Prescription medications are powerful drugs that can have major adverse effects on everyone, especially children. These medications are available only with a doctor’s recommendation because they may have serious interactions with other medications, may present a high risk of overdose, or may require very specific instructions regarding how to take the medication. In children, even the smallest mistake can result in a serious injury or even death.
While many medication errors involving children take place at home when a parent gives their child medicine, the ultimate responsibility for the error may not lie with the parent. In fact, the way that many children’s medications are dosed makes it very difficult for parents to make the necessary conversions. In a recent report discussing pharmacy errors that affect children, it is noted that most children’s medication has one set of instructions for administration with an oral syringe and another for administration in teaspoons, leaving parents with the job of converting one into the other.
In fact, a recent study involving 2,000 children under eight years old and their caretakers found that 84% of the caretakers made some mistake with the administration of the child’s medicine. Most of these mistakes involved doses calling for measurement by teaspoon or measuring cups. Currently, there is a push by the Food and Drug Administration to standardize all doses in children’s medication, using milliliters. However, until then, it is recommended that extra precautions be taken to ensure that anyone providing liquid medication to a child understand exactly what the intended dose is.
Pharmacy Errors in Children
The above discussion shows how sensitive children can be to even a minor dosage error. It is therefore incredibly important for all pharmacists working on children’s prescriptions to be thorough in filling the prescription. This includes ensuring that the medication provided to the child’s parent is the same medication prescribed by the doctor, in the same dosage amount, and with the correct dosage instructions. A pharmacist’s failure to accurately fill a child patient’s prescription may result in a serious injury or death.
Despite the sensitivity children have to prescription medications, it remains the pharmacist’s duty to ensure that the child is provided with the correct medication in the correct dose. If a parent inadvertently gives their child the wrong dose of medicine while following the pharmacist’s orders, that pharmacist – not the parent – is the one who is responsible for the error.
Has Your Child Been a Victim of a Medication Error?
If your child has recently been given the wrong medication or the wrong dose of the correct medication and suffered injuries as a result, you and your child may be entitled to monetary compensation. The skilled pharmacy error attorneys at the Maryland personal injury firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC have decades of experience holding negligent parties responsible for their actions, and we have handled thousands of personal injury cases, including those arising out of pharmacy errors. Call 410-654-3600 today to set up a free consultation to discuss your case with an experienced attorney.
More Blog Posts:
Pharmacist’s Error Results in Seven-Year-Old Boy Receiving Medication Ten Times Stronger than Prescribed, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, October 3, 2016.
Name Mix-Ups Are One of the Most Common Types of Pharmacy Errors, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, September 19, 2016.