When cancer strikes a member of your family, it is devastating. Watching a loved one fight a vicious disease is heartbreaking, and many times, the treatments they must endure are equally as draining.
The only thing that helps many patients get through tough treatments is knowing that treatments may be their ticket to a healthy, long life. Suffering through the effects of hair loss, weight loss, and extreme weakness seems small when the light at the end of the tunnel is beating cancer. It can be hard to trust that the difficult treatments will do their job, but most people trust the medical staff at the hospital wholly, and know that they are in capable hands.
When Errors Occur: The Deadly Mix-Up of Two Cancer Drugs
When people think of drug mix-ups, they typically think of someone being given the incorrect drug. Another type of error that is equally dangerous occurs when a patient is given the correct drug, but it is administered incorrectly.
Two cancer drugs that are often given in combination are vincristine and methotrexate. Vincristine is administered intravenously to treat several kinds of cancer, including leukemia and lymphoma. Methotrexate is administered through an injection into the spinal canal, which is called intrathecal injection. Should vincristine be administered intrathecally by mistake, the result is fatal.
One would think that every effort would be made to ensure that these drugs are never mistaken for each other, but despite regulations, errors still occur in both the hospital pharmacy and at the hands of doctors administering the drug. Pharmacists are required to place cautionary labels on vincristine syringes, and additional warning overwraps must be placed over the syringe. Medical staff may inadvertently overlook the labels, or preemptively remove the coverings.
Should a mix-up occur, the effects are devastating. Patients experience paralysis, extreme pain, and a knowledge that their death is imminent, though it may take weeks. After fighting cancer, losing your life to an avoidable mistake is a terrible realization.
Getting Legal Help
If you have lost a loved one due to a vincristine and methotrexate mix-up, it is important that you contact an experienced attorney today. Our firm can help you pinpoint who is responsible for the mistake, and help you receive the compensation that you deserve. Contact us today by clicking on the live chat feature, and get the answers you need now.