doctor holding handwritten prescription and pencilIt seems that drug transcription errors should no longer be a problem in the United States. Technology should prevent the problems that used to plague the medical industry. In the past, illegible doctor’s prescriptions and copying mistakes frequently led to patients receiving the wrong dose of medication, including chemotherapy. Unfortunately, computers have not entirely eliminated the risk to patients.

Chemo Transcription Mistakes Still Happen

If you or someone you love has received chemotherapy, you should be aware of transcription errors that could occur between the time a doctor orders chemo and when the chemo is delivered to you. For example:

  • A doctor’s handwriting may be misinterpreted. While most chemo orders are computerized, a doctor may occasionally write a prescription for chemo, and that creates a risk of misinterpretation.
  • A decimal may be put into the wrong spot. Nurses and pharmacists may place the decimal in the wrong place after reading the doctor’s prescription order. When the decimal is misplaced, the wrong chemo dose is given.
  • An abbreviation may be ambiguous. Many drugs have similar names and abbreviations. If an abbreviation is misinterpreted, the wrong medication may be given.
  • The dosage may be miscalculated. Mathematical errors may be made when calculating chemotherapy doses, and this can result in dangerous overdoses.

Any of these mistakes can result in serious side effects if the wrong type or dose of chemotherapy is provided or the chemotherapy is provided the wrong way, at the wrong time, or is given to the wrong patient.

How to Know If a Transcription Error Caused Your Chemo Overdose

Once you realize how sick you are because of a chemo overdose and you get treatment for this medical emergency, you may begin to wonder why it happened. There are many different points in the administration of chemotherapy where an error may occur, and as a patient it can be impossible to know when the mistake was made.

It is possible to find out this critical information, and our staff nurse can help you do that. We will find out how you or your loved one was hurt. If it was due to a chemotherapy transcription error or another type of chemotherapy error, we will fight hard for your fair recovery of damages. Contact us today by starting a live chat or calling us directly to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.

Mark K. Gray
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Louisville attorney serving the seriously injured in Kentucky