Every day, more and more healthcare providers and institutions in Rhode Island and throughout the U.S. are using electronic systems for record keeping. While many praise the implementation of electronic records, some say that the potential of widespread prescription mistakes is increased. The wrong code selected or a number typed wrong could result in a patient receiving the wrong drug or an incorrect dosage of a drug. A problem in the software itself could multiply this problem, issuing the wrong dosage to every patient on that drug who is in the system.
When a patient visits his or her doctor, whether the patient is in Rhode Island or some other part of the country, a certain amount of trust is required. The patient must trust the doctor to know what type of drug, and how much of that drug, is safe enough to take. While doctors can make drug errors, every once in a while there is a doctor accused of flagrant disregard for the health and safety of his or her patients. Such is the case with a doctor in another part of the country.
The media has been ablaze of late with news of the ongoing meningitis outbreak spreading across the nation with as many as 16 states affected thus far, including Rhode Island. The outbreak has been traced to a drug compounding pharmacy called New England Compounding Center, and the latest reports claim as many as 300 cases have been reported with almost two dozen deaths associated with the product so far. The problem has already produced a number of lawsuits, including product liability, pharmacy negligence and even two medical malpractice claims filed against clinics that administered the contaminated drugs to two patients.
Antibiotics, if administered correctly, save lives. However they can be hazardous and life-threatening if prescribed incorrectly. For example, inappropriately prescribed fluoroquinolones, a common class of antibiotics, were the cause of roughly 2,000 personal injury lawsuits in the U.S. last year. Antibiotics treat bacterial infections (some more serious than others), but due to various risk factors, they shouldn't be prescribed for illnesses that don't require this kind of medical intervention.
In what is believed to be the first of many, a wrongful death action against drug manufacturer Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals was recently filed by the family of a man who died due to sudden heart problems after taking the prescription painkillers Darvon and Darvocet.
Are Pharmaceutical Companies Disregarding Patient Safety?
Verdict Could Affect Cases Around the Country