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Medication Errors And Patient Risk

January 1, 2016

If you’re given the wrong medication at a pharmacy, that’s a serious problem. Taking the wrong medication could cause all kinds of side effects that you weren’t prepared for. For instance, if you combine two medications that don’t mix well, you could have a coronary event or suffer a stroke.

It has to be said that it’s a common error for medications to be dispensed to the wrong person. Why? People have similar names, dates of birth, medications, disorders and more. Sometimes, medications are similar in name, and that results in the wrong pills being bottled. Some patients may not recognize the slight name difference, leading to injury when the wrong drug is taken.

A study that was performed by Institute for Safe Medical Practices stated that errors like the above happen about one time out of every 1,000 prescriptions filled. Now, with nearly 4 billion prescriptions filled a year, that’s a large number of people who could be affected by these errors.

It’s generally expected that pharmacists will get your prescriptions correct. Sometimes the pharmacist does, and it’s actually another person who errs when giving the prescription to the patient. For instance, the technician may have put the medication into the wrong patient’s bag, or maybe the label put on the bottle was incorrect.

In cases where you’re hurt because of these mistakes, your attorney can help you decide if you want to make a claim against the person responsible. You may be able to hold the pharmacy, hospital or other party accountable for the injuries you’ve suffered and obtain compensation for treatment.

Source: Philly.com, “Getting the wrong person’s medicine at the pharmacy,” Michael R. Cohen, accessed Jan. 01, 2016

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