When people pick up prescription drugs at their local pharmacy, they generally trust that the pharmacist behind the counter has given them the correct dosage. Because most people in New Mexico have little pharmaceutical training, it’s often difficult for them to identify these types of errors until it’s too late.
People who suffer from sickle cell amenia typically experience severe pain. To ease the pain, some doctors prescribe low doses of morphine. Just one day after a mother in Texas gave her 6-year-old daughter her regular dose of morphine to ease her pain, the young girl died. The girl, who had sickle cell anemia, had apparently taken a dosage of morphine that was ten times stronger than her doctor had prescribed. The girl’s mother blames the pharmacy for her daughter’s wrongful death, and has filed a lawsuit against it.
According to the pharmacy that filled the prescription, the girl’s death can be attributed to her medical condition, not the pharmacy’s error. However, the remaining contents of the bottle indicate that the girl’s mother was given a prescription that was, in fact, too strong for her daughter to safely ingest. Although the law in Texas, where the woman lives, prevents her from receiving more than $250,000, the woman said that she’s also seeking an apology from the pharmacy.
The loss of a loved one, especially a child, is devastating for the victim’s family members. Fortunately, people who make medical mistakes are often held responsible for their errors. The families of victims of a fatal overdose or other type of pharmaceutical error may want to talk to an attorney about their options.
Source: Good Morning America, “Mom Sues Pharmacy After Daughter’s Fatal Overdose,” Katie Moisse, August 21, 2013