Murrells Inlet Pharmacy Malpractice Attorney Fights For Injured Patients
Skilled and determined representation throughout South Carolina
We live in an age of wonder drugs, where previously invincible diseases are routinely managed and defeated. While outcomes differ from patient to patient, the right drug at the right dosage for the right amount of time can restore patients to health, improve their quality of life, or increase their chances of survival. Of course, all of these benefits depend on the professional performance of pharmacists who process prescriptions and interact with patients. Too often, pharmacists make errors that do serious harm to patients. If this has happened to you, you can trust the Law Offices of David L. Hood to manage your claim. If our investigation shows that you are entitled to compensation, we are prepared to fight aggressively for the outcome you deserve.
What constitutes pharmacy malpractice?
Medical malpractice is performance of a professional task at a substandard level that causes harm to a patient. Malpractice exists when a healthcare professional makes a mistake that a reasonably well-trained and careful professional would not have made. The mistake must be the direct cause of harm to the patient. To prove pharmacy malpractice, an injured patient needs evidence of a mistake in filling the prescription or providing adequate warning to the patient about side effects. In institutional settings, pharmacy malpractice can occur when a professional, such as a nurse, makes a careless mistake in the dispensing of the drug.
Pharmacy malpractice is a serious problem across the United States, injuring more than 1.3 million people and killing almost 100,000 annually. Hospitals report that about three percent of admissions are due to problems with medication, and about three percent of hospital patients suffer injuries from medication mistakes while hospitalized, causing them to extend their stay by eight to 12 days. Insurance industry estimates put the cost of medication errors at more than $29 billion per year and perhaps as high as $72 billion.
Common examples of pharmacy malpractice
To prove malpractice, lawyers must show that a pharmacist made a mistake that a reasonably well-trained and careful pharmacist would not have made, and that the mistake caused harm to the patient. Examples of negligence that would expose a pharmacist to liability for malpractice include:
- Giving the wrong drug or wrong dose — These mistakes constitute about 70 percent of all malpractice claims against pharmacists. Giving the wrong drug denies the patient proper treatment and exposes the patient to other health risks. Too much or too little of the right drug can cause serious, even deadly complications.
- Giving the wrong quantity — It’s important for patients to take medication for a prescribed period of time. Taking certain drugs, such as antibiotics, for too short a period can allow an infection to come back stronger than before, while taking other drugs, such as prescription opioids, for too long can cause addiction.
- Giving the wrong directions — Patients must know how to take medication to derive the maximum benefit and avoid harmful side effects. Faulty instructions can lead to overdoses or drug ineffectiveness.
- Failing to warn of possible reactions — Pharmacists cannot depend on patients reading the fine print on the drug’s packaging. If there is a danger of a serious reaction to a drug, the pharmacist must inform the patient at the point of delivery.
- Filling an incorrect prescription — Doctors often make mistakes in naming a particular drug they want to prescribe. A well-trained and alert pharmacist should be able to catch that mistake and contact the prescriber before filling the prescription.
- Failing to note potentially dangerous drug interactions — A pharmacist must review a patient’s history to see what drugs are being taken, warn of potentially dangerous interactions and inform patients of possible alternatives they should discuss with their prescriber.
- Improperly storing medications — Some types of medication are highly perishable. Filling a prescription with medication that has spoiled can be extremely harmful to the patient.
Many errors result from personal and institutional sloppiness. Understaffed hospitals put pressure on employees to handle too great a volume of work. Communication problems, from poor handwriting to dependence on outdated technology, cause preventable errors to occur.
Proving malpractice by a pharmacist is not an easy task for any personal injury attorney. But we have the knowledge, experience and determination to prosecute your case professionally and achieve positive results.
Contact a knowledgeable attorney in Murrells Inlet, SC for your pharmacy malpractice claim
The Law Offices of David L. Hood provides highly responsive counsel and determined advocacy for patients injured by negligent healthcare providers. To schedule a free consultation, call us at 843-491-6025 or contact our Murrells Inlet office online. If your injuries prevent you from coming to our office, we can come to you.