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February 2, 2019
The Weitz Firm, LLC

Whenever you go to your local pharmacy or are otherwise purchasing a medication prescribed by your doctor, keep in mind that prescription drug errors account for a large percentage of medical malpractice lawsuits in Pennsylvania and all across the U.S.

Do not get me wrong, we are not trying to discourage you from administering any types of drugs. “When administered properly with the right medication and the right type of drug, prescription drugs are safe and cannot cause an injury or illness,” explains a Philadelphia medication error attorney at The Weitz Firm, LLC.

Types of medication errors to look out for

As the number of Americans whose health and wellbeing relies on prescription drugs keeps rising year by year, it is no surprise that the number of those who get harmed due to a prescription drug error caused by negligence on the part of treating physicians, doctors, nurses, pharmacists or any other healthcare provider, keeps rising proportionately.

Let’s review some of the most common types of medication errors any unsuspecting Pennsylvania resident can become a victim of:

  1. Doctors, nurses or pharmacists administering the patient the wrong medication;
  2. Administering the patient the wrong dosage, i.e. overdose (receiving too much) or underdose (receiving too little);
  3. Failure to properly label the drug (mislabeling);
  4. Administering or prescribing the patient a drug that the patient is allergic to (the most common cause of this type of medication error is that the healthcare provider failed to review the patient’s medical history);
  5. Administering or prescribing the patient a drug that increases the adverse effects of the other medication the patient is taking, or vice versa; and
  6. Failure to warn the patient of all the reasonably expected side effects of the drug.

Administering the wrong medication or dosage

More often than not, it is advised to consult with an experienced medication error attorney in Philadelphia or elsewhere in Pennsylvania when harmed due to a prescription drug error. That’s because there can be many liable parties in your particular case, as anyone and everyone who is involved with manufacturing, labeling, distributing, advertising, prescribing, and administering medications can be held liable for medication errors.

Administering the wrong medication or wrong dosage of the correct drug is more common than you think. There can be many causes of this particular type of prescription drug error:

  • Simply making a mistake about what medication should be prescribed or what dosage to prescribe (this one is most often caused by lack of medical experience or training on the part of the healthcare provider);
  • Missing or transposing a decimal point when prescribing medication dosage (this can lead to the patient being administered the wrong dosage that exceeds the dosage that should have been prescribed by tens or hundreds of times);
  • Administering the medication in the wrong part of the body (as you may have guessed by now, in most cases, nurses are responsible for this medication error); and
  • Administering the wrong medication or wrong dosage due to doctors’ bad handwriting in the prescription.

Mislabeling and failure to warn of side effects

If you have sustained an injury or illness because the medication was mislabeled or there was no proper warning of side effects, you may able to bring a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer, distributor, retailer, and other parties liable for mislabeling the drug or failure to warn of side effects.

However, doctors may also be held liable for this type of medication error. Whatever is the case, schedule a free consultation with our Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer at The Weitz Firm, LLC. Call our offices at 267-587-6240.

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