Walgreen’s Pharmacy Error Sends Two-year-old Child to the Hospital

In a recent news story that our Baltimore, Maryland pharmacy error injury attorneys have been following, a two-year-old child was rushed to the hospital, after a prescription error was made at a Jersey City Walgreen’s pharmacy, while dispensing the boy’s allergy medication prescription.

According to the Jersey Journal, the father of the young boy reportedly went to the Walgreen’s Pharmacy to pick up the prescription for his son’s hydrocortisone prescription, to treat his allergies. The pharmacy gave the father the correct medication for his child, and in addition, the wrong prescription for 10mg of oxycodone, a powerful pain medication that had been filled for a patient who shared the same last name and first initial as the boy.

Crystal Williams, the boy’s mother, reportedly gave her two-year-old child one of the Oxycodone pills, and after ten minutes was alarmed when the child looked dangerously sleepy. Williams then realized the serious pharmacy error that had occurred, after reading the label on prescription bottle—discovering that her child had been given a drug with someone else’s name on it.

Upon discovering the pharmacy error, Williams dialed 911, and rushed her child to the hospital where doctors reportedly gave him shots to keep him alert. A few hours later he was transferred to an intensive care unit at a different hospital. According to Michael Curci, the pharmacy director for LibertyHealth, which operates the Medical Center where the boy was originally taken, an excessive amount of oxycodone can be life threatening, as it can cause respiratory depression and the inability to breathe.

A Walgreen’s spokeswoman reportedly took responsibility for mistakenly dispensing the bottle of painkillers with the boy’s allergy medication, and apologized to the family for the pharmacy mistake made in the store. They claim to take action to prevent prescription errors of this kind in the future. The boy’s parents have stated that they plan to sue Walgreen’s.

In a recent blog, our Maryland pharmacy error attorneys discussed tips for parents on how to prevent prescription errors from happening to children in pharmacies. In Maryland and the Washington D.C.-area, contact Lebowitz and Mzhen, LLC today.

Pharmacy Admits Mistake in Filling Prescription for 2-year-old Who Was Rushed to Hospital; Boy Got Powerful Painkiller, Not Allergy Pill, The Jersey Journal, September 2, 2010

Related Web Resources:

U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Medication Error Reports

Institute for Safe Medication Practices, (ISMP)

20 Tips to Help Prevent Medical Errors in Children: Patient Fact Sheet, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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