An Overdose by a Child – A Preventable Tragedy

For years now, there has been an increasing trend in emergency rooms, children being severely injured or killed by medication overdoses.  In 2011, the number of children needing emergency room medical attention because of medication overdoses exceeded the number of children seen in emergency rooms due to car wrecks. These accidents occurred when children were able to find over the counter or prescription medication bottles with loose caps or without a child-resistant cap.  While most of these emergency room visits resulted in no permanent injury to the children, as many as 20 percent required extended hospitalizations, and 20 children a year die from such incidents. The real tragedy is, however, that these incidents are preventable by the use of a “flow restrictor”.  This is a small plastic device that fits over the neck of a medicine bottle and slows the release of the medicine to the child.  This delayed release may prevent the child from overdosing or give a caregiver a chance to reach the child before more harm is done. The flow restrictor is already in use by the drug manufacturers.  It is specifically used on infants and children’s acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol.  This occurred in 2011, and the use of the flow restrictor was supposed to be expanded to other prescription and over the counter medications.  Unfortunately, the fear of rising costs and legal liability prevented the widespread adoption of this potentially lifesaving device. Dr. G. Randall Bond, pediatrician and poison expert, noted “If flow restrictors work, they should be placed on all liquid (medicine) products.”  Industry representatives argue that they are waiting to see if the current use of flow restrictors on acetaminophen actually reduce or mitigate injuries to children from drug overdoses. If you, or someone you know or love, have been injured by unsafe or dangerous products, call the personal injury lawyers of Roberts and Roberts.  For nearly 30 years, the lawyers at Roberts and Roberts have worked to hold manufacturers accountable for their unsafe and dangerous products.  The personal injury attorneys of Roberts and Roberts have the resources and expertise to help establish that a product is unsafe and more importantly how that product could have been made safer.  The call costs you nothing… it could mean everything.

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