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Types of Errors

Dangerous and Defective Drugs If you put your trust in a pharmaceutical company and were hurt by their product, you deserve compensation for your suffering.
Wrong Medication Did you receive the wrong medication or incorrect prescription from a pharmacy? If you have suffered because of a medication error please call us for a free case review.
Wrong Dosage Common forms of medication error: incorrect dosage error. Order our free book to learn how to protect yourself and your family from wrong dosage errors.
Other Errors Order our free book, "How to Make Pharmacies Pay for your Injuries Caused by Medication Errors, to learn your rights in prescription error cases.
Kids Rx Errors Order a free copy of The Top 10 Tips to Protect Your Children Against Pharmacy Errors. If you have suffered a prescription error contact our firm today.
Pharmacy Malpractice If you have suffered an injury because a pharmacy dispensed the wrong medication or made an error with your prescription, you are able to file a claim for negligence or malpractice and receive the compensation you deserve.
Walgreens Pharmacy Error Claims There have been numerous claims brought against Walgreens for pharmacy errors or prescription errors. Order our free book to learn how to take action.
CVS Pharmacy Error Claims If you've been injured because of a CVS Pharmacy prescription error, call us for help with your lawsuit at 888-526-7616.
State Pharmacy Boards If you have been severely injured because of a medication error, contact board-certified attorneys immediately to investigate your case free of charge.
Drug & Pharmacy Error Prevention Filing a pharmacy error lawsuit is the only way to make pharmacies take accountability for mistakes. Call our board certified attorneys for a free case review.
State Pharmacy Laws State laws on pharmacy malpractice. Learn the pharmacy error Statute of Limitation laws that apply to your state. Call 877-342-2020 for a free consultation.

Why Liquid Medications Should Be Measured in Milliliters

David W. Hodges
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Partner at Kennedy Hodges LLP practicing pharmacy error, medical malpractice and personal injury law

There are many reasons why mistakes at the pharmacy counter occur, such as miscommunication, poor prescription handwriting, confusion between similar drug names, and lack of a thorough drug review. However, one of the top causes of pharmaceutical malpractice claims involves customers getting the wrong dosage of drugs.

Because pharmacists fill many prescriptions per day, oftentimes they don’t catch mistakes made by pharmacy technicians, or sometimes they provide confusing label instructions. Whether they misread a prescription as 5 mL instead of .5 mL, or they mistakenly labeled a medication with 3.5 teaspoons instead of 3.5 mL, dosing mistakes occur frequently and can cause harm to children and adults.

Sadly, innocent children are often the victims of dosing mistakes because pharmacists and pharmacy technicians often confuse milliliters with teaspoons. When this happens, children can suffer the harmful side effects from being overdosed. Because of this danger and the fact that it occurs far more often than it should, the CDC is calling for all pharmacists and physicians to use metric units for liquid medications.

Utilizing Metric Units Could Decrease Liquid Dosing Errors

If pharmacists were no longer allowed to prescribe a liquid medication with teaspoons, the confusion between milliliters and teaspoons would be eliminated. Because dosing errors involving teaspoons occur at an alarming rate, the CDC would like to simplify the process to eliminate the confusion. By only allowing liquid doses of medication to be measured in milliliters, it would also eliminate the need for drams and other unfamiliar measures that can cause confusion. The CDC would even like to take it to the next level and have the unit of measurement included with the liquid medication prescription. This way, an individual, parent, or caregiver wouldn’t reach for the kitchen spoon and take the wrong dose.

As reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), a white paper was drafted, advising pharmacies to make the following changes:

  • use milliliter as the standard measure
  • provide a dosing device with the medication that corresponds to the prescribed dose
  • use a zero before a decimal point for dosages of less than one

Although these tips are only recommendations and not rules, it is the hope that pharmacies will go metric and follow through with these changes to reduce unnecessary dosing mistakes. Until then, it is likely that consumers could be victims of dosing errors. To learn about pharmacy malpractice claims and your rights, please request a free copy of our book, How to Make Pharmacies Pay for Injuries Caused by Medication Errors.