Maryland Fatalities from Pharmacy Errors

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), prescription errors result in more than one million deaths nationally each year. These are often avoidable injuries that can be the result of a doctor prescribing the wrong medication, a pharmacy providing the wrong medication or an incorrect dosage, or nurses and other hospital staff dispensing the wrong drugs to patients. Mistakes that involve prescription medications are so prevalent in long-term care facilities, nursing homes, and hospitals that the FDA estimates there is an average of one death per day. If you suspect your loved one was killed as a result of a prescription error in the state of Maryland, it is essential you seek out a medical malpractice lawyer who can help.

Prevention of Common Medication Mistakes

There are a number of simple steps that may be taken in order to prevent fatal medication errors. This includes everything from double-checking the medications that are prescribed to thoroughly researching a patient’s medical history to avoid any negative reactions to other medications or health conditions. Though these are easy steps to take, thousands of people who are injured, and some killed, each year due to these issues.

Patients in long term care facilities and nursing homes are the ones who are most susceptible to these types of prescription errors.

Responsible Parties in Maryland Pharmacy Errors

It is important that the prescribing physician provide the right dosage and the right type of medication. Additionally, the pharmacist has the responsibility to fill the prescription properly, give you clear and easy to understand instructions on how you should take the drug, while warning you of any possible side effects. If an anesthesiologist, medical technician, or nurse is involved in the medication’s delivery, then this person will also share in the responsibility of adhering to the professional standards that have been put in place in order to protect the patient.

When you hire a personal injury attorney for the injury or fatality that you or a loved one has suffered due to any type of pharmacy or medication negligence, they can help you to receive the compensation you deserve. Some of the issues you can file a lawsuit for include:

  • A writing error with the prescription
  • A fulfillment error with the prescription
  • An error in the delivery of the medication
  • The incorrect dose management for the changing condition of a patient
  • Prescribing a medication that actually conflicts with other types of prescribed medications and that can cause an adverse reaction in patients
  • Giving the wrong dosage of medication, or the wrong pill count or dispensing a patient the wrong medication
  • Prescribing medicines that will conflict with a patients pre-existing allergies or illnesses
  • Incomplete or inaccurate medical advice when the medication is being distributed to the pharmacy customer

What if I Think My Loved One Died from Prescription Error?

If you believe your loved one’s death was the result of a pharmacy or physician error, there are a few steps you should immediately undertake in order to determine whether you have a valid wrongful death claim. These include:

  • Keep a list of all medications your loved one was taking
  • Never throw away the medication, labels, bottles, or receipts or directions
  • Keep track of all medical visits and appointments
  • Keep track of all discussions your loved one had with medical staff regarding their medications and prescriptions
  • Make sure you speak with an experienced wrongful death attorney before contacting the medical providers

How Can a Wrongful Death Lawyer Help?

Doctors, pharmacists, and all other medical professionals who prescribe and provide medications are subject to the same standards of care that apply to any other member of the medical field. If they have breached that standard of care, they may be held civilly responsible for the death of your loved one. This may include damages based on both Wrongful Death and Survival Actions and the damages may include those for economic and non-economic losses. Those who are able to pursue such damages include children, spouses, parents, siblings, and other financial dependents, in certain circumstances.

There is a wider issue at stake here, however, and that is pursuing civil action also provides a benefit to your community. Frequently medical practitioners and organizations are unwilling to address carelessness, negligence, and recklessness unless they are facing the threat of civil justice. In a perfect world this would not be necessary to motivate individuals and organization to do the right thing. In reality, however, this is often the only action that results in the at-fault parties taking responsibility for their actions and addressing egregious acts and conditions. So please know that when you pursue a civil claim on behalf of your slain loved one, you are also pursuing a higher standard of care for all patients.