Why is it that some patients receive the wrong medication or the wrong dose of drugs at a pharmacy instead of the correct dosage of medication? Those who have been injured or families who have lost loved ones due to pharmacy errors often want to know what factors are to blame.
It’s unfortunate, but pharmacy errors involving the wrong dosage of medication occur at pharmacies nationwide. While these wrong dosage errors can happen for many reasons, there are two top causes of dosage errors. They are:
- Communication lapses: Communication is key in all facets of life. When people do not communicate correctly with each other, they are not aware of each other’s reasoning, decisions, actions, and more. At a pharmacy, when there are shortages, product or supplier changes, or even staff changes, everything needs to be communicated so that a mistake doesn’t occur. Communication lapses play a prominent role in wrong dosage errors. Prescription orders are taken over the phone, though handwritten prescriptions, or via the computer. Prescription errors can occur due to handwriting problems on written prescriptions, various uses of abbreviations, or similar looking or sounding drug names, among other reasons. Unfortunately, humans are far from perfect and don’t always communicate clearly, resulting in communication failures and pharmacy errors.
- Inattentional blindness: Because pharmacists and pharmacy technicians do the same tasks day in and out, look at the same medication, and go through the same motions, they can become inattentive and actually suffer from inattentional blindness. For example, a pharmacist can repeatedly look at drug labels and different pills, but he may fail to register if the pill matches up to the label. Inattentional blindness has caused many pharmacy errors. Even if a pharmacist reads a prescription and prepares the medication, the pharmacist may fill the wrong dose or prepare the wrong instructions that can cause harm to a patient. When other demanding tasks are pressing, a pharmacist may overlook or not pay full attention to the task at hand.
Whatever the reason, one thing is for sure — injuries and harmful side effects can be the result of negligent pharmacy staff. If you have been injured by a pharmacist who was inattentive or negligent on the job, you have a right to pursue a pharmacy malpractice claim for your injuries, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. Call Kennedy Hodges, L.L.P. at 888-526-7616 to find out if you have a legal claim and get your questions answered during a free legal consultation. You can also fill out the form on our website to receive a FREE copy of our report, How to Make Pharmacies Pay for Injuries Caused by Medication Errors.