Mistakes in the medical fields happen every day in America with some of them going unnoticed and others causing catastrophic results. While extreme examples may be reported on via the news, social media, or other sources, the majority of these incidents seem to avoid mass disclosure and some are even covered up in their entirety.
One area of medicine where mistakes and errors happen with some regularity is through the use of drugs. Whether they are name-brand prescription medications, generic substitutes, or over-the-counter drugs, mistakes in using, administering, and prescribing these medications are having life-altering effects every day in this country, including among those that call Phoenix home. Victims of these errors may be unsure of how to proceed with their lives, confused about where to turn or whether they are even entitled to relief.
Fortunately, Arizona laws are on the side of those who are hurt by the actions of others. When it comes to mistakes with medications, there are laws that are on the side of the person who was harmed by the drug and/or that person’s family members. Speaking with a personal injury attorney can help you realize what legal options may be available if you were injured or whether you have a valid claim for financial relief for your harm.
But why do these mistakes continue to happen? The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, through the Division of Medication Error Prevention and Analysis (“DMEPA”), keeps track of annual data from around the nation regarding medication mistakes and dosing issues. However, since DMEPA relies upon released information, it is likely that the problem is much bigger than that which is reported as some incidents go unnoticed and others are intentionally buried by those responsible.
DMEPA notes that medication errors can be blamed on physicians, pharmacists, other medical personnel, and even the patient and that patient’s family, depending on when and how the mistake takes place. With such a wide range of potential individuals who can cause an incident, it is clear that preventing all future mistakes will be difficult.
A significant component of medication errors and mistakes takes place when a doctor of physician prescribes medication. Similar sounding and similarly spelled drug names may be confused by a doctor, who can unintentionally prescribed an ineffective, potentially hazardous drug as a result. Similarly, if a doctor orders a medication on a prescription pad, his or her handwriting may make it challenging or even impossible to read a proper medicine’s name and a mistake may happen upon filling as a result.
Pharmacists serve a vital role when it comes to dispensing medication, but like the other factors in the chain of prescription drugs, they can make mistakes. Overlooking a doctor’s non-standard orders, mistaking one drug for another, or providing an improper dosage of a prescription are all common reasons for medication errors. In some instances, a pharmacist may be responsible for an adverse reaction in a patient if that pharmacist failed to prevent a patient from taking drugs with known negative interactions.
And still the patient herself or that patient’s family members can play a role in medication errors or mistakes. Some of these may be the fault of the patient but many of them can be traced back to poor conduct by a medical professional. For instance, a patient that takes too much of a drug may not be to blame if that patient received instructions that were not valid from her doctor. Or a patient that takes pills too close together and suffers from the consequences likewise may be without blame if that is how she was instructed to use the medicine.
Medical malpractice is a serious issue in Phoenix, and these claims are very complex and detailed. If you suspect that a medication error caused you harm or led someone you love to be injured or killed, consider calling the personal injury attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. to learn what legal options may be available to you.
At Abels & Annes, P.C., we only handle injury cases on behalf of those who were hurt and we fight for the best possible outcome for each and every client we represent. We keep an attorney standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week to take your call toll free at (855) PHX-LAWYER or locally at (602) 819-5191 and we will provide you with a no-cost, no-obligation case consultation.
If a mistake has harmed you, call Abels & Annes, P.C. today and let us get to work for you.
Prior Blog Entry:
Common Car Seat Mistakes Made by Arizona Parents, Phoenix Injury Lawyer Blog, published September 11, 2015.