What will happen to your baby if a prescription is improperly filled depends on many factors, including what medication you needed, what medication you took, what dosage you took, and the reason you needed the medication. How far along you are in your pregnancy could also play a role, as your pregnancy may be more at risk during the first trimester than later on.
While pharmacy errors may not cause any harm and only fail to treat the initial condition, others could lead to devastating consequences. Miscarriage, stillbirth, preterm labor, and birth injuries are all a concern with medication errors. If you recognize that your pharmacy filled your prescription improperly, discuss it with a trusted doctor as soon as possible. If you can, take the medication with you so they can confirm what you have been taking.
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Prescribing Errors and Pharmacy Errors Can Lead to Significant Complications
According to studies cited in the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), as many as 3.4% of pregnant women filled prescriptions that could be harmful for their pregnancies. A mistake could occur at any point along the route, from prescribing a treatment to administering the medication. This could include:
- Prescribing the wrong drug.
- Entering the wrong dose.
- Recommending the wrong duration of treatment.
- Giving the wrong instructions for administration.
In addition, doctors must consider other factors when prescribing medications that the pharmacist may not be aware of, such as pregnancy, allergies, or drug interactions.
While there are several areas in which doctors can make a mistake, pharmacy errors do occur. When there is an issue, and a prescription is improperly filled, it can cause the same types of medical issues and complications as a prescribing error.
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Causes of Errors in Filling Prescriptions
Pharmacy errors can occur for multiple reasons, including:
- Poor handwriting on the prescription.
- Errors in calculating the dose.
- Filling a prescription with a different drug that has a similar name.
Sometimes, the doctor may call for a drug using an abbreviation or illegible handwriting, and the pharmacist may make an incorrect guess about what is needed instead of taking steps to double-check. There may also be errors related to dosage calculations. A pharmacist may fill a prescription with a dose that is too high or too low because of an extra “0” or the decimal being in the wrong place.
Either of these mistakes could cause you to take the wrong medication, too much medication, or too little medication, leading to an increased risk of birth injury for your baby.
Pharmaceutical Malpractice and Legal Action
If your baby suffered a preventable birth injury or other negative effects as a result of pharmaceutical negligence, you may be able to pursue a malpractice case against the doctor, care facility, pharmacy, or pharmacist.
There are safeguards in place to prevent incorrect drugs from being prescribed or incorrect dosages from being filled. What happened to your baby when a prescription was improperly filled may have occurred because the doctor, pharmacist, or another medical professional failed to provide an acceptable level of care.
If you believe your child was a victim of medical or pharmaceutical negligence, a birth injury lawyer familiar with the malpractice laws in your state can discuss your case with you for free. You may be able to pursue a financial recovery and hold the at-fault parties accountable. Proving malpractice requires evidence that can include:
- A review of all relevant medical records.
- Confirmation of malpractice from an expert witness.
- Documentation of your related damages.
It is important that you take action as soon as you discover the malpractice or your child’s birth injuries. Each state has its own laws about how long you can wait to file a lawsuit and how long you can toll this period when the victim is a minor. We recommend reaching out to us as soon as possible to ensure you do not miss any key deadlines in your case.
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When you call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group, you can get help today. We want to speak with you about your case, the injuries your baby suffered, and what you believe occurred. You may be able to get a better understanding of your legal rights and options and get answers to some of your most pressing questions.
Call (800) 222-9529 today for your free consultation and case review. Our birth injury attorneys handle medical malpractice cases based on contingency, so your family will not need to pay any upfront costs for representation.