My mother and I have power of attorney of my 24 year old autistic brother. I gave him his medication at 8pm 5 pills to avoid seizures. Then noticed after he ingested it was a different medicine, I was thinking oh they must have changed the color. It was a brand new bottle with a seal. Mom got home I informed her hey did they change the pills? called the pharmacy and was told to head to emergency due to possible over dose of the wrong medication. The medication had the correct name and info. but was a different medicine inside. An anti depressant or something along the lines. We were then assisted medical attention. We were so worried he would have a complication or go into a coma. According to them you can take that 100mg pill up to 600mg per day. This is terrible negligence.He then was given activated charcoal to absorb the wrong medication because they didn't feel he needed to have his stomach pumped. He was super drowsy which they said would happen with the wrong medication ingested. This happened last night on 11/19/14 waited a couple of hours to make sure everything was okay after the activated charcoal then they sent us home and said he can take his normal medication now.
You should report the incident to the California Board of Pharmacy. As far as a legal case, it sounds like most of the danger was ultimately avoided, thus the damages may not be enough to justify the costs of a law suit. You should call some attorneys and discuss all of the facts.
I'm glad that a bullet was dodged, and a local lawyer can certainly investigate whether it is worth pursuing. Avvo has a great lawyer finder tool to locate an attorney close to your home. Good luck.
I agree that the extent if the damages suffered may not justify the costs of pursuing legal action. If there are additional injuries which were not described then you may want to seek a more detailed review. Good luck.
Dispensing the wrong medication (or providing erroneous directions on how to take a medication) may, or surprisingly may not, mean a lawsuit should be brought against a pharmacy and/or pharmacist. Two things are required for a such a case to be successful: (1) a breach of the duty to provide the proper medication with correct directions and (2) damages resulting from that breach. Giving the wrong medication or even just wrong directions is probably a breach, and one that would be easily proven in court. Thus, the DAMAGES issue is the one that needs to be investigated when the wrong medication is dispensed. Giving the wrong medication or giving wrong directions implies two potential problems: (1) the wrong Rx may have caused harm and (2) not getting the right Rx or in the right way may have caused harm. An experienced attorney who understands all of the damages and ways by which damages can occur should be consulted by someone who has been given (and taken) the wrong Rx.
Cutting to the medical malpractice issue for someone who gets the wrong Rx -- Many of us medical malpractice types offer free initial consultations, so there should be no reason to fear contacting us. And, as always, consultations with a medical malpractice attorney should be done as soon as possible due to the strict statute of limitations issues in California. Finally, someone hiring an attorney to look into a pharmacy error case should hire an attorney who fully understands the implications of taking the wrong medication.
However... absent significant damages... as in hundreds of thousands of dollars of damages... not many experienced medical malpractice lawyers will get involved.
Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D.
Attorney at Law, Physician
* Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D. (Attorney and Physician) ** This post and all others I make on Internet are for informational purposes only. None of the information or materials I post are legal advice. Nothing I post as comments, answers, or other communications should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. While I try to be accurate, I do not guarantee accuracy. *** Fransen & Molinaro, LLP practices in the areas of defective drug and medical device litigation, medical malpractice, personal injury, health supplement litigation, and real estate law and does so anywhere in the State of California. **** If you enjoy my posts, enjoyed a consultation with me, or are a happy satisfied client, please give me an Avvo recommendation/review.
A complaint to the board of pharmacy seems to be in order. Proving that your brother was injured to the extent justifying a medical malpractice lawsuit will be problematic. I recommend contacting the pharmacy's risk management department to determine if they will compensate him without litigation.
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