Medication errors are an unfortunate yet common occurrence throughout the United States. While these errors can have deadly consequences, they are most dangerous to vulnerable populations such as older adults, pregnant women, and children. In Maryland, those who suffer a medication error may hold the responsible party liable for their losses. Children are a unique population in that they have little to no control over the medication they consume yet can face the most consequences after a medication error. Statistics indicate that over 50% of American children consume one medication or more every week, and one study revealed that almost half of caregivers gave an incorrect dose.
While a single dosing error of a common medication may not result in a significant injury, persistent errors can raise the likelihood of serious harm. In light of the growing concern surrounding pediatric medication errors, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published a piece on preventing home medication errors. The authors acknowledged that home medication errors commonly occur with liquid medications requiring preparations. Caregivers with reduced health literacy or limited English proficiency are at an increased risk for making an administration error.
In addition to home caregivers, health care providers may also be responsible for pediatric medication errors. Many health care provider practices enhance the occurrence of errors. Providers who do not include complete information related to indication, frequency, or duration, can affect how the caregiver administers the medication. Further, providers who fail to include a consistent dosage or conduct a thorough medication review may inappropriately prescribe medication.
Moreover, pharmacy practices also contribute to incorrect medication administration. Some studies indicate that medication unit measurements frequently changed. These changes can cause the caregiver to inadvertently administer the incorrect dosage, especially when the pharmacist fails to inform the consumer of the change.
These errors can affect an array of pediatric medications, such as liquid formations for those on feeding tubes and over-the-counter (OTC) medications. The AAP recommends several safety strategies to reduce medication errors. One action includes encouraging enhanced communication between physicians, caregivers, and patients. Next, using standardized dosing can ensure dosage accuracy. Moreover, pharmacists and healthcare providers should reconcile medications at all patient encounters. Further, the AAP suggests that removing “ask your doctor” recommendations from OTC medications and including precise instructions would reduce the likelihood of an error.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for a Maryland Pharmacy Error Claim?
The statute of limitations for a Maryland pharmacy error claim is three years. However, in some situations, patients have longer to file their claim, for example, if they did not discover that their injuries were due to a pharmacist’s negligence until a later date. An experienced Maryland medical malpractice lawyer can help patients understand the applicable time from in which they can bring a case.
Have You Experienced a Medication Error?
If you or someone you love has experienced injuries because of a medication error, contact Lebowitz & Mzhen for assistance. Our team’s Maryland pharmaceutical error lawyers have extensive experience handling these complex injury matters. We have an in-depth understanding of the various state and federal laws that impact these types of claims. Our law firm handles Maryland pharmaceutical errors and other cases involving medical malpractice, pharmacy negligence, and nursing home abuse and neglect. We have secured significant amounts of compensation for our clients and their families. Contact our office at 800-654-1949 to schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney on our team. Calling is free, and there is no risk because we won’t charge you for our services unless we can recover compensation on your behalf.