Electronic Prescriptions Carry New Risks for Maryland Patients

E-prescribing or electronic prescribing has become increasingly common in recent years in Maryland and throughout the country. The practice allows the direct transmission of prescription information from a provider to a pharmacy. Many people hail the benefits of electronic prescribing, as handwritten prescriptions are inefficient and carry risks of error. The Maryland Senate introduced a bill earlier this month to allow health practitioners to issue prescriptions for certain controlled substances electronically. However, electronic prescribing carries its own set of risks. A study by the National Institutes of Health found that serious adverse effects, including deaths, have been caused by electronic prescriptions. Such errors can include entry errors, dispensing errors, and transcription errors that are unique to electronic prescribing. Electronic prescriptions require that medical professionals make particular precautions to detect and avoid mistakes. Maryland pharmacy error victims may be able to recover financial compensation in the event of an error.

One woman’s recent death was determined to be caused by an electronic prescription error, according to a news source. The woman was prescribed the drug trimethoprim for a urine infection when she was seen at a hospital. On the same day, her doctors saw test results from an earlier test that showed that an infection would not have responded to trimethoprim, and instead prescribed the woman Amoxicillin. The prescription was transmitted electronically, but by amending the prescription, the prescription for Amoxycillin was not available for the pharmacist to download. The prescription for the patient only reflected the prescription for trimethoprim.

The patient took the medication, and, four days later, was admitted to the hospital with worsening symptoms. The error was recognized, and she was treated, but the woman’s condition deteriorated and she died the following day. A coroner determined that the woman would not have died if she had taken the Amoxycillin she had been prescribed.

In the devastating event of a death caused by pharmacy error in Maryland, the decedent’s family may be able to pursue a wrongful death claim against the responsible parties. Maryland wrongful death claims allow certain family members to file suit and receive compensation for their own losses due to the untimely death of their loved one. Under Maryland’s Wrongful Death Act, a claim can be brought for a wrongful act, neglect, or default which would have allowed the decedent to file a claim if the decedent’s death had not occurred. Generally, it must be filed by a spouse, parent, or child, although others may file in some cases.

Contact a Maryland Pharmacy Error Lawyer

If you or a loved one has suffered from a Maryland prescription error, contact a lawyer experienced in pharmacy error claims. The personal injury attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen, Personal Injury Lawyers have more than twenty years litigating claims related to pharmacy misfills and medication errors in the Baltimore area, as well as across Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Our team works with medical experts to evaluate your claim and to pursue the compensation that you deserve. Contact us online or call us toll-free at (800) 654-1949 to set up a free, no-obligation consultation.

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