Medical mistakes, including pharmacy errors, are among the leading causes of death in the state. Notwithstanding the data showing that preventable medication errors affect nearly 7 million patients per year, most people maintain an “it could never happen to me” approach when thinking about these potentially dangerous errors. However, the reality is that anyone can fall victim to a Maryland pharmacy error.
Not all pharmacy errors are harmful, and fewer yet are fatal. In fact, most pharmacy errors are caught by another pharmacist or the patient. Of the patients who end up bringing the incorrect prescription home and taking it, few will experience immediate side effects. That, however, does not mean that the un-prescribed medication will not cause the patient harm; only that there are no immediate effects.
The best way to avoid suffering the ill effects of a Maryland pharmacy error is to prevent the mistake from happening in the first place. Of course, the duty to prevent a mistake does not ultimately rest with the patient; however, patients should still double-check all prescriptions and seek a consultation with a pharmacist when taking new prescriptions.
When someone discovers that they have ingested the wrong type or dose of medication, there are certain steps that they should follow. Following these steps is important not just to minimize the adverse effects of the error, but also to preserve the patient’s ability to pursue a Maryland personal injury lawsuit against the responsible parties. Below are a few tips for patients who have taken medication that they later learn was given to them in error:
- Seek medical assistance – The most important thing a patient can do after an error is to see a doctor, especially if they develop any immediate symptoms.
- Notify the pharmacy – Let the pharmacy know about the error. The pharmacist may be able to shed light on how the error occurred and can provide patients with the correct prescription.
- Preserve evidence – Patients should keep the remaining pills, bottle, and any prescription paperwork in a safe place. This evidence could be crucial in a subsequent personal injury case against the pharmacy.
- Contact an attorney – Pharmacy error lawsuits can be very complex, and should be handled by attorneys who have experience with these particular cases. A patient will likely need to present expert witness testimony in support of their case. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney can connect patients with the correct expert.
By following these steps, patients can ensure that they protect their health as well as their ability to recover for their injuries.
Have You Been the Victim of a Maryland Pharmacy Error?
If you or a loved one has recently been provided the wrong medication after picking up a prescription, contact the dedicated Maryland personal injury lawyers at Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC. At Lebowitz & Mzhen, we represent the victims of medical errors in cases against those responsible for their injuries. We handle Maryland pharmacy error cases, as well as those arising in Virginia and Washington, D.C. To learn more about how we can help you with your situation, call 410-654-3600 to schedule a free consultation today.