Chicago Pharmaceutical Error Attorneys
Doctors prescribe medicine to heal illnesses or alleviate symptoms. Sometimes, however, human error in prescribing drugs and getting them to the patient can result in further illness, symptoms, or even death. Whether patients receive the wrong medicine, the wrong dose of the right medicine, or drugs that interact with each other in dangerous ways, pharmaceutical errors can have dangerous consequences.
Doctors and pharmacists have a duty to take the utmost care in prescribing and providing drugs to patients. When they fail to take this care, they betray the trust patients have in them and put patients at serious risk. At Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC, we believe negligent doctors and pharmacists should pay for the harm they cause patients through pharmaceutical errors.
If you or someone you love was hurt by a pharmaceutical error, we can help you hold the party responsible financially accountable. Call us today at 312-346-8620 to schedule a confidential consultation.
Pharmaceutical Errors by Doctors and Pharmacists
The process of receiving a medication starts with a doctor’s prescription. It is up to doctors to know which drugs are appropriate for the patient’s condition and how those drugs might interact with others the patient is taking. Here are some of the dangerous mistakes doctors can make in prescribing medications:
- Prescribing the wrong medication for the patient’s condition
- Prescribing the wrong dosage for the patient
- Prescribing a medication to which the patient has reported an allergy
- Prescribing a medication with a dangerous reaction to other drugs the patient is taking
As the people handling these drugs, pharmacists have many opportunities to put patients in danger if they are not careful. Here are some of the mistakes pharmacists can make in getting patients their medicine:
- Filling the wrong drug
- Filling the wrong dosage
- Giving the patient another person’s prescription
- Mixing the drug incorrectly
- Providing the patient with incorrect usage instructions
Errors like these can put patients at risk of serious complications, or at the very least fail to better their condition. If your doctor or pharmacist committed such an error, you may be able to hold them responsible for the harm they’ve caused you.
How Do Pharmaceutical Errors Happen?
While doctors and pharmacists are specially trained to prevent errors from happening, there are a number of reasons why they still make pharmaceutical errors. Here are a few of the top reasons:
Understaffed: Pharmacists and doctors face an ever-increasing workload and are often racing from one patient or customer to the next. This can impede the focus and care they need to take with each prescription and lead to mistakes.
Exhaustion: Fatigue can result from the long hours that doctors and pharmacists need to work and from being understaffed. Being tired can lead to poor judgment, which can lead to dangerous errors.
Working too quickly: There may be a long line of people waiting to pick up a prescription or a backlog of prescriptions to fill. This can cause the pharmacist to work more quickly or overlook an important step.
Misreading or writing the wrong code: When a pharmacist gets the prescription from the doctor, they may not be able to read what is being prescribed, which can be dangerous. More and more, doctors are sending prescriptions electronically. This can still cause errors, however, if the doctor or staff types in the wrong prescription code.
Miscommunication: Poor communication between doctors and staff and poor communication between pharmacists can result in an incorrect medication or dosage being prescribed or filled. Also, various medication names often sound the same, which can lead to a pharmaceutical mistake.
Pharmaceutical Error Injuries
When a doctor prescribes medicine to a patient, the patient is putting their trust in the doctor to help them feel better. They trust the doctor will prescribe the right medicine, the right amount, and know which medicines don’t mix, to avoid a dangerous drug interaction. The patient also trusts that the doctor or pharmacist will communicate any information they need to know about side effects or instructions related to the medicine.
The doctor and pharmacist should know how to prescribe and fill medications safely, and they should know the steps to take to prevent a medication from causing harm. Sometimes, however, serious mistakes happen. The following are just some of the injuries that can result from pharmaceutical errors:
- Heart Attack
- Brain damage
- Bleeding injury
- Allergic reaction
- Organ damage or failure
- Loss of vision
The carelessness of a doctor or pharmacist could change your life forever. Given the measures that staff and pharmacists are supposed to take to ensure the safety of the medication they’re prescribing or filling, mistakes should be a rare occurrence. Unfortunately, however, they happen all too often. You don’t have to suffer in silence if you or someone you know have been a victim of pharmaceutical errors. Our attorney will build your case and work to get you the compensation you deserve.
How to Avoid Pharmaceutical Errors
You can take certain steps to help avoid being injured by pharmaceutical errors. The most important thing you can do is pay attention and understand what is going into your body. If you don’t understand something, don’t be afraid to speak up and ask questions. Here are a few recommended questions to ask the next time you pick up a prescription:
What is the name of my medication?
Medication can be hard to pronounce. Having the doctor or pharmacist say it a few times will help you learn how to say it. If you visit multiple doctors, this will also allow you to give each doctor the name of the medications you’re taking, so they know not to prescribe anything that could interact with your medications.
What is the medicine supposed to do?
It is important to know what the medicine is intended to do. This will cut down on any surprises, so you aren’t caught off guard.
What is the best way to use the medication?
You should always be aware of how much and how often you are to take the medication. If you aren’t given that information, you should ask for it. Sometimes a medication doesn’t interact with other medicines, food, or alcohol very well, so it is important to understand how best to use it.
How long do I need to take the medication?
The length of time a medication is taken varies – some are for longer periods of time, some are shorter. If a medication is intended to be taken long-term, but you only take it short-term, then the medication won’t work correctly.
What are the side effects?
Side effects are common in most medications. Most side effects are nothing to worry about; however, some effects are very serious and could lead to permanent damage if they’re not monitored and treated by your doctor. Review the side effects associated with your medication. It’s also important that your doctor or pharmacists communicate any crucial side effects to you and what you should do in case they happen to you.
What other prescriptions or medicine should I not take at the same time?
Some medications don’t mix well with other medications or certain food and drinks. Severe side effects can occur. Your doctor or pharmacist should communicate the possibility of negative interactions with you, but it’s a good idea to ask for this information if it’s not provided.
Asking questions of your doctor or pharmacist may prevent injury and pain and suffering. In the event that they fail to provide you with the necessary information, however, or make an error, we are here to fight for your rights and help you recover.
Compensation from Pharmaceutical Errors
When pharmaceutical errors happen, you don’t have to suffer the consequences alone. The attorneys at Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC will help you understand your rights and legal options and work to build a solid case for the compensation you need. You shouldn’t have to struggle with the financial strain of an injury that was caused by someone else’s mistake.
Following are some of the types of compensation that we may be able to secure for you:
- Lost wages
- Lost earnings
- Medical expenses
- Future medical costs
- Pain and suffering
- Psychological injuries
- In-home updates needed
We will thoroughly investigate your case and use legal recourse to gather crucial documentation and evidence needed to support your case for maximum compensation.
If you are considering legal action after a pharmaceutical error, Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC can help. Our medical malpractice attorneys provide services to patients like you across the Chicago area. Whether your doctor or your pharmacist made the error, we will handle your case with care. If you or someone you love was hurt by a pharmaceutical error, call the Chicago pharmaceutical error attorneys of Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC today at 312-346-8620.