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How Do Pharmaceutical Errors Occur in Illinois?

 Posted on November 19, 2020 in Personal Injury

Joliet medical malpractice attorneyYou may not think they happen very often, but medication errors are more common than you might want to believe. In some cases, a patient may not even realize one has taken place if he or she does not have any adverse side effects. However, some medical mistakes can have devastating consequences. A 2016 Johns Hopkins study estimated that approximately 250,000 people die annually due to medical errors. These prescription drug errors can occur for various reasons. In certain situations, a physician, hospital, or pharmacy may be held liable for any injuries suffered as a result of this form of medical negligence. 

Common Types of Medication Mistakes

Everyone makes mistakes, but sometimes the results can cause debilitating injuries or even fatalities. The most common types of pharmaceutical errors made by a physician or a pharmacist include:

  • Prescribing a patient the wrong medicine

  • Failure to include a necessary ingredient of the prescription

  • Instructing a patient to take the prescription at the wrong time of day

  • Giving a patient the incorrect dosage of medication

  • Failure to confirm if the patient is allergic to a certain drug

  • Failure to check if other medications the patient takes might interact badly with the prescribed drug

  • Transcribing the prescription incorrectly

It is important to note that in hospitals or outpatient medical facilities that perform surgical procedures, anesthesia errors can also occur. If an individual receives too much or too little, it can lead to complications.  

Reasons for Medication Errors

Because prescription medication can be a matter of life and death, there should always be a system of checks and balances when dispensing drugs to a patient. For example, obtaining a comprehensive medical history on an individual can alert pharmacists or doctors of potential allergic reactions before the patient takes a specific substance. Similarly, two different medicines can interact and become a lethal combination. Proper training is key so medical technicians can read, recognize, and dispense the correct dosage of a prescription drug. 

A few of the main ways that pharmaceutical mistakes can happen are due to:

  • Lack of training

  • Inadequate experience 

  • Lack of communication between medical professionals

  • Insufficient patient information/history

  • Limited procedures and protocols to ensure quality control 

  • Improper patient monitoring after the drug is administered

Contact a Will County Medical Negligence Lawyer

Patients rely on doctors to prescribe the correct medication and appropriate dosage. When a medication error occurs, it can have life-threatening consequences. If you or your loved one is suffering after being prescribed inaccurate medicine, a knowledgeable Joliet medical malpractice attorney will provide the legal representation you need to secure compensation. The highly regarded legal team at McNamara Phelan McSteen, LLC is prepared to take on your case. Call us today at 815-727-0100 to schedule a free consultation. 


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