A man is in a coma after being given the wrong medication at a hospital. A woman takes a medication with severe side effects for a condition she never actually had.
These may sound like scenarios from a movie or dramatic television show, but unfortunately prescription errors in Virginia are very real.
Types of Prescription Drug Errors
There are a number of prescription drug errors that occur in Virginia each year. Errors can occur at many points along the prescription process. While children and the elderly are most at risk for prescription drug errors, medical negligence that results in mistakes can be made that affect every age group and gender.
Hospital Drug Errors
- A doctor can make a misdiagnosis resulting in a drug being administered that is unnecessary.
- A nurse can misread a doctor’s notes regarding which drug to administer.
- The wrong dosage can be given for a person’s weight or needs.
- A doctor can have an inadequate understanding of a drug and prescribe it to be used for something other than what its intended use.
- A prescription drug can be administered that interacts with another drug a patient is already taking.
- Errant labeling can cause the wrong drug to be given.
Prescribed Drugs to Be Taken at Home
- A health professional fails to take into account previous prescribed medications.
- A doctor may continue to prescribe a drug even after it has been found to be dangerous.
Pharmacy Drug Errors
- A pharmacist can fill the wrong drug due to an illegible prescription.
- A pharmacist can fill the wrong drug due to errant labeling on medications.
- The wrong drug can be put into the right container.
Each year the amount of prescribed prescriptions goes up. Additionally, each year, more medications are being investigated by the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) to determine if their benefits outweigh their risks. Prescription errors in Virginia and D.C. can cause detrimental damage physically, emotionally, and financially.