The vast majority of medical treatments, procedures, and technology have improved over the years. Unfortunately, certain aspects of the healthcare industry, including prescription medication, have not made the same kind of advancements. Most people have to take prescription medication at some point in their life and most times, it does the job it is supposed to. Other times though, mistakes occur that cause serious harm to the patient. When this is the case, it is considered medical malpractice and injured individuals can file a claim. If you have been hurt, below are some facts you should know before you file.
The Rate of Prescription Drug Errors is Increasing
A study published in the American Journal of Health-Systems Pharmacy shows that the number of prescription drug errors is rapidly increasing. The study showed that the risk of prescription drug errors increases as the number of orders verified also climbs. The study observed 50 pharmacists over the course of one year and over that time, 62 percent of the professionals studied made a prescription drug error.
Patients are Often Given Too Many Medications
Consider that the average hospital patient receives nine or ten medications, and it is easy to see just how often medications are overprescribed and over-administered. The risk of a prescription error increases with the number of drugs a patient is given and in many cases, the drugs are not entirely necessary.
Doctors must always evaluate the types of medication given, and the amount, to ensure mistakes are not made. They should also re-evaluate the need for prescription medication after the patient is discharged from their care. When healthcare professionals fail to provide this standard of care, it could be a case of medical malpractice.
Prescription Drug Mistakes are Harmful and Expensive
A study conducted by the Institute of Medicine in 2006 showed just how harmful and expensive prescription drug mistakes are. Prescription drug errors harm more than 1.5 million Americans every year. They also cost those injured by the mistakes $3.5 billion every year in lost wages, lost productivity, and medical expenses. Forty-two percent of these errors require extensive medical treatment, and twenty percent of them are life-threatening.
Doctors Can Avoid Prescription Mistakes by Checking the Five ‘Rights’
There are five known ‘rights’ of medical administration. These are the right drug, the right patient, the right route, the right dose, and the right time. By simply checking these five factors and making sure they are correct, doctors and pharmacists can avoid the majority of prescription drug mistakes, if not all.
A Medical Malpractice Lawyer Can Advise You of Your Legal Options
If you or someone you love has been hurt by a prescription drug mistake, a medical malpractice attorney can help you claim the compensation you need for your injuries. A skilled Philadelphia prescription injury lawyer will advise you of your legal options, accurately value your claim, and give you the best chance of a favorable outcome. Do not wait to recover the damages you are entitled to. Call a lawyer today and obtain the legal advice you need.
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