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Medication errors can lead to serious personal injury

When one suffers from an illness -- be it an acute or chronic illness -- he or she places trust and confidence in those medical providers who can diagnose and treat him or her effectively using the appropriate medications. However, if the pharmacy makes a mistake when dispensing that medicine, a serious personal injury could result. Illinois families place their confidence in these professionals, and they have the right to seek recompense when a mistake causes harm.

Pharmacy mistakes can be attributed to several reasons, the first of which is not enough staff in order to ensure that the pharmacists and techs can take their time filling prescriptions. Short staffing leads to longer hours and more pressure, which can cause these professionals to rush to meet the demands. Another problem is the lack of thorough training and support that pharmacists may need in order to become more knowledgeable about the different medications.

Other causes that may lead to a serious error is the lack of oversight provided to pharmacy techs who are responsible for counting, weighing and communicating with customers as well as providing the labels that describe dosage amounts and times. Any mistakes in these areas can cause a patient to suffer serious or even fatal side effects. One other critical area can be a failure to establish clear communication between the prescribing physician and the pharmacist. Mistakes of this type can lead to the wrong medication being prescribed and the patient suffering horrific consequences.

There are simple remedies to these problems such as ensuring that pharmacies are adequately staffed and that every prescription is checked multiple times. Additionally, presenting the prescription to the customer while discussing proper use and possible interactions with other medicines could also help prevent serious complications. However, these types of errors will likely continue along with the possible consequence of a patient suffering serious personal injury from an improperly dispensed or prescribed medication. Illinois families who have suffered from the effects of these errors may seek compensation for their monetary damages through the filing of a civil suit against the parties liable for their injuries.

Source:, "Preventing medication errors in pharmacy", Michelle Woods, Sept. 20, 2017

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