Medication errors still occur frequently despite substantial efforts to reduce medication errors throughout the country. According to one study, adverse drug events make up over one million emergency department visits and 3.5 million physician office visits each year. Those who are injured due to Maryland medication error may suffer from physical and mental effects after the error.
Medication errors may occur because of look-alike or sound-alike medications, labeling errors, unclear prescriptions, prescribing errors, failure to check for adverse reactions due to allergies or other drugs, or other reasons. Pharmacists may also fail to give adequate instructions and warnings. If someone has been injured due to a medication error, they have the right to file a claim for monetary compensation from the wrongful actor. An injured patient in Maryland may be able to recover compensation through a negligence claim by demonstrating that the wrongful actor failed to meet the required standard of care and injured the patient due to the negligent conduct. Certain family members may be able to file a wrongful death claim in the tragic event of the patient’s death.
Denial After a Medication Error
A recent article discussed the tendency of pharmacists to deny an error and become defensive in the event of a medication error. Pharmacists and other medical professionals may fear litigation which causes them to treat patients as a threat. As the article noted, taking this approach can alienate patients and ignores the issues that caused the error and any ongoing risks to patients. Thus, the patient may be put at greater risk, and the issues that caused the error may continue. Pharmacists should instead be honest and transparent with patients and evaluate the error. Honesty and transparency facilitate communication, helps to improve systems and puts the safety of patients first.
What Steps Should Pharmacies Take to Avoid an Error?
To address these issues, pharmacies should have written policies and procedures concerning how to handle medication errors. The policies should be reviewed with all staff members, including temporary and part-time staff. In the event of an error, the error should be disclosed to the patient, and the event should be documented and reported to regulatory agencies if necessary. If a pharmacist or other medical professional denies that a medication error occurred, it may be out of fear for their job or business. But even if a negligent party fails to take responsibility for the error, the error can still be proven through other evidence.
Have You Suffered an Injury from a Medication Error?
If you believe that you or a loved one has been injured due to a Maryland medication error, you may be entitled to financial compensation. The Maryland medication error attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC represent plaintiffs in medication error cases and other medical malpractice cases in the Maryland and Washington, D.C. area. They have over twenty years of experience litigating medication error claims and know what it takes to build a successful case. They work closely with medical experts to seek the maximum compensation recoverable. Contact them online or call 1-800-654-1949 to set up a free consultation.