Being prescribed medication by a medical professional is something that most of us have experienced at some point. You expect to be given the correct medication you need and trust the person prescribing you to know what they’re doing.
Your only real involvement in the matter is to collect the medication and take it. You act under the assumption that what you’ve been given will treat or cure your particular illness. Unfortunately, medical professionals do sometimes make mistakes and prescribe the wrong medication. For those with serious illnesses, this can have devastating consequences.
What exactly is a prescription error?
Quite simply, this means that the prescription a patient has been given is different from that which was prescribed or should have been prescribed.
What are the main reasons why a prescription error can occur?
Most of the time it can be attributed to human error. For example, a doctor may be prescribing a certain medication to their patient that they cannot have. When someone is taking multiple medications at any one time, some of those drugs may not be compatible with others.
Mixing those medications can therefore make that person extremely unwell. This may be a genuine mistake or can be due to the failure of the prescribing doctor to check what other medications that person is taking.
Unfortunately, there are instances where prescription errors are the result of a lack of attention or even negligence by the medical professional. A failure to check a patient’s medical history when writing the prescription or prescribing the wrong dosage of a drug due to a lack of experience or a calculation error are examples of conduct which can amount to malpractice.
Giving the incorrect dosage of a medicine can have very serious consequences, with the possibility of overdose causing brain damage or even death. Damages are available for patients who have experienced this type of medical malpractice.