When are Pharmacy Errors Considered Malpractice?

Alexander Pope, an 18th century English poet, said “To err is human; to forgive, divine.” That may be true, but it’s difficult to forgive someone when their error causes serious damage.

pharmacy errorsIn the healthcare industry, human error has become one of the leading causes of death, and people in hospitals now refer to serious mistakes as “nevers” which means they are never supposed to happen. There are lots of checks and balances, and yet people are still harmed and killed by “nevers.”

With prescription medications, these mistakes can happen in the hospital, in your doctor’s office, and in your local pharmacy. When does a “never” mistake become malpractice? Malpractice is defined as improper, illegal, or negligent professional activity or treatment, especially by a medical practitioner, lawyer, or public official. These are people who are held to a higher standard by the legal system due to their level of education, training, and the vital nature of their work. If you order a steak medium-rare but they cook it until it’s black, that’s not malpractice. Just a mistake.

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Florida Personal Injury Attorney

Let’s not “Visit” the Emergency Room

The dictionary defines the word “visit” as “an act of going or coming to see a person or place socially, as a tourist, or for some other purpose.” Most visits are pleasant experiences, right?

The U.S. Center for Disease Control, which works to keep us healthy also keeps track of injury statistics. They call going to the emergency room a “visit” but there’s not too much pleasant about being treated at the emergency room. Those are visits we can live without.

Florida Personal Injury AttorneySome of the types of injuries and statistics for emergency room visits are surprising, but understanding them might help us and our loved ones avoid visits to the ER. Sometimes injuries are our own fault and sometimes they are due to someone else’s – that’s when a personal injury attorney can help.

Let’s look at some numbers:

Nationwide, in 2011 there were 136.3 million ER visits. 40.2 million were related to injuries. The rate of people visiting the ER was 44 per 100 people, so if you’re an average person, you had slightly less than a 50% chance of going to the ER.

In Florida, the reasons for going to the ER are interesting.

The number one cause for going to the ER – non-fatal injury – is listed as “fall.” Now, a large number of these incidents are in the upper-age segment of the population for obvious reasons, but it is also number one for ages 10-14, probably skateboard and bicycle mishaps.

The number two reason for going to the ER in Florida across all age groups is “struck by.” Struck by? What is struck by? Some research shows that people are struck by many things including Struck By: car, truck, bus, train, boat, golf cart, golf club, forklift, crane, mobile platform, bicycle, tire, flying piece of X, garage door, door opening, rock, another person, mail carrier, farm equipment, falling objects, motorcycle, stock items, batted ball, lawn mower, scaffolding, pressurized hose, hammer head, etc…..

So, it’s probably a good idea to avoid everything on that list. You’d have to stay home under the bed.

Number three is motor vehicle accidents, which we write about often. Wear your seat belts, slow down, don’t text and drive, and never, ever drive if you have been drinking.

Number four is interesting but not surprising in Florida: over-exertion. The heat and humidity can wear you down and wear you out fast if you’re working or exercising above your tolerance. Always see a physician before starting a work-out regimen and stay hydrated. Take regular breaks of you’re working outside in the heat and when you feel that something hurts, stop.

Many visits to the ER can be prevented by exercising good judgement, but sometimes you can’t prevent an injury because they are often caused by someone else’s negligence. Some of the more common injuries resulting from negligence are falls due to unsafe conditions, being struck by unsecured objects, defective products, and assaults by other persons.

If you slip due to a puddle on the floor and you are injured, this is not necessarily a clear-cut “slip and fall” injury. There are legal issues such as duty of care, premises liability, security precautions, and a host of other circumstances to consider in any injury situation.

The Law Firm of Lazarus and Lazarus has been advising and helping victims of injuries in south Florida for over 20 years. Gary and Arleen Lazarus are eminently qualified personal injury attorneys who will listen to the circumstances of your injury and discuss options which may help you receive any compensation that is appropriate under the law. You can reach the firm by calling 954-356-0006.