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.
At any pharmacy, the pharmacy technicians play an important role in running the practice. Pharmacy technicians are responsible for providing an extra layer of safety for the pharmacist. Unfortunately, the pharmacy technician is just as susceptible to committing an error as any other employee at the pharmacy.
4 Potential Times for Pharmacy Technician Error
At what point during the prescription filling process can these errors occur? The following is an overview:
- At the time the prescription is dropped off. If the pharmacy technician fails to obtain critical patient information from each patient, an error may occur. Examples of critical information include the patient’s date of birth, allergies, and medical conditions.
- At the time the order is entered. When a pharmacy technician enters a drug’s name, a risk of error may occur when the drug is new and unfamiliar to the technician. There is also a potential for simple human error when entering information into the computer.
- At the time the prescription is filled or dispensed. Often, errors occur during the time of filling or dispensing of the medication because the pharmacy technician incorrectly reads a label. This is compounded by something known as “confirmation bias.” Confirmation bias is where a person selects what is familiar to them or what they expected to see on the label rather than what is actually there.
- At the point of sale. Pharmacy technicians may also make drug errors at the point of sale. Even if the prescription is filled correctly, it could potentially be dispensed to a person that it was not intended for. The risk becomes higher if the technician does not use a second identifier for the patient picking up the prescription. To reduce the chance of an error, the technician should ask the person picking up the medication for the patient’s address or date of birth and check it against the information on the prescription receipt and vial.
If you were injured by a pharmacy error, we can help. We encourage you to contact us today for a consultation at 888-526-7616.
Injuries From Drug Interactions Deserve Compensation
The truth of the matter is that you increase your risk of drug interactions as the number of pills you take increases. The more over-the-counter and prescription medications you take, the more at risk you are for suffering from a dangerous side effect due to drug interactions.
While doctors and pharmacists know not to give diabetic patients diuretics or beta blockers to those with asthma, sometimes mistakes happen behind the pharmacy counter. For this reason, it is always a good idea to know the name of medication your doctor prescribed and check it against the pill bottle your pharmacist fills. If the name is different, ask the pharmacist. Additionally, have a pharmacist consultation, as it is one of the best ways to reduce your chances of taking medications that can cause drug interactions.
When a pharmacist is filling your prescription, he or she may not realize what other medications you are taking. This is why it is always a good idea to keep a list of your current medications with you, including prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Be sure to show this list to your pharmacist when picking up your medication.
Because drug interactions can make medications less effective or lead to dangerous side effects, it is very important that you read all of your drug labels carefully. Certain medication labels will have “Drug Interaction Precautions” listed on the label or inform you to avoid eating or drinking certain things that could interact with that drug.
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Eliminating Dosing Errors: Difference Between Tablespoon and Teaspoon
Avoid Spooning up the Wrong Dose of Medicine
We know it can be difficult for you to give your child medicine with all the different units of measurement such as tablespoons, teaspoons, and milliliters. Unfortunately, pharmacies and doctors don’t make things easier, as they often interchange these measurement units on prescriptions.
In order to reduce your child’s chance of suffering a medication mistake, you should never use tablespoons or teaspoons. Because these names are similar to each other and their abbreviations look almost identical, many parents often confuse one for another. Also, every kitchen spoon is different, which means that you won’t know if you are giving your child too much or too little of the medication he or she needs.
Instead of using tablespoons and teaspoons to measure a child’s dose of liquid medication, it is best to use milliliters. When you are at the doctor’s office, ask your doctor to write the prescription out in milliliters. This will decrease the chance for a medication error. When picking up your child’s prescription from the pharmacy, ask the pharmacist to check the milliliters, to make sure it is correct for your child’s age and weight. Additionally, ask them for a syringe or dosing cup that measures in milliliters. Some children’s liquid medication comes with dosing cups or syringes; however, check to make sure the device measures in milliliters and not in another measurement unit.
As a society, we should push to adopt a milliliter-only unit of measurement to help reduce prescription mistakes and drug errors in children. If you agree, please share this information with others on Facebook to help spread the word.
Two Reasons Hospital Patients Suffer from Medication Errors
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.
There are many reasons why children are unintentionally poisoned or suffer from drug overdosing. Those responsible for these drug errors are typically:
- Drug manufacturers
- Children, themselves
Some of the reasons children suffer from accidental prescription poisonings include:
- Children receive the wrong medication at the pharmacy
- Children receive the correct medication, but are prescribed an adult dose
- Parents don’t check the label for their child’s information
- Parents don’t confirm that the prescription is the same as the doctor ordered
- Parents don’t consult with the pharmacists or ask necessary questions
- Adults leave their prescriptions out in the open
- Children find their parent’s medication in accessible areas of the house
- Parents don’t talk to children about the dangers of medications
- Grandparents don’t realize the risks involved by leave their medications in a child’s reach
Very young children tend to be most vulnerable for accidental poisonings because they are prone to stick just about anything into their mouths. If a child finds a pill that was dropped on the floor or is able to reach on top of counters, it is likely that the child may suffer as a result. In order to prevent drug errors in children, parents and grandparents need to keep medications in a safe place and be more cautious in storing their medications. Additionally, drug manufacturers should consider creating better drug packaging, and pharmacists should perform more patient consultations.
If your child suffered harm due to someone else’s negligence, please call Kennedy Hodges to speak with a pharmacy error attorney at 888-526-7616 in a free consultation today, and also request a FREE copy of our report, How to Make Pharmacies Pay for Injuries Caused by Medication Errors.
A generic drug should be bioequivalent to a brand-name drug. This means that a generic drug should be the same dose, safety strength, quality, and have the same route of administration as its chemically identical brand-name drug. Americans fill about one billion generic prescriptions annually and count on those drugs to work as well as their branded counterparts; however, some people believe that certain generic drugs don’t work as well or don’t have the same performance characteristics as their brand-name medications.
However, the FDA says that generic drugs have to contain the same purity, strength, quality and stability as their brand-name drugs, and that the way the drug is taken, how it is used, and the way it works should be the same as well. Because generic drugs are supposed to perform the same way as branded-drugs and they cost less, it’s no wonder why so many people chose generic drugs over brand-name medications.
While generic drugs cost less and should be chemically identical to their brand-name counterparts, they are required to look different in size, shape and color. They are also required by federal law to have different names. While this seems reasonable (since the drugs are manufactured by different companies), the drug differences can sometimes create confusion behind the pharmacy counter. This is why some people believe that the medications should look alike to prevent drug errors.
If you have been harmed by a generic drug or brand-name drug, the pharmacy may be to blame. Call Kennedy Hodges, L.L.P. at 888-526-7616 to discuss your rights with a skilled drug error attorney today during a free consultation.
Caring for children requires parents to be cautious and educated about medicine in order to protect children from accidental poisonings, dangerous medications, or other medication mistakes that could cause children harm. Because children are small in size and are not fully developed, they are more likely to be victims of dangerous drug mistakes due to the wrong medication or wrong dosage of medication being given to them.
Here are some tips for parents to help prevent prescription mistakes:
- Verify with the pharmacist that the correct prescription was filled. Check the medication label, dosage information, and instructions before leaving the pharmacy.
- Know the right way to measure liquid doses of medication. Ask the pharmacist to show you because many parents make overdosing mistakes with liquid medications. For this reason, get an oral syringe – never use a household spoon – and reread the instructions before measuring your child’s dose.
- Never let your child play with the medication bottles, even if the caps are child-resistant. Children have been known to get the caps off and overdose.
- Store all medication in one single spot in the house that is out of reach of children so that your kids cannot access any prescription medications without your help.
- Don’t give infants and children under two years of age any cough and cold products.
- If leaving your child with his or her grandparents, make sure medications are all put away and explain to your elderly parents that two in ten medication poisonings for children involve grandparents’ medicines that are often located in daily pill holders, purses or sitting on tables or shelves.
If your child was injured by a negligent pharmacist, call Kennedy Hodges, L.L.P. at 888-526-7616 for a free consultation, and talk with an experienced pharmacy error attorney to find out about your rights.
We are saddened to hear about your father’s tragic death from medication contamination. In situations like this, you and your family do have legal rights to recover financial compensation. While this may be a single case brought against a pharmacy, compounding pharmacy or drug company, your tragic situation may be shared by others if their family members were victims of the same contaminated drug. This means you may file an individual pharmacy malpractice claim or be part of a class action suit. Filing a lawsuit will also help to prevent drug errors from happening to others.
The compensation you can recover can include both compensatory damages and punitive damages. Examples of compensatory damages include the monetary loss your family suffered from your father’s passing, for instance, lost income, his future salary, medical bills and funeral costs.
Punitive damages may also be granted to families seeking compensatory damages. These damages help punish those accountable for your loss. It is a way of punishing a company or person in civil court for committing a crime against society. These damages also help warn other individuals or companies of the possible outcomes if they take part in this type of negligent behavior.
For help determining what your case should be worth and to make sure you protect your family’s interests and seek justice, you need to talk with an experienced pharmacy error lawyer. File a complaint today with help from Kennedy Hodges. We will answer your questions in a free consultation at 888-526-7616.
After someone you love has suffered the consequences of a prescription drug mistake, you will no doubt be looking to hold someone responsible. After all, we are fiercely protective of our loved ones, and those who caused them harm should have to pay.
Many people are quick to blame the last person who touched the medication before it was given—regardless of whether that person is really at fault. Although nurses are charged with double-checking medications, the mistake could have been made at any point in the process. Errors can happen:
- When the order is written or transcribed
- When the medication label is printed
- If a verbal order is misunderstood
- If the method of administration is incorrect
- If the medication has not been double-checked
While any (or all) of these instances could be the reason for error, many times it is not the fault of one person. In most cases, victims of prescription drug errors will seek compensation from the hospital or care facility where the error occurred. This is important, because the outcome has more positive effects: Rather than firing an individual who might be held responsible and ignoring the true causes of error, the hospital can evaluate why the mistake occurred and stop it from happening again.
The attorneys at Kennedy Hodges can help you get the compensation you deserve for your suffering, as well as the peace of mind that comes from knowing you have helped to prevent these errors from happening in the future. Call us today at (888) 526-7616 for a FREE consultation on your case, or click the link on this page to receive a FREE copy of our report, How to Make Pharmacies Pay for Your Injuries Caused by Medication Errors.
Schools often rely on unlicensed assistive personnel (UAP) to administer medications to children. A University of Iowa survey of school nurses revealed that school medication errors are three times more likely when medication is administered by UAP staff.
4 tips to keep your child safe from medication mistakes at school
Children are also at risk of pharmacy errors.
- If possible, administer medications to your child yourself instead of sending them to the school.
- Talk with your child’s pediatrician about alternate methods for your child’s medication.
- Write out instructions for your child’s medication and discuss them with staff.
- If possible, instruct your child about the proper color, use or administration of their medication.
Medication errors or dosage errors at the pharmacy can have devastating consequences for a small child. Download our free report to learn 10 Tips to Protect Your Kids from Pharmacy Errors.
If you or a loved one are harmed by a medication error or prescription error, contact our office toll free at 1-888-526-7616 to start a free, no-obligation case review with our pharmacy error lawyers.