Lauren posted an article a couple of days ago (2-16-07) entitled, “Don’t Assume Anything.” I want to put some more flesh on the bones of her article and tell you what we heard in depositions last week in one of our medical malpractice cases. Our client had gone to the same primary care doctor for years. The doctor’s records noted his patient/our client was allergic to a certain type of antibiotic medication. Our client sees the doctor and is diagnosed with a urinary tract infection (UTI) and you guessed it … the doctor called in a prescription for the very antibiotic to which our client was allergic!
Some of our readers will say … well, surely the pharmacy where our client had been getting her prescriptions filled for a many years would catch the problem and not fill the prescription. You would be wrong! The pharmacist denies he has any responsibility for catching these problems.
Other readers will ask …why didn’t your client recognize the name of the drug on the pill bottle or the appearance of the pills and know she should not take the medication. Good question – but the name on the prescription vial was the generic name of the drug which she had never seen before and the pills in the bottle did not look like the pills she knew she was allergic to!
What happened to our client? After taking the medication for several days and getting weaker and sicker, she was admitted to the hospital Intensive Care Unit where she ultimately suffered a stroke which caused partial, but permanent, paralysis. The client used to live on her own and was fully independent. She now resides in a nursing home with a greatly reduced quality of life.