The Federal Drug Administration has issued a warning to health care professionals after a pharmacist mixed up two medications with similar sounding names causing serious injury to a patient’s eye.
The FDA says that a pharmacist accidentally dispensed Durasal, a wart remover, instead of the steroidal eye drop Durezol to a patient, resulting in serious injury. Durezol was being prescribed to the unnamed patient to help with inflammation and pain after eye surgery. Durasal contains salicylic acid and one can only image the pain that the mistake caused to the patient.
The FDA says that this is not the first time the two similarly named products have been confused. According to the FDA, in the other cases, the prescription error was discovered before the patient actually used the eye drops.
The FDA says Durasal has not been approved by the FDA for wart removal and has asked Elorac, Inc., the drug’s distributor, to remove the product from the marketplace.
As part of the FDA approval process, drugs are supposed to be screened for similar names but in the case of Durasol,the drug had not been screened by the FDA.
Preventable medication errors can result in serious physical injury to patients and sometimes even death. Medication errors can occur to one of 25 hospital patients and it is estimated that medication errors result in more than 48,000 patients every year.
The following are some common reasons for medication errors:
- Medication prescribed without knowledge of a patient’s allergies, lab results, diagnosis.
- Insufficient drug information — not understanding drug interactions or having information about a drug recall.
- Misreading of a prescription due to poor handwriting
- Confusion between drugs with similar names.
- Confusion regarding dosage units.
- Lack of proper labeling.
- Improper storage of medications which can affect their potency.
- Distraction to the pharmacist which can cause lead in a medication mistake.
- Overworked pharmacists.
- Relying too heavily on technicians.
Medication errors can cause serious injury and even be deadly. If you or a loved one has been injured by a medication error, you should seek medical attention immediately and you should bring all your medications with you if you are not in a hospital setting.
If your injuries are serious, you might want to consider contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you make a claim against the professional’s medical malpractice insurance to cover your damages.
The Farber Law Group, a personal injury and medical malpractice law firm has more than 30 years experience representing people seriously injured by medical malpractice and pharmacy errors. We represent our clients on a contingency basis which means that our clients pay a percentage of the recovery from the settlement or verdict in the case.