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Young Boy Nearly Loses His Life After Chicago Area Pharmacy Dispenses the Wrong Medication

September 02, 2015

Medication can both save lives and lead to death, depending on the type and quantity of medication administered to a patient. Given that there are varying doses of most medications, and medications can look alike, many pharmacies have inadvertently filled prescriptions for patients that contain the wrong dose of a medication, or even the wrong medication entirely. Confusion of patient names can also play a role in pharmacy errors.

A particular incident from a year and a half ago illustrates the dangers of pharmaceutical negligence. A young Chicago boy was a victim of such a pharmacy error, as a pharmacy dispensed an adult-strength medication to him instead of a child-strength version, according to a local news report. The boy shared a name with an adult customer, so the pharmacy made an assumption that the correct medication was being dispensed, and it's quite possible the date of birth was not confirmed when this medication was being given to him. As a result of this pharmacy error, the boy was unable to breathe or talk, and without prompt medical intervention, he might have died. This type of reaction is just one of a variety of side-effects that can be experienced if someone is given the wrong medication or the wrong dose of a medication.

A Pharmacy's Responsibility to Patients

Most pharmacists exhibit great care in order to prevent the type of situation that almost took the young boy's life. However, when filling a prescription with a pharmacy, that pharmacy has a responsibility to provide a patient with the correct medication at the correct dose. The pharmacy should confirm that the medication is in fact what the patient is supposed to receive. Pharmacies can do this in a number of ways, including, but not limited to, the following:

• Confirming a patient's date of birth;
• Confirming the physician listed on the medication is in fact the physician the patient received the prescription from;
• Confirming with the patient that a particular medication is the one the patient is expecting to receive; and
• Ensure a patient is aware of potential side effects associated with the medication (including what can happen if a patient ingests the wrong dose).

As patients, we put trust in pharmacies, and more often than not, we receive the proper medication at the proper dose. However, mistakes will continue to happen simply because there are so many pharmacies and patients in this country, and mistakes are bound to happen. When such mistakes are dangerous and potentially life-threatening, patients are vulnerable and at risk for being seriously harmed. As such, anyone injured or deceased as a result of a pharmacy error should pursue options to hold the pharmacy responsible for their suffering.

Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law: Put Our Over 37 Years of Experience to Work on Your Case!

The medical malpractice attorneys at Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, have assisted in a number of complex medical malpractice cases in Georgia and in the Southeast. Our firm has represented victims and their families in medical malpractice cases for over thirty years and will diligently fight for your best legal outcome. Prompt action is vital to the success of your medical malpractice action. As such, do not delay in seeking legal assistance as your time to file a claim following any medical malpractice injury is limited.

Call Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law, 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.


Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.