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The Dangers of Pharmacy Errors

Prescription drugs are commonplace in most people’s homes.  Prescriptions can range from a one-time antibiotic to treat your daughter’s ear infection to routine prescriptions to treat chronic conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes or pain. Two recent news articles highlight the potentially deadly and tragic effects of pharmacy errors.  After reading these articles about two of the more common pharmacy errors, you might find yourself double-checking your next prescription before leaving the pharmacy.

The first article involves a dosing error that allegedly caused the death of a six-year-old girl in Texas.  The little girl was battling sickle cell anemia.  Her mom went to their local pharmacy to fill a prescription for liquid morphine to treat her daughter’s pain. The prescription called for a liquid morphine solution with a dose of 20 milligrams per 10 milliliters. The pharmacy gave the mother an incorrect mega dose of 20 milligrams per 1 milliliter, 10 times stronger than the prescription.  A single dose from the mega dosed prescription bottle created a lethal morphine toxicity and killed the little girl.

The other article involves a prescription error in Virginia that was thankfully caught before it caused serious problems.  A woman went to a pharmacy to pick up what she though was a refill of her vitamin B12 injection. The paper bag and container inside both said Cyanocobalamin, the name for vitamin B12.  However, the color of the bottle and cap were different than past prescriptions. The woman noticed the differences, but chalked them up to a change in manufacturer.  Luckily, the woman’s son, who has medical training and was going to administer the injection, realized that the bottle was actually atropine and not vitamin B12.  Atropine is used to resuscitate people in cardiac arrest.  Administering it to someone who is not in cardiac arrest could kill that person.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a pharmacy error, you should contact an Atlanta personal injury law firm who specializes in these types of cases.  We understand the emotional and physical toll these types of errors can take on you and will help you recover available compensation.