All healthcare providers are told some version of the five “rights” to medication administration: 1) right patient, 2) right drug, 3) right dose, 4) right time, 5) right route, 6) right reason, and 7) right documentation. This is because medication errors can be detrimental to a person’s health and sometimes lead to illness, addiction, or death. Below are some unfortunately common errors that lead to pharmacists over/under-prescribing, or simply distributing the wrong medicine. If you or a loved one experienced negative side effects or injury due to a medication error, you should contact an attorney to fully evaluate your claim.
Poor Documentation/Zeroes and Decimal Points
Despite it being the 21st Century, healthcare professionals can still make mistakes due to poor lighting, poor phone quality, and handwritten orders. If a pharmacist isn’t careful, they might accidentally mishear something over the phone and fulfill a medicine request that was not intended by the prescribing doctor.
Additionally, handwritten orders plus decimal points often equal a mistake. Someone might write down a prescription as “25.0mg” instead of “25mg” thinking they are being precise, but because they have bad handwriting, the pharmacist reads “250mg” and the patient’s medication is unintentionally multiplied by a factor of 10 without their knowledge. Leading zeros (i.e., 0.25 vs .25) should be used though, as a sloppily written “4 x .25mg” might be interpreted as “4 x 25mg” which similarly results in overdosing your patient.
Pharmacies are filled with a variety of different drugs. Many of these drugs or medications physically resemble other drugs that produce entirely different effects. Therefore pharmacists must keep an organized and clean workspace. If all pills are organized correctly in a quickly sorted manner, then the risk of accidentally prescribing the wrong medicine goes down. Similarly, pharmacists should always review the prescription label and expiration date for all medication they are handing out. Not only is it suitable for inventory purposes, but it also is a great way to check if you are about to issue a mislabeled/expired medication.
No Two Person Confirmation
Sometimes a medication error can be prevented by as simple a solution as just having more than one person confirm the order. This helps catch warnings in drug labels (e.g., “do not crush” or “take with food”) and avoid mistakes with look-alike/sound-alike medications.
Contact The Law Offices of Cardaro & Peek, LLC Today
Do you believe that you or your loved one has suffered as a result of medical malpractice or medical neglect? If so, you may be entitled to compensation. Call Cardaro & Peek, LLC today.
The lawyers at Cardaro & Peek, LLC have the experience and resources necessary to investigate and litigate all types of medical claims throughout Maryland and Washington D.C. Cardaro & Peek, LLC has medical personnel on staff and has access to nationally recognized, board-certified physicians and other experts, to assist in the investigation, analysis, and prosecution of all types of medical malpractice claims. If you or a loved one have experienced malpractice, give us a call at 410-752-6166. Please visit our website www.cardarolaw.com and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for more information.