8-Year Old Overdoses Due to Pharmacy Medication Mistake

Matthew L. White
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Founder & Partner of Louisville Personal Injury Law Firm Gray & White Law

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11/9/2010
Matthew L. White
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An 8-year old boy was taken to the hospital after he was given the wrong dosage of medicine. It was unknown at the time whether he would suffer permanent damage due to the medication over-dosage error.

Investigation has revealed that the mistake occurred at the pharmacy, that is, the customer picked up the prescription for his child and, unfortunately, the pills were ten times the prescribed dosage. The young child was rushed to the hospital. His father says the boy had uncontrollable shakes, and was approaching delirium.

To date, the young boy continues to experience side effects and injuries due to the drug overdose, including uncontrollable shaking hands. The medication drug given to the boy was Abilify, typically used in adults to aid depression, schizophrenia and manic episodes. According to the victim's father, doctors thought the Abilify might help stabilize his moods. The child was given the prescribed medication on Wednesday,  started having really bad shakes on Thursday, and was brought home by the school nurse on Friday, which was when the family took him to the hospital.

At the hospital, the family was informed that the child's heart was prematurely firing; his blood pressure was sky high; his heart rate was over 160, and they couldn't get it to come down. Unable to understand how their child's health suddenly became as bad as it did, the father took a closer look at his son's prescription and noticed that it was written for two (2) milligrams of Abilify, however, came to realize that the pharmacists at the neighborhood Walgreens drug store mistakenly filled the prescription with 20-milligram tablets, instead, which is ten times the prescribed dosage.

According to Walgreens' spokesperson, "Cases like this are rare, and we take them very seriously. We're sorry this occurred, and we apologize to the family. We have a multi-step prescription filling process with numerous safety checks in each step to reduce the chance of error. We will investigate what happened, and what can be done to prevent it from happening again." According to studies, Americans get more than 3 billion prescriptions filled every year; three-quarters at big chain drug stores. Last week, a Florida court upheld a $26 million judgement against Walgreens for a prescription error. A mother of three was given ten times the prescribed dose of blood thinners, and had a massive stroke.

Critics say big drug store chains rely too much on pharmacy technicians, for whom there is no national age restriction or training standard. A report published in 2009 found errors in one of five prescriptions filled. An incorrect dosage of a prescription medication can lead to serious injuries, permanent disabilities and even death. The knowledgeable lawyers at Gray and White Law have decades of experience successfully helping to rebuild the lives of Kentucky families whose loved ones have suffered injuries due to medication errors and other medical, pharmacy or hospital mistakes.

If you suspect that you, or someone you care about, suffered injuries or was the victim of someone else's mistake, then you should contact our attorneys who specialize in medication errors and medical malpractice claims immediately for your free legal consultation. We are ready to learn about your case and to address any questions or concerns you might have, simply call us toll-free at 1-888-450-4456 or send a confidential e-mail at any time it's convenient for you.


Category: Medication Errors


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