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Medication Errors Affecting Children

Attorneys Representing Families in Baltimore

Children, like adults, can suffer from a variety of acute and chronic conditions and illnesses that doctors treat with prescription medications. When used properly, drugs can help manage a child’s sickness or alleviate pain. However, pharmacists can make mistakes that result in the wrong dose or medication being administered, and medication errors affecting children run a greater risk of causing harm than to older individuals. If your child suffered harm because of a pharmacist’s carelessness with a prescription, you may have a viable claim for damages, and you should speak to a lawyer as soon as possible. The dedicated Baltimore pharmacy malpractice attorneys of Arfaa Law Group are mindful of the damages children and families can suffer due to pharmaceutical errors, and if you engage our services, we will vigorously advocate on behalf of you and your child.

Examples of Medication Errors That Affect Children

Failing to check for drug interactions is a common medication error that can have a particularly harmful impact on children. Similarly, neglecting to advise a parent of the possible side effects of a prescription or offering directives on how a drug should be administered can cause a child to suffer grave harm, especially since many medications affect children differently than adults. Children may also suffer harm if they are provided the incorrect dosage of a drug or the wrong drug, leading to undertreatment, overdose, seizures, stroke, internal bleeding, and other adverse health issues. In some instances, a pharmacist may fail to check a child’s health history to determine if the child suffers from any allergies that may make a medication harmful, which can lead to anaphylaxis and death.

Seeking Damages for Medication Errors Affecting Children

Pharmacists are expected to provide the correct dosage of the right medication and warn of potential side effects. When they fail to uphold their duties and make medication errors that adversely affect children, they can be held liable for malpractice.

Most malpractice lawsuits against pharmacists allege that negligence caused the plaintiff’s harm. In Maryland, a plaintiff alleging medical negligence must first prove that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty. The duty a pharmacist owes to its customers is the obligation to act in compliance with the standard of care, which is the care a competent and reasonable pharmacist would exercise in a similar situation. Secondly, the plaintiff must show that the defendant failed to abide by the standard of care in some way, which constitutes a breach of the duty. For example, if the defendant did not provide adequate warnings regarding the potential side effects of a medication, it may be considered a failure to comply with the duties owed.

Finally, the plaintiff must show that the defendant’s breach proximately caused the plaintiff to suffer quantifiable damages. In other words, the plaintiff has to produce evidence demonstrating that the defendant’s errors caused actual harm and that the harm would not have occurred absent the defendant’s behavior. In most instances, the plaintiff will have to hire a pharmacist to offer expert testimony regarding the applicable standard of care, how the defendant departed from the standard, and the link between the defendant’s acts and the plaintiff’s harm.

Damages in Cases Involving Medication Errors Affecting Children

Both injured children and their parents may be able to recover damages for the harm caused by medication errors. Parents may be awarded compensation for the cost of any medical treatment from the date of harm until the child becomes an adult and for the loss of the child’s services and the emotional distress caused by the child’s harm. Children may be granted damages for the cost of medical treatment after they turn eighteen and for any loss of earnings suffered due to the defendant’s acts.

Consult an Attorney in Baltimore

Children are especially vulnerable to injuries caused by the malpractice of pharmacists, including medication errors. If your child sustained harm because of a pharmacist's careless acts, you should consult a lawyer regarding your rights. The knowledgeable attorneys of Arfaa Law Group take pride in helping families harmed by the careless acts of pharmacists seek compensation for their losses, and if we represent you, we will diligently pursue the best result possible in your case. We have an office in Baltimore, where we regularly assist parties in pharmacy malpractice cases. You can reach us through our form online or at (410) 889-1850 to set up a consultation.