Pharmaceutical Injury and Death: Research Reveals “Cognitive Error” Most Common Cause

A great deal of attention has been paid to pharmaceutical companies in recent days as a result of the process of reviewing the efficacy and safety of COVID-19 vaccines. Fortunately, multiple pharmaceutical companies have developed vaccines to combat the novel coronavirus. While drug manufacturers deserve credit for developing and distributing vital medications, every day people in the United States are injured or die as the result of negligence or malpractice associated with prescription and over-the-counter drugs.

A research study reveals that so-called “cognitive error” represents the most common cause of pharmaceutical injury and death in the United States. Specifically, this research endeavor indicates what is classified as an error in judgment was evident in 70 percent of all claims made for injury arising from pharmaceutical negligence or malpractice. In addition, what was categorized as a failure of vigilance was found to be an underlying factor in 65 percent of pharmaceutical injury claims in the United States.

Other cognitive factors that contribute to pharmaceutical injuries include:

  • Lack of technical competence
  • Lack of appropriate knowledge about a medication’
  • Failure of memory (by a prescribing professional or a healthcare provider supplying medication to a patient)
  • Poor teamwork (among healthcare providers responsible for patient treatment)
  • Technology failure

Although these additional so-called cognitive factors are found in some cases of pharmaceutical malpractice, they are far less frequently encountered than error in judgment and lack of vigilance.

These generalized underlying causes of pharmaceutical accidents and pharmaceutical injuries translate into a number of more commonplace scenarios. One common way in which a pharmaceutical injury occurs is the prescription of the wrong type of medication or the proper medication but in an inappropriate dose.

Another situation in which pharmaceutical injuries occur is within a hospital or skilled care setting. These types of pharmaceutical accidents can arise from everything from patient care team breakdowns to technology failures to even something as seemingly simple as memory blips on the part of healthcare providers.

Injuries that arise out of pharmaceutical negligence can prove to be extremely significant in many cases. In addition, to pharmaceutical negligence resulting in death, these types of incidents can also result in serious and even profound, life-altering injuries. A person who is the victim of pharmaceutical negligence or pharmaceutical malpractice can result in an individual sustaining a permanent disability. In such instances, that disability oftentimes comes in the form of some type of severe, permanent brain injury. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration reports that the comprehensive list of injuries associated with medication errors are:

  • Death
  • Life threatening situation
  • Hospitalization
  • Disability
  • Birth defect

The FDA emphasizes that consumers need to be vigilant when it comes to taking prescription and over-the-counter medications. Specifically, the FDA recommends:

  • Being fully aware of all risks associated with a medication as well as having an appreciation of the possible consequences of medication error
  • Making certain of how the medication is to be taken
  • Keeping medications stored in their original containers
  • Being aware of a drug’s interaction with other drugs, with food, with beverages, and so forth
  • Maintaining an updated list of all medications being taken in the event of a medical emergency
  • Making sure any questions about a medication are answered by a prescribing physician or qualified pharmacist

If you or a loved one have sustained a pharmaceutical injury, you need to be proactive in taking steps to protect your legal rights and interests. The first step is to arrange a case consultation an devaluation with a skilled, experienced pharmaceutical injury lawyer, like a member of the legal team at the nationwide Doan Law Firm. You can connect with The Doan Law Firm any time of the day or night by calling us at (800) 349-0000.

We can arrange an initial consultation at any one of our 40 offices located across the United States. In this era of the COVID-19 pandemic, we can also arrange a virtual consultation with you online. There is never a charge for an initial consultation and case evaluation with a pharmaceutical accident lawyer from our firm.

The Doan Law Firm makes an attorney fee promise to you. We will never charge an attorney fee unless we win your case for you.