It is estimated that one in ten hospital patients will suffer some form of medication error while admitted—and that 1.5 million Americans fall ill or die as a result of medication mistakes every year. A recent California case almost proved fatal, shedding more light on how dosage errors in Texas can happen in both pharmacies and hospitals.
Richard Rivera, a resident of Lomita, CA, was originally hospitalized for suffering ongoing flu-like symptoms. His doctor ordered a course of antibiotics and a hospital stay.
Unfortunately, Rivera received a much higher dose of the powerful antibiotic than intended—and even worse, the error went unnoticed, so he was left on it for days.
Rivera’s kidneys began to shut down. The rest of his bodily systems were following suit, and Rivera fell into a coma, relying on a breathing machine to stay alive.
Prescription errors happen every 22 hours in the U.S., and this one would have been fatal if uncorrected. When Rivera recovered from critical condition, he attested that the prescription had been filled at the hospital’s pharmacy. Rivera is currently filing a suit against the hospital for the medication mistake.