda Maine, CEO and executive vice president of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy.
- Not having the medication you need. Many pharmacies won’t keep your medication in stock. According to patient surveys, Albertson’s pharmacies are the worst for keeping drugs in stock. Make sure you find out if your drug is kept in stock.
- Paying too much for your medicine. Some pharmacies have negotiated discounts with preferred pharmacies that can help you save out-of-pocket costs for your prescription.
- Technology isn’t up-to-date. You will want a pharmacy that picks up prescriptions from doctors online and that has an interactive website or even mobile apps that can make ordering your prescription easier
For other pharmacy tips, please browse through our blogs and articles or follow us on Twitter.
Has Your Loved One Been Given the Wrong Medication in a Nursing Home?
Rising Cases of Nursing Home Over-Medication Worries Symposium Leaders
You should be able to see some red flags alerting you that your mother may be receiving the wrong prescription or an overdose of medication. In order to determine if your elderly family member is a victim of medication-related abuse in a nursing home, you and other family members should visit often. It is best to visit your mother at times when she is supposed to receive medication. This way you can watch the staff member dispense the drugs to her.
However, we know that you cannot be at the nursing home every day and for every medication administration. This is why you should become familiar with the following warning signs, such as:
- Erratic behavior changes
- Development of odd physical symptoms
- Excessive fatigue and exhaustion
- Takes more naps than usual
- Forgets more than usual and gets easily confused
- Withdrawing from visits
If your mother is receiving someone else’s medication or too much medicine, the ramifications can be serious. It is possible that your mother isn’t being treated properly for her own condition if she is receiving medication intended for another resident. For example, what if the nursing home is giving her someone else’s cholesterol medicine instead of her high blood pressure medication? The side effects of receiving another drug can be dangerous, and skipping doses of her high blood pressure pills may cause the medication to be ineffective.
If you believe your mother is being given the wrong prescription drugs or an overdose of drugs, contact our skilled medication error lawyers at Kennedy Hodges today for a free initial consultation at 888-526-7616.
- Hospital pharmacist dispensing errors
- Reasons patients receive wrong medications
If you were given the wrong medication by a nurse, doctor, or hospital pharmacist and you suffered seizures, you most likely have a case for pharmaceutical malpractice. While you may not consider a seizure to be a serious side-effect of getting the incorrect medication, it is serious, as they may cause further damage to your health.
Although rare, a severe seizure can cause brain damage; however, usually multiple severe seizures are needed to cause this type of injury. Your doctor should conduct an electroencephalogram (EEG) following your seizure, and the hospital should be responsible for your medical costs associated with this medication error.
When patients are put at needless risk due to a pharmacy error or negligence on the part of a nurse or doctor, hospitals should be held accountable. Healthcare workers have a duty of care to patients and shouldn’t cause patients further harm. While we understand all humans make mistakes, health care workers have to be diligent so that medication and pharmacy errors don’t occur and cause injuries to patients.
An experienced pharmacy malpractice attorney can help you bring a claim against the hospital for your medical bills, hospital expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and more. It is critical to hold the negligent party responsible so that these errors don’t continue to occur. Additionally, if you do need ongoing medical care, you deserve adequate compensation so that you receive the treatment you need.
If you would like to discuss your wrong medication lawsuit, please call our knowledgeable medication error attorneys at Kennedy Hodges at 888-526-7616 for a free consultation today.
Instead of writing out prescriptions, many doctors now use electronic prescriptions. There are positives and negatives to both, and many in the health community have differing views on this matter. Some say that electronic prescriptions drastically reduce patients receiving the wrong medication; others say that electronic prescribing is far from perfect.
E-prescribing benefits include:
- Reduces a pharmacist’s chance of misreading a hard-to-read written prescription.
- Reduces the amount of time pharmacists have to be on the phone clarifying prescriptions.
- Improves efficiency at a pharmacy.
Electronic prescription shortfalls include:
- Not selecting the correct drug in the computer.
- Not choosing the right drug strength from the drop-down menu.
- May take doctors more time.
While illegibility is no longer a problem with e-prescriptions, issues selecting the right drug or dosage of medication from the drop down menus are issues with electronic prescribing.
If you or someone you love was prescribed the wrong drug or a pharmacist filled the wrong medication, even with this technological advancement in place, you have rights. You should not allow those who should be safely practicing medicine to get away with being negligent. To find out how to hold parties responsible for their wrongs, call the pharmacy error attorneys at Kennedy Hodges 888-526-7616 for a free consultation today and fill out an online website form to receive a FREE copy of our report, How to Make Pharmacies Pay for Your Injuries Caused by Medication Errors.
It is extremely important that you contact your OB/GYN and go the hospital emergency room immediately so that a doctor can perform an evaluation. Sadly, ingesting a wrong medication can cause a miscarriage, birth defect, or even stillbirth; however, your baby may not suffer at all. The outcome may depend on the drug you took and how long you took it before realizing you were given the wrong drugs. Your doctor will determine if there are any injuries to your unborn child as a result of this pharmacy error.
If you suffered injuries or your unborn child suffered due to a pharmacist’s negligence, you have a case for pharmacy malpractice. You could be entitled to compensation for your hospital bills, tests, pain and suffering, and more. It would probably be best to bring the claim against the pharmacy after your baby is born in order to confirm if your child suffered from its negligence. Even if your child didn’t suffer injuries, you may still be entitled to compensation for your own medical expenses. Just in case, keep your pharmacy receipts, pill container, and all medical bills related to this wrong medication event.
It is also wise to immediately report the pharmacy error to the pharmacy involved and to contact a pharmacy malpractice attorney for help with pursuing a claim against the negligent pharmacy. Contact Kennedy Hodges, L.L.P. at 888-526-7616 for a free case consultation and request a FREE copy of our report, How to Make Pharmacies Pay for Injuries Caused by Medication Errors.
You most likely have heard of a serious or even fatal case in which a patient received the wrong medication from a pharmacy. As pharmacy error lawyers, we also hear about these incidents; we are contacted by people who have been sickened, or their loved ones have died, due to medication mistakes made by pharmacists. Although most people receive the correct prescription from their pharmacist, occasionally mistakes happen behind pharmacy counters that have serious consequences for patients.
The best thing you can do is be your own advocate. In order to prevent prescription errors—taking the wrong drug or the wrong dose of medication—you need to be aware of your prescription facts. Learn as much as you can about the prescription you were prescribed by asking questions of your doctor before leaving the doctor’s office. Then, take the pharmacist up on the consultation offered to review the medication before leaving the pharmacy. This way, you should be able to catch an error if one should occur.
It is always best to ask questions of your doctor and pharmacist to reduce your chances of receiving the wrong medication. If you or a loved one has suffered the side effects of a pharmacist’s mistake, please call Kennedy Hodges, L.L.P. to find out if you have a case against a negligent pharmacist for your injuries. Call us at 888-526-7616 for a free consultation today.
Simply put, mistakes happen due to human error. Pharmacists have the potential to make mistakes such as mixing up drugs, filling the wrong prescription, giving out someone else’s medication to the wrong customer, filling a medication that has a similar name to the drug the doctor prescribed, and not catching a potential adverse reaction that can occur due to a new drug prescribed and the medication a patient is already taking.
Pharmacists should be very vigilant and thorough due to the severity of injuries that can occur due to a pharmacy error, but errors still take place throughout this nation every year and cause adverse effects. This is why most pharmacies have safety checks in place, to hopefully catch medication errors before giving the wrong medication to a customer. Some pharmacies double-check, and others triple-check, prescriptions to try and eliminate the possibility of the wrong medication or dose being given to a customer.
While these safety checks and measures are in place to minimize pharmacy errors, mistakes still occur due to time pressures pharmacists are under, lack of medication organization, failure to have a controlled cell for each patient’s medication, failure of the technician at the window to check the order and customer’s identification, and failure to provide a pharmacist consultation to the patient. When pharmacies make these mistakes, a patient’s safety is compromised.
If you or someone you love was injured and suffered the adverse effects of a pharmacy error, you may be entitled to compensation. Call a skilled pharmacy error attorney at Kennedy Hodges, L.L.P. at 888-526-7616 for a free consultation to find out about your rights.