Most people would like to think that if they were ever given an incorrect prescription by a pharmacist, they would catch the mistake. However, statistics indicate that most people who are provided with the wrong medication, incorrect dose, or improper instructions at the pharmacy counter do not notice the error until they have taken the medication home and ingested at least one dose.
When dealing with visually impaired patients, there is a drastic reduction in the chance that the patient will notice the error. This pertains not just to those who are legally blind but also to the elderly or others with poor vision. A patient with compromised eyesight may be able to see well enough to find their way to the pharmacy counter but will likely have difficulty reading the small print on prescription bottles.
Pharmacists have a duty to fill all patients’ prescriptions accurately, and they may be held liable for any injuries that result from an error. Under the law as it pertains to pharmacy error claims, a visually impaired patient will not be expected to catch the error. That is to say that the pharmacist will not be able to argue that the patient should have caught the error in an attempt to avoid liability.
Blind Woman Dies of Morphine Overdose Following Prescription Error
Earlier this month, a 58-year-old woman died after she ingested a lethal dose of morphine that was provided to her in error by her local pharmacy. According to a local news report covering the tragic accident, the woman was completely blind and had her prescriptions delivered to her home by pharmacy staff.
Evidently, the pills were supposed to have been provided to another woman who lives four doors away from the patient. Detectives believe that the pharmacy dispensed the correct medication and that the error was on the part of the delivery driver, who was also an employee of the pharmacy.
The error was discovered when the daughter of the patient for whom the pills were intended called to inform the pharmacy that her mother had not received her medication. The pharmacy staff attempted to call the patient to let her know that she was inadvertently given the wrong medication, but by the time authorities entered her home, it was too late.
The woman was found dead in her armchair. Nine of the morphine pills were missing. The medical examiner listed the cause of death as pneumonia due to opioid toxicity.
Have You Been Given the Wrong Medication?
If you or a loved one has recently been a victim of a Maryland pharmacy error, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. The dedicated team of Maryland personal injury lawyers at the law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC have extensive experience assisting in the preparation and litigation of all types of Maryland personal injury cases, including pharmacy errors. To learn more, and to speak with an attorney about your case, call 410-654-3600 to schedule a free consultation. Calling is risk-free because we will not bill you for our services unless we are able to help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
More Blog Posts:
Study Shows E-Prescribing Has Decreased Pharmacy Error Rates, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, October 9, 2017.
New Insulin Use Guidelines Aim to Reduce Risk of Insulin Prescription Errors, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, October 2, 2017.