Can prescription errors be fatal?

On Behalf of | May 30, 2024 | Medical Malpractice |

Taking medicine can be one of the most effective ways to treat various illnesses and symptoms associated with multiple health issues. Physicians and pharmacists typically work together to help patients access the medicine they need and take it correctly. But sometimes, errors can happen along the process, such as when providing the prescription or dispensing the medication, posing risks for vulnerable patients.

The grave consequences of medicine-related mistakes

Prescription errors and other mishaps involving medicine may seem unlikely, considering the systems in place throughout the medical industry, but they can happen frequently. In 2019, data show that it belongs to the top ten factors that cause death and disability around the world.

In America alone, studies link around 44,000 to 98,000 hospital fatalities annually to these incidents. This type of mistake can cost between $37.6 billion to $50 billion in total, factoring in the necessary medical treatments and disability caused by severe cases of these errors.

Why do they happen?

These mistakes often happen because of systematic issues involving receiving treatment through medication, including tracking medicine orders and communicating allergy histories.

In some cases, the issue can exist at the pharmacies where there could be too many patients and not enough pharmacists. When these crucial gatekeepers are too tired because of excessive workload, they may become likely to commit mistakes.

Holding negligent parties accountable

When someone suffers significantly from a prescription error, taking legal action could be the only way for them to recover. Still, this option may only be viable based on the circumstances and whether someone was negligent, making it medical malpractice. Before filing a claim, consider seeking legal counsel to determine other appropriate options that may be more suitable, depending on the situation.