Articles Posted in Pharmacy Errors and Children

Each year, there are estimated to be approximately 1.5 million pharmacy errors across the United States. Of those, about half are later determined to have been preventable. While these figures may seem shocking, the reality is that the actual number of pharmacy errors may be much higher given lax pharmacy reporting requirements.

In most states, a discretionary reporting system is used. In general, even when mandatory reporting is implemented, a pharmacist is not required to report an error unless it results in patient harm. However, in many cases, a patient will not immediately show symptoms of a medication error. Thus, pharmacy errors that do not result in immediate serious harm or are not delivered to a patient do not need to be reported. If you have questions that relate to potential pharmacy negligence, contact a Maryland medication error attorney.

Mother Pushes for Stricter Reporting Requirements

Back in 2016, a young boy in Canada died in his sleep after his mother was given the wrong medication when she went to refill her son’s prescription. According to a recent news report covering the tragic accident, the boy suffered from parasomnia, which caused the boy to wake up screaming and crying in the middle of the night. The boy’s physician prescribed tryptophan, and the boy had taken the drug for about a year.

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In Maryland personal injury cases, a range of damages may be available, depending on the circumstances of the case. Damages are generally divided into two categories: general damages and special damages. Special damages are awarded for the plaintiff’s economic damages, whereas general damages are awarded for noneconomic damages and other damages. Examples of special damages are medical bills, transportation costs, physical therapy, past, and future wage losses, loss of future earning capacity, diminished earning capacity, and loss of consortium. General damages can include pain and suffering, and other noneconomic damages. All of these damages are compensatory damages, which means that they are intended to compensate the plaintiff for the plaintiff’s injuries. As in any personal injury claim, in a medical error case a plaintiff must prove all of the alleged damages.

In addition to compensatory damages, some plaintiffs may be awarded punitive damages. Punitive damages, also called exemplary damages, are meant to punish the defendant for the defendant’s conduct and to deter others from bad behavior. In those cases, a plaintiff must show that the defendant had actual knowledge of the wrongful conduct. There are caps on some types of damages in Maryland, so it is essential to consult with an attorney to understand which types and amount of damages are available.

Three-Year-Old Child Overdoses on Morphine After Pharmacy Error

Human error resulted in the recent overdose of a 3-year-old, according to one news article. The article reported that the toddler was prescribed morphine after he had tonsil surgery and had his adenoids removed and tubes put in his ears. The medical staff prescribed the toddler morphine and told the family that it was routine. The toddler’s parents filled the morphine prescription at a pharmacy without any consultation with a pharmacist. Later that day, the parents read the instructions on the medication and gave their child the medicine. According to his mother, the next morning, the toddler’s father picked him up, “and his head flopped right back.” The mother said the child was unresponsive and not breathing properly. The parents rushed the child to the hospital where doctors said that he had overdosed. The hospital staff gave him naloxone to stabilize him, and he eventually recovered.

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When most people hear that a pharmacy error has been made, they picture a busy pharmacist who provided one patient with another’s medication after transposing a few letters in a patient’s last name. And with thousands of medications in the average pharmacy, there certainly are a significant number of Maryland pharmacy errors involving a pharmacist providing a patient with the wrong medication altogether. However, this is only one type of pharmacy error.Many pharmacy errors involve a patient receiving the correct medication, but the wrong dosage. This can either occur when a pharmacist provides the patient with the wrong strength of medication or when the instructions provided to the patient are incorrect. In either event, a patient can suffer serious injuries by taking too much (or too little) of a prescribed medication. Children are especially susceptible to this type of error, since medication tends to affect them more, given their size and weight.

Parents are encouraged to double-check their children’s prescriptions for any errors at the pharmacy. In addition, parents should consult with pharmacy staff, letting them know that the medication is for a child.

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While a Maryland pharmacy error can result in serious and even fatal consequences for any patient, the very young are at an especially high risk. This is a frightening thought, considering that pharmacy errors are much more common than most people believe. Indeed, it is estimated that there are over 63,000 medication errors involving child patients each year. This amounts to one error approximately every eight minutes.

Researchers have noted that the most common type of medication error involving a child patient is when the prescribed medication is an analgesic or a cold/cough syrup. Commonly, these medications result in the pharmacist providing patients with a double-dose of the prescribed medication. That being said, it is not unheard of for a pharmacist to give a parent the wrong medication altogether.

When a pharmacist error results in patient harm, the injured patient may be able to pursue a claim for compensation through a Maryland pharmacy error lawsuit. While proving that an error was made is not necessarily difficult in many cases, establishing that the error resulted in a patient’s injuries can be challenging. For this reason, many pharmacy error cases require expert testimony to help prove causation.

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Prescription errors can have devastating consequences for people of any age. The wrong dosage or medication can have long-lasting consequences and, in some cases, can be fatal. A recent article shows how children may be at greater risk for prescription errors in some circumstances. Since some medication is produced at dosages that are too high for children, they have to be reduced. The process of creating a smaller dosage is another opportunity for prescribers and pharmacists to make mistakes and for miscommunications to occur.

In the case of a Maryland prescription error, a plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant was negligent by failing to meet the relevant standard of care. An example of this might be a pharmacist’s failure to administer the prescribed dosage. In these cases, a plaintiff may be entitled to compensation for their injuries.

Article Reveals Life-Threatening Errors in Administration of Flecainide to Children

Flecainide, an oral antiarrythmic drug, can be prescribed to treat supraventricular tachycardia or atrial fibrillation. However, it is only available commercially in doses of 50 mg, 100 mg, and 150 mg, so when given to infants and small children, who require smaller doses, it has to be given in the form of a suspension. A recent article discusses how there have been life-threatening errors during the preparation of the suspension, resulting in serious overdoses.

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Most Maryland pharmacy errors occur when an overworked pharmacist receives a correct prescription from a physician and makes an error in filling the prescription. Commonly, these errors include filling the wrong dose of the correct medication, providing the patient with the wrong administration instructions, or filling the prescription with the wrong drug. However, some prescription errors result from a negligent or reckless physician.

Both doctors and pharmacists owe a duty of care to their patients when it comes to prescription medication. However, these duties differ slightly, and for good reason. A pharmacist has no control over the medication a doctor prescribes to his patient, and a doctor has no control over the accuracy of the pharmacist. However, in some cases, these duties overlap.

In a recent article, one pharmacist recounts an error that was made just a few years after he had graduated from pharmacy school. The pharmacist, relatively new at the time, was asked by a physician to prescribe an adult dose of medication to a child. When the pharmacist questioned what he believed to be too high a dose for a child, the doctor assured the pharmacist that it was appropriate because the child was “adult-sized.”

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By some estimates, medical errors are among the top three causes of death in the United States. While the classification of a medical error is broad, including surgical errors and medical malpractice, the classification also includes pharmacy errors. Indeed, there are tens of thousands of pharmacy errors each year, and this number is likely a gross underestimate because nearly all errors that do not result in serious injuries or death go unreported.

When pharmacy errors are reported, authorities take them very seriously. Indeed, a recent article discusses one pharmacist who was found guilty of reckless homicide and imprisoned for six months after an error he made resulted in a young girl’s death. While this is rare, it does happen because the law does not necessarily require intentional conduct to find someone guilty of a homicide.

According to a recent news report, the pharmacist who was responsible for the young girl’s death has tried to turn his life around with the help of a seemingly unlikely friend – the father of the girl who died from the pharmacist’s mistake. In the wake of his daughter’s death, the girl’s father decided that he did not believe the pharmacist intended to cause an error and that he wanted to do what he could to emotionally support the pharmacist while he was in jail. The two men became friends and have since begun to work together to help raise awareness around issues of pharmacy errors.

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Prescription errors can have lasting effects for Maryland patients. In a recent case, the parents of a two-month-old child brought a lawsuit against a doctor, alleging that the doctor improperly treated their child with the drug Reglan.

According to the court’s opinion, the child was referred to the pediatric gastroenterologist doctor for gastrointestinal issues, and the doctor diagnosed him with severe gastroesophageal reflux disease. The doctor continued to see the child for about a year and a half, and he prescribed him different medications, including Reglan. Reglan is normally recommended for a maximum of 12 weeks, except in cases in which the benefits outweigh the risks. The doctor later testified that he believed the benefits outweighed the risks in this case, and he attempted to wean the child off the drug, but his symptoms would reappear when he did so.

About a year and a half after his diagnosis, the child’s mother began noticing problems with the child’s development, including standing, balancing, and developmental delays. After she heard about the side effects of Reglan on a commercial, she brought up her concerns to the child’s primary care doctor. The gastroenterologist doctor subsequently told the primary care doctor to stop the Reglan prescription, due to the mother’s concerns.

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Pharmacy errors always carry a risk of causing serious or potentially fatal consequences. However, when the victim of a Maryland pharmacy error is a child or young adult, the chances of the victim suffering serious injuries are greatly increased.

Pharmaceutical drugs, by their very nature, are extremely powerful substances that have the power to cure but also the power to cause serious harm. Even a slight variance in the prescribed dose of a medication to a child or young adult patient can result in serious injuries. However, the reality is that several thousand young patients are provided the wrong medication or the wrong dose of their medication each year. While the pharmaceutical industry is in the process of reworking the system to reduce these errors, there has yet to be any appreciable decrease in error rates among young patients.

Maryland Pharmacy Error Cases

When a pharmacist provides a young patient with the wrong type of medication or the wrong dose of their prescribed medication, and the patient suffers injuries as a result, the young patient and his family may be able to seek compensation for his injuries through a Maryland pharmacy error lawsuit. Most often, these cases are contested by pharmacies, and anyone considering bringing a pharmacy error claim should speak with a dedicated Maryland personal injury attorney prior to doing so.

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Earlier this month, the mother of a four-year-old epileptic girl went to fill her daughter’s prescription and was given the medication. According to a local news source covering the incident, the young girl takes two prescriptions for her condition, one of which is Clobazam and anti-epileptic. The girl’s doctor prescribed she take 10 mg of medication that contains five ml of the active drug. However, the pharmacy provided the girl’s mother with a medication that only contains 2.5 ml per 10 mg dose. The result was that the girl was only getting half of her required medication.

Ten days after the prescription was picked up, the girl had her first seizure. Since then, she has been unable to sleep through the night and has had several subsequent seizures. The mother told reporters that the pharmacy not only provided the wrong medication but also placed their own label on the manufacturer’s label, making the error harder to detect. It was not until a doctor at the hospital asked to see the bottle that the error was discovered.

In an interview with reporters, the girl’s mother explained that she “can forgive the initial mistake, but everything has to be seconded and signed off, and I can’t forgive whoever seconded it as they clearly didn’t do their job.”

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