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Pharmacy errors can kill innocent patients

Heading to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription is a routine task that’s supposed to be straightforward and safe. Sometimes, that simple trip turns into a pharmacy mix-up that can be an inconvenience or a life-threatening emergency.

Consider the impact of an error on someone managing a chronic condition or the elderly balancing a complex medication schedule. They trust that a pharmacist will ensure that they take home the right medications. Yet, that isn’t always the case.

Wrong medication

When you go to the pharmacy, you expect the prescription you receive is the one your doctor ordered. But sometimes, the medication in the bottles handed to patients isn’t exactly what was prescribed. Whether due to similar-sounding names or a simple slip of the hand, the wrong medication can do more than just fail to treat the original ailment. It can introduce a new set of risks.

Dosage discrepancies

Equally critical is the dosage of the medication. Too much of a medication can lead to toxic side effects, while too little may render the treatment ineffective. Dosage precision is critical for a host of health and safety reasons.

Incomplete patient information

Patient information is more than just a name on a bottle; it’s a detailed history that includes age, weight, allergies and current medications. Missing or incorrect information can be the linchpin for a cascade of errors. It’s akin to navigating without a map. You might reach the destination, but the chances of taking a wrong turn are high.

Overlooking the interactions

Pharmacists are the sentinels who guard against the dangers of drug interactions. These potential threats can lie dormant in the complexity of a patient’s medication list until an unvetted addition activates them. Not flagging these interactions is a serious oversight, with consequences ranging from reduced medication effectiveness to severe adverse reactions.

Ultimately, victims of pharmacy errors can suffer catastrophic injuries. They may choose to seek compensation for the damages they’ve suffered, but the time they have to do this is limited by Louisiana law. Because of this, swift legal action is critical.