Pharmacists Administer Insulin Instead of Flu ShotDecember 16, 2019
Flu season is here, which means that people across the country are going to their health care provider or their local pharmacist to get their annual flu shot. The flu shot can have mild side effects ranging from soreness at the injection site, low-grade fever, and muscle aches, but many people do not experience side effects at all. However, when patients at a facility for developmentally disabled adults became sick after receiving their flu shots, first responders were called to the scene where they found patients lying on the ground, some of whom were unresponsive. They later discovered that the pharmacist responsible for administering the flu shot gave the patients insulin shots.
The incident occurred at Jacquelyn House, a facility in Oklahoma that serves people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. According to the local police department, eight residents and two employees were affected by the mistake. To complicate matters, many of the patients were non-verbal and unable to explain what happened, how they were feeling, or any specific symptoms they were experiencing. Some were unable to walk.
The Chief of the Bartlesville Police Department praised the first responders for identifying the problem so that they could proceed with treating the overdose of insulin. The patients were in dire need of help, but they could not communicate what they needed. She went on to say that she has never seen such a serious medical mistake, and that if it were not for the first responders, the outcome could have been much worse.
Dangers of Prescription Errors
By injecting the patients with insulin instead of the flu vaccine, it caused their blood sugar to fall. An overdose of insulin can cause hypoglycemia, which causes dizziness, sweating, fatigue, seizures, unconsciousness, and coma. In extreme cases, a drastic fall in blood sugar levels can be fatal. Oftentimes, patients can increase their blood sugar by eating food that is sweet, or carbohydrate-heavy food that converts to sugar. Glucose tablets are also available. In more severe cases, a patient may need a glucagon injection to raise their blood sugar. Fortunately for the patients at Jacquelyn House, the first responders arrived when they did, and all 10 victims are expected to make a full recovery. While the Oklahoma State Department of Health is conducting an investigation into how the Jacquelyn House handled the incident, there is no reason to think that the center was aware of the mix-up, or could have done anything to prevent it, according to the director of communications for the department.
Baltimore Medical Malpractice Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Seek Justice for Victims of Medication Errors
If a health care provider administered an incorrect medication, causing serious health problems, do not hesitate to contact the Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. Mixing up medications, or administering an incorrect dosage can be extremely dangerous, if not fatal. Our skilled legal team will conduct a thorough investigation into the details of your case and determine whether the health care provider responsible for your care was negligent in any way. We will secure the maximum financial compensation you deserve. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
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