Distraction Is Among the Leading Causes of Maryland Pharmacy Errors

Pharmacists and nurses have a very important job that must be taken seriously at all times. However, medical professionals are human, and it is not uncommon for a nurse or pharmacist who is comfortable doing their job to begin to engage in multi-tasking. While the ability to multi-task is seen as a good thing in some contexts, when the safety of a patient is on the line, pharmacists should keep the focus of their attention only on the task at hand. As studies have repeatedly shown, a Maryland pharmacist who multi-tasks while filling a patient’s prescription increases the risk of a Maryland pharmacy error.

Back in 2017, a woman died after she was given a lethal dose of the paralyzing agent vecuronium instead of Versed, which the doctors intended to provide her with. According to a recent news report, prosecutors released additional documentation in the 2017 case showing that the nurse made at least ten errors in the moments leading up to the time when she gave the patient the lethal dose.

Evidently, a nurse administered the lethal dose of vecuronium to the patient, who stopped breathing a short time after the medication entered her bloodstream. At the time, the nurse admitted to being involved in an unrelated conversation with a colleague when she reached for the medicine. The nurse grabbed the wrong medication and apparently failed to notice the boldface type on the packaging stating WARNING: PARALYZING AGENT.

According to court documents, as the nurse was putting the patient’s medication into the system, she had to override at least four pop-up warnings or errors advising her of the dangers presented by the drug. Once the medicine was in her hand, the nurse did not realize that the medication she was supposed to give the patient was a liquid, and what she had in her hand was a powder. The nurse mixed the powder with fluid and administered it to the patient.

When the nurse was interviewed after the patient’s death, she admitted to having made a mistake and that it “struck her as odd” that the medication was in the form of a powder, rather than a liquid. The nurse was subsequently charged with reckless homicide and impaired adult abuse. Although the nurse publicly acknowledged she made a mistake, she has entered a plea of not guilty.

Have You Been the Victim of a Pharmacy Error?

If you or someone you love has recently been the victim of a Maryland pharmacy error, you may be entitled to monetary compensation through a Maryland pharmacy error lawsuit. At the Maryland-based personal injury law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC, we represent injury victims and their family members in pharmacy error cases across the country. In addition to providing an unrivaled level of representation to our clients, we have an extensive network of expert witnesses we routinely consult with to help prove our clients’ cases. To learn more about how we can help you recover for the injuries you have sustained, call 410-654-3600 to schedule a free consultation today.

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