Hospital Pharmacy Errors More Common Than Most Believe

When most people think of a pharmacy error, they picture it occurring in a retail pharmacy or a pharmacy located in the back of a grocery store. However, a significant portion of the millions of pharmacy errors that occur each year nationwide happen in a hospital setting. One may think that a pharmacy error occurring at a hospital is less dangerous and less likely to result in serious injury or death because the patient is already at the hospital; however, the statistics indicate that is not the case.

When a hospital patient is provided the wrong medication by a nurse, it is most likely the pharmacy that is to blame because the nurse is usually just following the doctor’s instructions to give whatever medication the pharmacy provides to the patient. While it is certainly incumbent on the nurse to double-check the label on the drug they are about to provide to the patient, if the pharmacy creates an incorrect label for the medication, there is nothing the nurse can do to know there is an issue. In these cases, the hospital as well as the pharmacist may be liable for any injuries caused by their negligence.

Hospital Pharmacy Error Claims One Woman’s Life

Earlier this month in Oregon, the family of a woman who was killed when she was provided the incorrect medication while in the hospital reached a confidential settlement with the hospital where the error occurred. According to one local news source, the woman’s doctor prescribed her an anti-seizure medication to be administered intravenously. However, the hospital pharmacy made an error and provided the woman’s nurse with a paralyzing agent instead.

After the nurse administered the paralyzing agent to the patient, the patient stopped breathing. She then went into cardiac arrest and suffered severe brain damage. After two days, she was taken off life support and she passed away.

The hospital conducted an internal investigation, which led to the discovery that the error occurred in the pharmacy, where the patient’s label was placed on an incorrect bag of medication. The woman’s two sons filed a wrongful death claim against the hospital, which recently ended in the confidential settlement.

Have You Been Injured by a Negligent Pharmacist?

If you or a loved one has recently been provided the wrong prescription by any pharmacist – whether at a retail pharmacy or at a hospital – you may be entitled to monetary compensation. Pharmacists are held to a high standard, and are required to fill each prescription with accuracy. When a busy or distracted pharmacist cuts corners, patients pay the price. While no amount of money will reverse the effects of the error, holding a negligent pharmacist responsible may be the only means of recourse available. Call the Maryland personal injury attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers at 410-654-3600 to set up a free consultation to discuss your injuries and to determine how best to proceed with your claims.

More Blog Posts:

What to Do if the Pharmacist Gives You the Wrong Medication, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, March 1, 2016.

Protecting Yourself against Serious Pharmacy Errors, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, February 19, 2016.

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