Virginia Children At Risk For Medication Errors

In Virginia, medication errors in the hospital setting may be on the rise, according to a recent study. The medical journal Pediatrics will soon publish a study indicating that about 1 out of 15 children who are patients in the hospital are injured by prescription errors. This translates into a rate of about 11 drug-related harmful events for every 100 hospitalized children, which means that an alarming 7.3% of hospitalized children (540,000 children annually) will suffer injury from either the wrong medication or too much medication being given to them.

At Pierce & Thornton, our attorneys have experience in medication error cases involving both adults and children who have been over-prescribed medication or given the wrong drug.

The recent experience of Dennis Quaid and his wife is a frightening example of what can happen as a result of medication errors. Their newborn twins were given 1,000 times more Heparin than the recommended dosage and nearly died. Their advice (and ours) to parents of hospitalized children is to always ask nurses what medication they are giving your child and why they are giving the medication. If your child has a known allergy to a medication, make sure that the nurses and doctors are reminded so that your child is not given that medication or some derivative of it by mistake. Simple concepts, for sure, but they may prevent a tragedy.