Prescription errors occur much more frequently than most people think. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) estimates that 1.3 million people are injured annually by medication errors – many of them fatally. If you have been seriously harmed by a prescription error due to the negligence of a doctor, clinic, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, nursing home, ambulatory surgical center, or pharmacy, you have the right to file a medical malpractice claim.
Depending on the severity of your injury, you may be facing the financial burden of medical costs, lost income, and even long-term care in addition to ongoing pain and suffering. It is also possible that your family has gone through the tragedy of the wrongful death of a loved. If all of this misery stems from someone else’s thoughtlessness, disorganization, or lack of attention to detail, Cummings Law, located in Nashville and serving clients throughout Middle Tennessee, is ready to stand up for your rights and fight for justice for you and your family.
Why You Need the Skilled Prescription Error Attorneys at Cummings Law
In spite of the statistics that show an undeniably high rate of negligence among medical and pharmacy personnel in regard to prescriptions, it is important for you to realize that prescription error cases can be difficult to prove. Whether the defendant is a doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or another healthcare professional, the responsible party’s insurance company and defense attorney are likely to try “blame the victim.”
As vulnerable as you are in this situation, the opposing attorney is probably going to accuse you of mishearing or misunderstanding dosage directions, forgetting to list an allergy to a particular medication, neglecting to mention a nutritional supplement you’ve been taking, or failing to tell your doctor about an important pre-existing medical condition. Our knowledgeable prescription error attorneys not only know the pertinent laws in-depth, but we are also highly adept at both creating and combating the other side’s desperate courtroom strategies. Our track record of success and favorable testimonials should reassure you that once you become our client you are in trustworthy hands. Also, our efforts are cost-effective since we charge you no fee until we win your case through a settlement or through a trial verdict.
The Broad Range of Prescription Errors
Because the prescription process is relatively complex, there is a great deal of room for mistakes. Common prescription mistakes include:
- Incorrect dosage prescription administration (*the most common prescription error)
- Miswritten or indecipherable prescriptions
- Failure to ask for, correctly interpret, or check the patient’s medical history which should note pre-existing conditions, previous drug reactions, allergies and information concerning whether there is any possibility that the patient is pregnant
- Failure to check whether the medication is already being taken under another name as prescribed by another medical practitioner
- Failure to recognize potential interactions between the medication prescribed and others the patient is already taking
- Failure to disclose possible side effects of the medication being prescribed
- Failure of the doctor and/or pharmacist to give appropriate warnings (e.g. patient should not lie down, eat or drive for a period of time after taking the prescription)
- Failure to inform the patient that medication cannot be chewed or broken
- Confusing two medications with similar names or similar appearance
- Confusing prescriptions or medications meant for two different patients
- Failure to properly document that medication has been administered at a particular time
- Wrong route of administration (e.g. putting ear drops in the eye)
As you can clearly see, there is a lot of room for prescription error between the doctor’s words and the correct administration of the correct medication to the right patient in the correct dosage at the right time with the proper directions and warnings.
Underlying Causes of Prescription Errors
In our fast-paced world, even with all its technological advances, human beings (and machines!) make mistakes. Long known for their poor handwriting, now that doctors often record directions not only speedily but with a variety of accents, double and triple checking are more necessary than ever. In an effort to add a layer of protection, as of January 1, 2020 prescriptions for Schedule II controlled substances in Tennessee will have to be issued electronically directly from the prescriber to the pharmacy.
Another common underlying cause of prescription errors is that, although patients are usually required to write thorough medical histories for their doctors, doctors rarely read them as carefully as they should. Doctors, who are under pressure to work quickly and allot a short period of time for each patient, also frequently fail to ask important follow-up questions to clarify patients’ ambiguous statements.
Pharmacists, too, are pressured and work in an atmosphere of constant interruptions. Most do not go through much training and learn on the job. It is all too easy for them to mix up medications that look alike or are pronounced similarly. Add to this mix the fact that most prescriptions have generic as well as brand names as well and confusion can be rampant. Nurses who administer medications are most often working in shifts. Therefore they may administer an overdose through no fault of their own because the last nurse on duty failed to make an appropriate notation about the previous dose that was given.
Contact Our Nashville Prescription Error Attorney
If you have suffered a serious injury, impairment, or disability as a result of a prescription error made by a medical professional, you may feel as if you have to fight against the whole medical/pharmaceutical establishment. In a certain way, you are not wrong, because hospitals and medical administrations that supervise doctors and other healthcare professionals almost always fight hard as a team against any hint of wrongdoing. Fearing exposure to litigation, they have strong attorneys on retainers to protect their colleagues and their institutions.
This is why you need an aggressive, sharp, talented prescription error attorney on your side. This is no time for using an attorney who has general legal knowledge. It is time for a professional attorney who focuses on medical malpractice. The sooner you contact Cummings Law the sooner we can take over your case and give you the time you need to recover from your physical and emotional trauma.