Pharmacist Overprescribes Blood-Thinner, Causing Man to Cough Up Blood

In a frightening case earlier last month out of New Zealand, a man needed to be hospitalized after he started to cough up blood due to a pharmacist’s error. The pharmacist responsible was actually hired from a temp agency that staffs short-term employees.
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According to one local news source, a 65-year-old man went to fill a prescription for warfarin, a blood-thinner and anti-coagulant used to treat blood clots. Instead of providing him the required dose of a single 1 mg pill, the pharmacist filled the prescription for five 1 mg pills.

The man took the medication as instructed and six weeks later was complaining of extreme abdominal pain and constipation. He was hospitalized when he started coughing up blood and urinating blood. The man was taken off warfarin and placed on vitamin K instead. After five days in the hospital, doctors felt that he was okay to return back home. There is no indication as to what, if any, long-term effects the man may experience as a result of the overdose.

The governing agency in New Zealand suggested that the pharmacist get re-trained before he is placed back on the pharmacy floor. The standard procedure consists of a three-step process: processing, dispensing, and checking. This process should be shared by two pharmacists in order to ensure accuracy. However, on the day the man went to fill his prescription, there was only one pharmacist on duty, so the prescription was never double-checked.

Maryland Pharmacy Errors

While this pharmacy error took place in New Zealand, it is naïve to think that these kinds of mistakes don’t happen here in Maryland as well. Each year, tens of thousands of people across the country are injured or killed due to mistakes made by pharmacists. Most of these mistakes would have been easily prevented, had the pharmacist taken the required precautions.

When a pharmacist does make a mistake that leads to someone’s injury or death, he or she (as well as the pharmacy employing him or her) may be held liable in a civil court of law. Like doctors and other professionals, pharmacists are expected to live up to a certain standard. When they fail to do so, they may be held liable for any injuries caused as a result.

Have You Been Injured By a Pharmacist’s Mistake?

If you or a loved one has recently been injured due to the mistake of a pharmacist, you may be entitled to monetary damages based on that pharmacist’s negligence. To learn more about the laws governing these kinds of claims, and to speak to a dedicated pharmacy-error attorney about your potential case, call one of the dedicated attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC to schedule a free consultation. The lawyers at Lebowtiz & Mzhen have many years of combined experience handling these kinds of matters and know what it takes to bring a winning case for their clients. Call 410-654-3600 today to set up your free consultation.

More Blog Posts:

New Zealand Man Dies Due to Pharmacist’s Error, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, September 3, 2014.

Confusing Drug Names May Lead to More Prescription Drug Errors, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, August 20, 2014.

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