Every year in the United States, child prescription errors harm a lot of kids. These errors can occur for a number of reasons, such as confusion about brand-name medications, illegible handwriting, incorrect or misinterpreted abbreviations, and failure to adjust dosages for pediatric patients.
Among organizations that study and report on child prescription errors, a prevailing theme is that, usually, these mistakes occur not because of one person, but because of a systematic breakdown in processes and communication. In a hospital setting, where most medication errors occur, there may be many events that occur preceding a harmful child medication mistake.
Although most child prescription errors are not fatal, they can cause serious health complications for kids and result in longer hospital stays. If you believe a medication error harmed your child, we may be able to help. Call us now for a free consultation at 1-877-633-0536.
In discussing how child medication errors occur, many people cite different scenarios. One such scenario that occurred in a hospital whose pharmacy isn’t open 24 hours. A doctor gave verbal instructions to a nurse to obtain an antibiotic for an infant, and she misheard the dosage. The pharmacy was closed, so the nursing supervisor used an override function to get medication from the automated dispensing cabinet. She grabbed the adult dosage, without noticing the infant dosage was in the same cabinet, and two other nurses handled the vials of medicine before it was erroneously given to the infant. Luckily the child survived but this could have also been a grave mistake.
Had the pharmacy been open at the time, it’s highly unlikely a pharmacist would have dispensed the wrong medication for the infant – and had the doctor written down the dosage, the nurse probably would have selected the appropriate medication. The Patient Safety Authority says automated dispensing cabinets in hospitals increase the opportunity for serious medication mistakes to occur, because the pharmacist’s review of a prescription is an important part of overall safety protocols.
If a prescription error has harmed a child in your family, we want to help you hold the responsible parties accountable. Tracking these mistakes to their source is a complicated process, but our lawyers have years of experience with such cases. Find out what we can do for you. Call us today at 1-877-633-0536.