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A Young Girl Dies of “Morphine Toxicity”

The use of pain medication is rampant in the United States. Whether it is prescribed for back pain, cancer patients, or for those who recently underwent surgery, the use of this type of medication has grown across all ages and all types of people. As a result, our Miami personal injury lawyers see how it arguably has become the norm, which influences us to forget just how dangerous pain medication can be.

We all know about the addictive nature of pain medication, but we tend not to think about how a pharmacy error can be deadly. Pain medication is often the only form of pain relief available, so the dosage must be accurate, or serious injury, and even death, may occur. The pharmacy is the last step between the doctor prescribing the medication, and the patient ingesting the medication. Therefore, as patients, we heavily rely on a pharmacist’s expertise to dispense the proper dose of a medication.

Tragedy Strikes A 6-Year-Old Girl

In August 2013, a mother sued her longtime pharmacy for providing her 6-year-old daughter with a toxic dose of morphine that ended her life. According to the family’s attorney, the pharmacy provided a dose of morphine that was ten times greater than what had been prescribed. The dose of morphine was in liquid form. Just one dose was too much, with the young girl’s fate lying in the hands of the pharmacist.

This young girl had sickle cell anemia, a disease that causes excruciating pain. The small dose of morphine that was supposed to alleviate the young girl’s suffering ultimately ended her life. Had the pharmacy simply filled the prescription as directed by the doctor, this young girl may still be alive today.

What We Expect From Our Pharmacists

As patients, we trust that our pharmacy is giving us the dose of medication that our doctors have prescribed. After all, if you receive medication in liquid form, you assume that the amount of liquid is what you’re doctor intended you to have, and if you receive your medication in pill form, you also tend to assume that the dosage is correct. However, even one more drop, or one more pill, can be too much, so it’s understandable that most people would not know that the dose they are receiving is inaccurate.

With pharmacists becoming busier all the time, patients need to be extra careful when picking up their prescriptions from the pharmacy. Sometimes looking at the prescription is not enough. If you see that the medicine is the correct one, then that may be enough for you to assume that you have received what your doctor ordered. You may not remember exactly what the dose is, and it is reasonable that people tend to not remember the dose. We leave this job to the pharmacist. Mistakes will happen, but the dispensing of the wrong dose of medication is simply a mistake that has deadly consequences.

Wrong Dose Cases Are Not Limited To Pain Medication

While pain medication is an obvious example of what can happen if the wrong dose is administered, there are hundreds if not thousands of other medications that can result in the same deadly fate if not administered properly. For example, blood thinners such as Coumadin (also known as Warfarin), have commonly been mis-dosed and caused significant injuries to patients.

Further, with pills that come in various dosages, like pain medication or blood thinners, the pills may look identical except for color, and it isn’t always easy to remember which color matches which dose. You may think you are only taking 1mg when you are taking 10mg. If our doctors are telling us we need a specific dose of medication, we expect our pharmacists to follow through with that request.

Nobody should go through what the mother experienced when her daughter received a dose of morphine that was ten times the amount she should have received. Pharmacists, as healthcare providers, must provide you with the correct medication and the proper dosage. If they are not complying with your doctor’s orders, they are committing malpractice. Until the pharmacy industry can find a way to provide error-free service to all patients, we, as patients and consumers must do what we can to ensure a pharmacist’s error does not harm us. Don’t let what happened to this young girl happen to you or a loved one.

To Schedule Your Free Consultation, Contact Our Miami Personal Injury Lawyers Today

The Miami Personal Injury Attorneys of Greenberg Stone and Urbano have over 100 years of combined experience in helping clients recover what they deserve. Our firm’s Wrong Dose Lawyers have been voted “South Florida’s Top Rated Lawyers” by the Miami Herald. The attorneys of Greenberg Stone and Urbano also have been recognized as “Superlawyers,” a designation that earns the title of being some of the best lawyer’s in America. Martindale Hubbell has also given our firm a rating of “AV.” Our attorneys are so dedicated that they have been invited to be members of Primerus, an international society of leading law firms. Call Greenberg Stone and Urbano today to schedule your free consultation and allow one of our seasoned wrong dosage attorneys evaluate your potential claim. You may contact us through our website or call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400.

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