A lawsuit was filed in Cook County alleging a pharmacist gave a customer incorrect information that caused a severe drug incompatibility. The woman visited a Walgreen pharmacy in Markham looking for sinus medication. According to the lawsuit, she asked the pharmacist which medication could be taken safely along with the anti-epilepsy medication Kepra that she was already prescribed. The pharmacist told her that she could safely take Sudafed with it. However, after taking the over-the-counter medication, the woman lapsed into a coma. She now suffers from memory loss due to the incompatibility of the drugs.
According to the FDA, medical errors injure more than a million people per year in the U.S. and account for at least one death per day. This includes a variety of medical mistakes, including pharmaceutical errors. Incorrect dosage, incorrect prescriptions, and drug interactions generally account for the most common medication mistakes. Sometimes the doctor prescribes medication without checking to see if there is a potential for negative interaction with other medications the patient is taking. In this instance, the woman specifically asked the pharmacist for a medication that would be safe to take with her prescription. The lawsuit alleges that the pharmacist and drugstore were negligent and were responsible for providing proper medical advice.
Injuries Caused by Medication Mistakes
Medication mistakes can cause injuries that range from mild to severe. In some cases, the mistake can cause death. Taking the wrong dose of a medication can cause an overdose, which in some instances can have long-term effects. Prescribing the wrong medication could have an adverse impact on a patient. Some of the most severe injuries occur when a medication is prescribed which has a bad interaction with a medication the patient is already taking. Bad drug interactions can lead to many medical problems including those that the woman in this case experienced.
Preventing Medical Mistakes
When we seek medical advice we expect that we will receive correct information. Sometimes, however, that does not occur. If you are already taking any medications it is imperative that you let your doctor know about them before prescribing another drug. Some herbal medications, although natural, could interact with prescription drugs. Read the warning information that is included in your medication before taking it. If you have any concerns, contact a professional before taking. Unfortunately, doctors and pharmacists can be negligent and may not provide the correct information, such as in this instance. These mistakes can have a detrimental permanent effect.
What to Do When Medical Mistakes Occur
If a medical mistake does occur, it is important to immediately ensure that your medical condition is stabilized. When a medical mistake is the result of malpractice or negligence you may be entitled to compensation for damages. Damages include hospital and medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other costs that were incurred because of the injury. If you or a loved one were seriously injured because of a medical mistake, contact the attorneys at Levin & Perconti for a free consultation.