Patients seeking medical care have certain standards and expectations for what they will receive when getting treatment. When those standards are not met, the consequences can be dire. For patients whose lives are on the line, one small mistake from a doctor, nurse, or pharmacist can have an enormous impact.
Recently, a woman picked up what she thought was cancer medication from her local pharmacy. She took the prescribed pills for two months before realizing that she had actually received anti-cholesterol medication from the pharmacy instead of the medicine she intended to be taking. The woman’s doctor had prescribed her a drug called exemestane, but the pharmacist had failed to check the medication bottle and had given her something called ezetimibe instead.
Apparently, the pharmacists providing the medication failed to properly dispense the prescription. The pharmacy was supposed to have a three-step process for ensuring that each patient’s medicine was what they were expecting to receive: a check when the medicine was selected from the shelf, a second check when the dispensing label was put on the container, and a third check when the prescription was given to the patient.
Despite this three-check system, the pharmacists did not notice that they were giving the woman anti-cholesterol medicine instead of the anti-cancer medicine she needed. Eight weeks into taking the pills, the woman compared what she was taking to a correct prescription of the anti-cancer medicine dispensed by another pharmacy.
When the woman noticed the mix-up, she immediately notified the pharmacy. Since then, the pharmacists have been actively trying to figure out exactly when wrong in the process. The pharmacy began providing additional training for staff members to ensure that everyone was familiar with the dispensing and checking processes that keep patients safe.
How Common Are Fatal Pharmacy Errors?
Tragically, approximately 200,000 Americans die each year because of mistakes by hospital and healthcare providers. In order to hold negligent medical care providers accountable for possible carelessness, plaintiffs must establish that the providers failed to provide the necessary level of care that is required under the law.
In Maryland, plaintiffs have a limited period of time to file medical malpractice cases due to the state’s statute of limitations. If you fail to file your claim within this specific period, you might be barred from asserting a claim altogether. To see what statute of limitations applies to your specific case, it is best to speak with a qualified attorney that can explain what options are available to you.
Are You Looking for a Medical Malpractice Attorney in Maryland?
Many individuals in Maryland with potential medical malpractice claims simply do not know where to turn. At Lebowitz & Mzhen, we work tirelessly to stay up to date on relevant laws so that we can offer you the most informed advice possible. If you have suffered adverse consequences because of a health care provider’s carelessness, give our office a call today. We charge no fees unless you win. For a confidential consultation, contact us at 800-654-1949. You can also fill out our form online to get started.