Patients look to their physicians to provide them with assistance. Sometimes, that comes in the form of a prescription. However, when the patient receives the wrong medication or dosage, it becomes a medical error that can have dangerous results.
While it is not widely discussed, this is a serious issue. There are a few key facts to understand about prescription drug errors.
According to research, prescription drug errors occur every day. While many are not life-threatening, several result in death. Even non-threatening cases may still cause injury. For instance, a British woman needed a prescription for an eye lubricant but received a prescription for erectile dysfunction. The patient had to receive emergency treatment at the hospital, and it took a few days for her condition to clear up.
One reason why prescription errors are so common is due to the various ways they can happen. While a physician provides the prescription, there are medical technicians, pharmacists and techs who can handle the prescription before it reaches the patient. Mistake or oversite by any one person can result in an error.
These types of errors are happening around the world. While there are rules and regulations in place, there is still a rising number of issues. Also, there is a possibility of countless unreported instances that go unaccounted. This inhibits proper tracking to determine the root of the issue to bring about positive change. The National Health Service in the United Kingdom is working to decriminalizing reporting of drug errors in an effort to encourage reporting. If it renders positive results, it may be worth considering in other countries, as well.
If you or a loved one have experienced this type of medical error and it resulted in injury, you may have an option for recourse. Consider speaking with an attorney to determine your available options.