Although the Center for Disease Control (CDC) does not currently list medical errors as a cause of death, medical errors claim more than 250,000 lives per year. If listed among other causes of death, this figure would be the third leading cause of death in the United States, behind heart disease and cancer. Not surprisingly, Maryland pharmacy errors are among the leading causes of death in the state.
While there are many types of medical errors, one of the more common types is a prescription error, or pharmacy error. A pharmacy error occurs when a patient brings a prescription to a pharmacy to get filled and the pharmacy provides the patient with something other than what they were supposed to receive. Most commonly, prescription errors involve one or more of the following errors:
- The wrong medication;
- An incorrect dose; or
- Inaccurate instructions.
Typically, these mistakes involve either patient names or drugs that sound similar. For example, the term LASA drug refers to “look-alike sound-alike” medications. It is common for a rushed pharmacist to think they are grabbing the correct medication only to find out later that in their haste they selected a drug that had a similar name. Often, these medications are not related to one another, and may have negative interactions when taken with other medication. Similar sounding patient names can also create confusion for pharmacists, increasing the chance of an error.
An almost unbelievable error occurred at a fertility clinic in California earlier this year. While not a traditional pharmacy error, the case illustrates the type of oversights that can occur in the medical setting, especially in non-hospital settings such as a pharmacy or clinic.
According to a recent news report, a Korean-American couple got pregnant with the clinic’s help, only to later find out that neither of the twins the mother gave birth to was of Asian descent. The couple later found out that neither of the children shared any DNA. After looking into the situation, the couple learned that the clinic implanted eggs from other couples. The birth mother eventually relinquished custody of the children to their biological parents. All three couples have since initiated lawsuits against the clinic asserting various theories of liability.
Have You Been the Victim of a Maryland Pharmacy Error?
If you or someone you love recently has suffered as a result of a pharmacist’s negligence, contact the dedicated Maryland medical malpractice lawyers at the law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC. At Lebowitz & Mzhen, we have assembled a well-respected team of attorneys to provide an exceptional level of representation to the victims of medical malpractice across Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. We have over 20 years of experience bringing all types of medical malpractice and wrongful death claims, including those arising from Maryland pharmacy errors. To learn more, call 800-654-1949 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case with an attorney today. Calling is free, and we will not bill you for our services unless we can help you recover the compensation you deserve.