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Walgreens’ Error Sends Five-Year Old to the Hospital

April 9th, 2014

The family of five-year old Ali Ahmed thought that they had picked up a prescription to treat their son’s severe allergies, but it turned out that the bottle of medication they received was not meant for him, and they are saying that the pharmacy’s mistake nearly cost their son his life.

The incident took place a little over two years ago. According to the boy’s parents, who are from Crystal Lake, Illinois, they went to the Walgreen’s pharmacy in order to pick up little Ali’s prescription medication that had been ordered by his doctor. They were given a bottle of liquid with little Ali’s name on the label and took it home and gave it to him according to the dosing instructions on the bottle. After taking it the Ahmeds say the child did not awaken for nearly two days, and upon waking up his neck reportedly flared when he tried to eat a cookie. The panicked parents called for paramedics to come and help, and upon their arrival the paramedics believed that the boy was choking. Though his symptoms subsided and the emergency responders left, a few hours later the boy’s behavior turned odd and he subsequently fainted.  A quick visit to the child’s physician sent them straight to the hospital for emergency treatment.

According to Robin Ahmed, the boy’s father, it was at the hospital that the mystery was finally solved. “Later on we all find out this medication affected everything to him.” It turns out that the medication that had been sent home with the Ahmeds was Haloperidol, a powerful antipsychotic drug that was supposed to given to another patient, an adult who was also named Ali Ahmed.

Haloperidol is used to treat mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, as well as behavior problems, agitation, and Tourette’s syndrome.

The boy’s family has filed a lawsuit against Walgreens pharmacy for negligence, charging that the professional staff should have realized that the dosage they were providing was not appropriate for a child and that something was wrong. They also have charged that Walgreens did not provide appropriate warning to the family that the antipsychotic drug would be dangerous for Ali at the dose that the order prescribed.

According to Ali’s parents, the now seven-year-old boy seems to have been impacted by the incident. “The trauma that he went through in the emergency room, he’s still scared,” said Ali’s father, who along with his wife worries about long-term affects that may yet appear. “What could we have done to prevent this? They should pay for this, all due respect,” said Ahmed. “This is not right because we trust that logo. We almost lost our son. Could you imagine if I had given him more dosage?”

Though a Walgreens spokesperson indicated that the company is sorry for the incident and that they have apologized to the Ahmeds, he said that they aren’t able to comment on pending litigation.

 
     
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Gavin P. Lentz, Esq.
Bochetto & Lentz

Gavin Lentz (right) was selected as a "Super Lawyer" for 2006-2009 and 2010-2015 in New Jersey by Philadelphia Magazine. He has also been selected as a "Super Lawyer" by Philadelphia Magazine and the Legal Intelligencer in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 - 2015.

On September 16, 2002 Mr. Lentz was selected as one of the top 50 lawyers in Pennsylvania by the Legal Intelligencer.

He has made many television appearances, including on Fox News, The Today Show, Inside Edition, and The Phil Donahue Show.

Mr. Lentz is a member of the American Trial Lawyers Association and the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.

As a former prosecutor, he knows how to aggressively go after large pharmacy chains to prove the facts necessary to protect your loved one's rights.

 
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