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AFB Survey Finds Drug Labeling Puts People with Vision Loss at Serious Medical Risk
Date:1/13/2009

urvey indicated that the inability to access necessary instructions supplied with prescription and over-the-counter medications often resulted in people with vision loss:

  • taking the wrong medication;
  • becoming ill due to taking the wrong medication or taking the incorrect dosage of medication;
  • visiting the emergency room or hospitalization;
  • depending on sighted companions or complete strangers to convey necessary drug information.

Below are some specific examples of participants' experiences:

Parents unable to detect pharmacy error made to their infant's medication

A husband and wife who are both legally blind are parents of an infant and are unable to read drug labeling information. They had been given the wrong medication for their baby by a pharmacy and the only reason they figured this out was because they had been prescribed the medication on a previous occasion and the packaging was so different that they asked a sighted neighbor who happened to be visiting to read the label. The mistake made by the pharmacy could have been lethal.

Young man has to visit the emergency room because he could not read insulin label

A 20-year-old respondent explained he had received the wrong dosage of insulin due to not being able to read the label. The prescription was for 50-unit insulin syringes and the pharmacy filled it with 100-unit syringes. He passed out from hypoglycemia and ended up in the hospital.

65-year-old grandmother confuses blood pressure and antidepressant medication

A respondent who has low vision regularly takes prescriptions with labels that have very small print. She often confuses blood pressure medicine with stomach or antidepressant medication. She has developed her own method of labeling her pill bottles in an effort to avoid further
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SOURCE American Foundation for the Blind
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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