According to ongoing investigative reports relating to medication mistakes by pharmacies nationwide, a baby nearly overdosed due to a prescription error by a Walgreens pharmacy that mistakenly mislabeled instructions on a medication label prescribed for treatment of a sinus infection to a 3-month old infant girl. The parents of the child, one of newborn twins, filled a doctor’s prescription for Histacol DM syrup at a Walgreens store.
The family noticed there was a problem with the prescription medication as soon as they gave their daughter her first dose because she became unresponsive or unable wake from sleep. As the parents’ nightmare began, and they were panicked as to their child’s condition, Walgreen discovered its prescription medication mistake and called the family to notify them of the prescription error on its own. According to the baby’s father, the Walgreen’s pharmacist contacted the family two hours later to explain their mistake, that is, that they misprinted the instructions on the medicine label. The medicine label was supposed to instruct administering a quarter milliliter, not a quarter teaspoon. The medicine dose incorrectly instructed the parents to give six times the amount the baby girl should have been given. The parents were terrified as they didn’t know whether their daughter was going to live or die. The girl’s father, panicked, called the poison control board and was told to get his child to a hospital immediately.
According to hospital records, the baby was admitted and diagnosed as having overdosed on the medicine. Fortunately, doctors were able to stabilize her and send her home. The parents later realized that if they gave the baby the second dose, or Walgreens didn’t notice their own prescription mistake, then their baby would not have woken up. Walgreens apologized for the incident by a letter addressed to the family, however, would not detail or explain how their medication error happened. Two days following the baby overdose, Walgreens’ insurance company called to offer the baby’s family $2,000 to settle any injury claims they might have. The family declined Walgreens’ settlement offer. The baby’s mother was shocked that Walgreens offered $2,000 to quiet them from sharing their nightmare experience – when a Walgreen’s pharmacy mistake almost killed her baby. Instead, the family decided to go public in an effort to warn other families of the possibility of experiencing near tragedies similar to their own and in hopes of saving the lives of others who don’t suspect that pharmacy errors occur or are common.
According to Walgreen Company’s spokesperson, the Walgreens pharmacy branch involved in this case admits to a medication related error and stated that it was addressing these issues with the pharmacist and taking appropriate action to ensure that its safety procedures are always followed. The victim’s family feels that Walgreens is wrong for trying to minimize the severity and frequency of these types of harmful and alarming prescription drug mistakes. A nationwide study reports that in 2006 there were four fatalities or deaths linked to pharmacy errors by Walgreens, which related to prescription mistakes or mislabeled medication. The fatalities led to multi- million dollar verdicts against Walgreen Co. — $31 million for a misfilled or mislabeled prescription in Illinois, $28.5 million for serious injuries due to prescription error in Florida, and $6 million for a pharmacy error in Arizona.
There are over millions of dollars in settlements that closed cases prior to jury trials involving victims who suffered permanent injuries or wrongful death due to prescription mistakes, including wrong dose, mislabeled instructions, or incorrect medication. Far too often, prescription medication error injury claims against nationwide or chain pharmacies, including Walgreen’s and CVS, are not publicized nor serve as warnings to other patients or customers of the harmful possibility relating to frequent and common pharmacy mistakes. Perhaps, pharmacies should be required to report their prescription errors or suspend pharmacist’s licenses in order to discourage negligent or careless pharmacy mistakes from reoccurring.
Gray and White Law has helped many families in Louisville, and throughout Kentucky, whose loved ones suffered serious injuries due to a hospital mistake or prescription medication drug mistake. If you suspect that you, or someone you love, may have been the victim of a medication or pharmacy error, prescription mistake or medical malpractice, then you should contact our law firm immediately. Our team of experienced lawyers is ready to learn more about your case and to address any questions or concerns you might have. Please contact us at any time for your free legal consultation via confidential e-mail or by toll-free call at 1-888-450-4456.