FDA Says Majority of Medication Errors Due to Wrong Dosage

The US Food and Drug Administration says that while many factors affect a patient's chances of medication mistakes, they are most likely to be the victim of a dosage error.

A few examples prove how easy it is for a physician to administer the wrong dosage in Virginia:

  • A doctor ordered 260 milligrams of Taxol for a cancer patient, but the patient received the wrong medication at the pharmacy. The pharmacist mistakenly prepared 260 milligrams of Taxotere, a different chemotherapy drug with a much higher concentration. When the patient died of an overdose, the error went unreported, as doctors assumed the patient had succumbed to the cancer.
  • An elderly patient was told to take a 10-milligram daily dose of methotrexate for rheumatoid arthritis. However, the patient should only have been prescribed 10-milligrams weekly, and the 7 times higher dose proved fatal.
  • A patient was killed when he was injected with 200 units of insulin, which had been abbreviated as "20 U" (the "U" was mistaken for another zero).
  • Due to a miscommunication, a patient received a fatal overdose of the narcotic fentanyl when his wife accidentally applied multiple patches of the drug to his skin.

These tragedies happen every day-and most of them are entirely preventable. If someone you love was a victim of a dosage error in DC, call Shevlin Smith today at (703) 721-4233 for a free consultation.


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