Medications save countless lives every day. They cure illnesses, control symptoms, and relieve pain. But when a doctor prescribes the wrong medication, defective drugs, or an incorrect dose, injuries and even death may occur. The Food and Drug Administration receives reports of over 100,000 injuries per year associated with medication errors, including in New Mexico. These errors can cause devastating effects such as:
- Life-threatening injury
- Birth defects
Approximately 7,000 deaths occur annually due to prescription errors in hospitals. The NCBI reports that over half of prescription errors occur during the ordering phase. Nearly 75 percent of these mistakes are caused by distraction. A distracted doctor may make dangerous errors such as:
- Prescribing the wrong medication
- Prescribing the wrong dosage
- Prescribing an incorrect strength
- Prescribing the wrong dosage frequency
- Overlooking an interaction with another medication
- Overlooking or ignoring a patient’s list of known medication allergies
Sometimes errors occur when a pharmacist misreads a doctor’s handwriting, though the increasingly common electronic ordering system now prevents most handwriting-related prescription mistakes.
What to Do If You’ve or a Loved One Has Been Injured By a Medication Mistake
Patients must be their own advocates. If your medication makes no improvements in your symptoms, or — worse — causes an injury, first call your doctor to discuss your concerns. Carefully describe the medication name, dosage, and frequency of dosing. You can also research the medication you were prescribed through the National Health Institution’s medication portal to see if it’s routinely prescribed for your condition. Though doctors prescribe some medications off-label and you may not see the off-label use listed in the information provided, many times researching online will show that the medication is sometimes used off-label for your condition. It’s also important to double check with your pharmacist to see if a mistake occurred when the pharmacist filled your prescription.
Call A Lawyer for a Consultation
If you find that you’ve been mistakenly prescribed the wrong medication in New Mexico and have had mild or severe negative health impacts, it’s time to call a team of experienced attorneys like the personal injury attorneys at the Fine Law Firm in Albuquerque.
Prescription errors are serious mistakes. Not only can they cause devastating injuries and even death, but they also leave your condition untreated or improperly treated which can negatively impact your health and prognosis if your illness progressed while you took the wrong medication.
There are many safeguards in place to prevent a patient taking an incorrectly prescribed medication. If you were injured by a medication mistake, the person responsible must be held accountable and you deserve compensation.
Navigating the legal requirements for filing a claim for an injury caused by taking a wrongly prescribed medication can be time-consuming and complex. Experienced lawyers can investigate your case to determine if your hospital, doctor, or pharmacist acted negligently and prescribed the wrong medication for your condition. Skilled legal representation can help you receive compensation for your additional medical expenses, lost earnings, and pain and suffering while you focus on your recovery.