Prescription Errors – an all too common form of Medical Malpractice

USA Today reported the case of a 5 year old boy, Trey Jones, who suffered serious side effects as a result of a prescription error. The child was dispensed the wrong medication by a Walgren’s pharmacy and took the medication for two months before the error was discovered. The boy’s serious side effects included rages and also signs that he was going into premature puberty when he was given a Methitest – a synthetic hormone — instead of a blood pressure medication. The lengthy report by USA Today says that the incidence of receiving a prescription with a potentially life-threatening result is 1 in 1,000 prescriptions. USA Today Reporters Erik Brady and Kevin McCoy investigated the records of two of the largest pharmacy chains, CVS and Walgren. In Washington State, The Farber Law Group, represents clients who have suffered serious injury or wrongful death due to medical malpractice.

Some of the reasons cited that prescription mistakes are made include:
• Requiring pharmacists to fill over 350 prescriptions per day.
• Emphasizing speed in filling prescriptions • Needing more staff • Failing to provide patient counseling • Relying on technicians rather than pharmacists • Failing to provide patient enough information on the medications they are prescribed
The newspaper also highlighted two cases that resulted in the patient’s death:

• Eric Warren a 31 year old wrestling coach whose family was awarded $6 million after he died from a serious drug interaction.
• Beth Hipperly a 42 mother of three who died after being given the wrong dosage of blood thinner. Her family was awarded $25.8 million.

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To avoid problems with prescriptions, patients are urged to research every medication they are taking and check what the common usages are for the drug they were prescribed along with the drug shape and color. WebMd’s drug interaction checker can help a person check for drug interactions. The FDA also has an information page on Drug Interactions: What You Should Know.

If you or a family member has suffered a serious injury or death due to a prescription error, The Farber Law Group, a Washington law firm experienced and knowledgeable in handling medical malpractice claims may be able to help you recover your damages. Generally, personal injury attorneys handle medical malpractice cases on a contingent fee basis. That means that they do not charge you any attorneys’ feels, until and unless they recover money for you. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.