Medication mistakes cause 1.5 million preventable injuries per year, according to the June/July 2012 issue of AARP the Magazine. An Auburn University study of 100 area pharmacies found errors in 1 out of every 5 prescriptions. Even more alarming, a University of California at San Diego study found that prescription errors resulting in death increased 25 percent at the beginning of the month, when many seniors cash Social Security checks.
Like doctors and nurses, pharmacists are healthcare providers who are held to a high standard of care. But they’re also human. Sometimes, they:
- confuse one medication with another that has a similar label or name, such as Klonopin and Clonidine. Klonopin is primarily used to control seizures and Clonidine is used to lower high blood pressure. If a patient with low blood pressure is mistakenly given Clonidine instead of Klonopin, his or her blood pressure could drop to a dangerously low level;
- dispense the wrong dosage;
- omit instructions such as “do not take on an empty stomach” from the drug label; and
- give a customer’s medication to the wrong customer.
Although pharmacists rarely compound medications, they occasionally reconstitute pediatric antibiotic syrups. Medical malpractice can occur if the wrong ingredients are mixed or if the medication becomes contaminated, such as with the NECC fungal meningitis outbreak of 2012.
If you suffered a catastrophic injury while taking prescribed medication, contact our dangerous drug lawyers for a free consultation or request our free guide to filing a malpractice claim in Ohio. Your pharmacist or a pharmacy technician could be held responsible for dispensing the wrong medication or the wrong instructions that accompanied your medication.