Americans suffering from vision loss are at an increased risk for injuries caused by pharmacy errors. In a recent survey, the American Federation for the Blind (“AFB”) reports that nearly 20 million Americans suffer from some form of significant vision loss and many have suffered injuries due to their inability to read prescription names or dosage instructions. Maryland pharmacy error attorneys join the AFB’s call for Congress to take up legislation to develop safeguards for this class of citizens susceptible to medication errors.
As we have discussed in previous posts, medication instructions are notoriously confusing and difficult to read even under the best of circumstances. The AFB report is accompanied with personal stories describing how people with vision loss can suffer disproportionately from pharmacy negligence.
In one situation, the legally blind parents of an infant nearly lost their child due to their inability to catch a pharmacy prescription misfill. The parents managed several prescriptions for their child, but they were unable to read the labeling on the bottles. A pharmacist misfilled the prescription with a medication that was potentially lethal to the child. Fortunately, the parents were able to catch the error before it was too late.
In another anecdote, a respondent to the survey explained that a negligent pharmacist dispensed twice the amount of insulin that the man’s prescription required. Since the respondent was not able to read the medicine’s label, he took a double dosage of insulin, passed out from hypoglycemia, and had to receive treatment at a local emergency room.
Currently, there is no federal or state law requiring that pharmacies provide medication dosage or side effect information in Braille. Unfortunately, the AFB reports that devices to assist the vision impaired with medication labeling are not widely available.
If you or a loved one has suffered from a medication resulting from a pharmacist’s negligence in the Baltimore or Washington, D.C. area, contact our pharmacy misfill attorneys for a free consultation.