Many people use a prescription medication at some point, whether it is a one-time antibiotic, pain medication or whether it is medicine you take every day for a chronic condition. We generally trust our pharmacists to dispense the right amount of the right medication, as most of us are not familiar with prescription medications. But mistakes do occur leading to medication errors. Three types of medication errors include prescription errors, preparation errors and administration errors.
The first step of the prescription process is for the doctor write the prescription itself. However, the doctor writing the prescription could prescribe the wrong medication type, the wrong dosage or fail to make sure the prescription is safe given the patient’s medical history. A misdiagnosis can also lead to the incorrect prescription being written.
Once the pharmacy receives the prescription a pharmacist must prepare and package the medication. However, the pharmacist could contaminate the medication through poor hand hygiene. Mistakes can also be made in identifying the medication.
Some errors boil down to paperwork. For example, an extra numeral or spelling mistake could lead to a significant medical mistake. It could lead to an overdose, or it could mean the medication prescribed is ineffective. Poor chart review could also lead to a failure to identify a pre-existing allergy or condition.
A medication error could leave you with a worsened condition. Not only are you not receiving the treatment you need, but the wrong medication could cause further harm. If you find you have been made ill due to a medication error, you will want to learn more about your options for compensation including the possibility of pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit if the harm you suffered is extremely bad.