Imagine you fell off a ladder and injured your back. You have a ruptured disc, and while it's incredibly painful, the doctor gives you a shot of cortisone and sends you home with instructions not to move for a few days.
The next day, your legs and ankles have swollen to twice their size. After an ambulance ride back to the hospital, you are told that the doctor mistakenly gave you too much medicine in your injection.
Now you have to stay in the hospital until the medication leaves your system, suffering a condition worse than the one you were being treated for.
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If this story sounds familiar, it's because dosage errors account for nearly one-third of all medication mistakes nationwide-and can result in overdose, liver toxicity, or even wrongful death.
Here are just a few ways wrong dosages have caused patient injury:
Math errors. Many dosage mistakes are a result of a misplaced decimal point. For example, an infant suffered a medication overdose when the administering nurse accidentally gave the baby 10 times the intended amount.
Protocol problems. Hospitals have failsafe measures in place to make sure these types of errors are caught and corrected before any harm is done. Unfortunately, physicians in a rush may skip over these practices, thinking they are a waste of time.
Medication changes. In many cases, doctors grab medications based on what they look like: a purple cap, or an IV bag with a green label. But when pharmaceutical companies change their packaging or make a dosage stronger, doctors often assume the contents are the same as before.
Overworked staff. Many pharmacies will only employ one experienced pharmacist for every four or five techs. While pharmacy techs are qualified to fill orders, they often work longer hours due to understaffing, leading to fatigue and concentration problems that result in dosage errors.
As experienced Texas pharmacy error attorneys, we know that many of these cases are a result of human error. Nobody intended any harm to the victim. In fact, they were likely trying to improve the patient's condition. Unfortunately, doctors and pharmacists alike have a responsibility to make sure their actions-even unintentional ones-do not cause unnecessary suffering.
If someone you love has been the victim of a dosage error, call Kennedy Hodges at 888-526-7616 today for a free consultation.