The United States is one of only three countries in the world that does not use the metric system in practice. While the official system of measurement in the States is the metric system, in reality, no one really uses it. However, this can cause a problem when children are given medication by their parents that requires knowledge of the metric system.
In a recent study by Pediatrics, it is shown that about 40% of parents make a mistake—whether it be over- or under-dosing—when converting from the metric system to the American Standard System. The article proposes switching the United States over to the metric system, which would require a complete overhaul.
The article notes that most pharmacies use the standard system when providing dosing instructions. However, the pharmacists themselves use the metric system to dose the medication. This creates the necessity of a “margin of error” that all pharmacists must tolerate. However, such a margin of error can lead to over-dosing, under-dosing, and medication poisoning.
The bottom line is that anytime there must be a conversion, there is a slight margin of error. In some cases, even slightly too much of a medication can result in serious side effects for children.
Too Little or Too Much
In the case of prescription medication, too little or too much of a medication can rarely be tolerated by children. This means that pharmacists must be nearly precise when figuring out how to provide dosing instructions to medications that they know children will be taking.
In some cases, the pharmacists make mistakes, and these mistakes often result in severe stomach issues, rashes, or other reactions, or even hospital visits. In some extreme cases, children have died from overdoses of prescription medication.
When an error like this does occur, the blame must be assigned to someone. Most often, it falls on the pharmacists and pharmacy that filled the prescription. Otherwise, the parents of the child—who had no reason to know that the dosing instructions were not correct—would have nowhere to look for answers.
Recovering in Pharmacy Error Cases
In order to recover in a pharmacy error case, a plaintiff must prove that the defendant pharmacy was negligent in some way. Simply providing too much or too little of a drug may be enough to convince a judge or jury that the pharmacy was negligent.
Have You or Your Child Been Harmed By a Medication?
If you have a child that has been injured by a pharmacy error, you may be able to recover monetary damages to help recoup the costs of medical care for your child. In addition, your child may be eligible for an additional amount due to the pain and suffering that he or she experienced as a result of the error. To learn more about how families can recover when a pharmacy provides a child with the wrong dosage or wrong medication, click here or call 410-654-3600 today to schedule a free initial consultation with a dedicated prescription error attorney.
More Blog Posts:
Hospitals Beginning to Place Pharmacists in the Emergency Room to Cut Down on Medication Errors, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, June 25, 2014.
Prescription Error Causes Man to Permanently Lose His Sight, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, July 16, 2014.