Medication Overdoses Caused by Prescription Errors

When a pharmacist gives a patient the wrong medication, or the incorrect dose of the proper medication, the patient can be put in great danger. The range of medical issues that can result from a Maryland pharmacy error is broad, but the most common problems that arise after a pharmacy error are adverse reactions and overdoses.

Many prescription medications are controlled for the very reason that they interact negatively with a large number of other medications – both prescription and over-the-counter. Other medications are controlled due to the fact that they require a very precise dosage to be effective. If these medications are provided in excess strength, the patient may suffer an overdose that can potentially be fatal.

Of course, pharmacists are responsible to correctly fill patients’ prescriptions. And while pharmacists cannot normally be held criminally liable for their errors, injured patients and their families may be able to pursue a claim for financial compensation from the pharmacist as well as their employer. These pharmacy error lawsuits, however, can be complex due to the scientific issues that arise when attempting to prove that a pharmacist’s error was the cause of the patient’s injuries.

Patient Dies of Overdose After Prescription Error

Earlier this month, a news outlet reported on the death of a woman who overdosed on prescription medication after a pharmacist filled her prescription with medication that was five times stronger than that which was prescribed by her physician. According to the report, the woman was prescribed a 2 mg dose of baclofen, a strong muscle relaxer. However, rather than fill the patient’s prescription with 2 mg pills, the pharmacy provided the woman with 10 mg pills.

The woman, who was a resident in a long-term care facility, took the medication for several days before the error was caught by a nurse. The woman later died, and the overdose of baclofen was listed as her cause of death.

Investigators told reporters that the error was caused not by a single pharmacist but by system-wide failures. For example, the pharmacy did not require all prescriptions to be double-checked by a second pharmacist or technician before being given to a patient. The pharmacy was not required to report “near miss” errors, so there is no way to determine if similar errors were made in the past but discovered before the patient consumed the medication.

Have You Been a Victim of a Maryland Pharmacy Error?

If you or a loved one has recently been a victim of a Maryland pharmacy error, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. The dedicated Maryland personal injury attorneys at the law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers have extensive experience handling a wide range of pharmacy error claims, and they know what it takes to be successful on behalf of their clients. To learn more, and to speak with a Maryland personal injury attorney about your case, call 410-654-3600 to schedule your free consultation.

More Blog Posts:

Recent Pharmacy Error Causes Patient “Horrendous” Symptoms, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, February 1, 2018.

Pre-Trial Settlements in Pharmacy Error Cases, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, February 15, 2018.

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