Mislabeled Prescription Almost Resulted In Overdose For Elgin Child

CHICAGO (CBS) — If you have a sick child, you expect the prescription medicine to have the proper directions about how much medication to give, right? An Elgin mother recently began to give her sick daughter her medicine, and then discovered a mistake that could have caused her to give her child an overdose.

Jenni Kinnard spoke to CBS 2’s Kristyn Hartman to let other parents know you can’t always trust the label.

Kinnard would do anything to keep her kids safe and healthy.

“Both of my daughters mean so much to me,” she said.

So, when 18-month-old Daniella was sick last month, Kinnard made sure she got the little one’s medicine.

The directions on the medication she picked up from a Target pharmacy called for this 3 ½ teaspoons of medication, when the dose actually should have been only 3 ½ milliliters. One teaspoon is nearly five milliliters.

“I almost didn’t even think twice,” Kinnard said. “The only reason I questioned this one was because I needed to get another syringe to administer this one dose.”

So Kinnard called the pharmacist, who told her the proper dose, which she corrected on the label.

Asked what the pharmacist’s reaction was to learning the medication was mislabeled with a much higher dosage, she said, “it was just, ‘Oh, sorry about that.’ Like, I don’t think she had really thought about the severity of how big of the mistake was that she had made.”

Kinnard said she confirmed with her pediatrician that the amount of medication provided on the directions was five times the amount her child should receive.

The Illinois Poison Center said an overdose could have made Daniella more ill — causing upset stomach, nasuea, or diarrhea.

That’s why Kinnard reported what happened to Target, and to state officials

The state investigated more than 450 pharmacy-related complaints last year, and is looking into Kinnard’s complaint now.

“It’s very important for all parents to be more aware that things like this can happen,” she said. “Always double-check your prescription labels, before you give them to your children.”

Target officials said, “we take these situations very seriously and thoroughly review any incident involving errors … to ensure we take appropriate action.”

As policy, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation investigates every complaint it receives. Complaints can result in anything from clearing the case, to a reprimand, to license revocation.

  • http://financialfeeder.net/2012/03/mislabeled-medication-from-target-prescribes-five-times-the-dose-for-child/ Mislabeled Medication From Target Prescribes Five Times The Dose For Child | Financial Feeder

    […] on a medication from Target for her sick 18-month-old, she realized it was way too high.CBS2 in Chicago reports on the mistake, which instructed one mother to administer 3.5 teaspons of medicine, instead […]

  • Pharmaciststeve

    Pharmacies are relying more and more on untrained or poorly trained technicians and/or rely on the Pharmacist to train the technician. Pharmacy layouts are getting more and more “open”…. that customers feel free to interrupt the pharmacy staff … to ask questions … that interruption can be the genesis of a error.. Most chain pharmacies schedule their Pharmacist for 12-14 hr days… many without a scheduled rest/meal break and they are on their feet the entire time, doing so for days in a row…Technician/ancillary staffing is keep to bare bones.
    Mistakes happen at such regularity.. that we Pharmacists are pretty jaded to them… luckily the vast majority are caught before they leave the pharmacy.
    Our healthcare system kill 100,000 annually with medical errors and harms 1.5 MILLION from medication errors.

  • 9yr CPhT

    The problem with retail pharmacies is that to a majority of the public, we are simply a retail store that sells drugs. In that sense, patients want to “get in & get out”, and try to rush the process. Customers need to realize that the reason it takes so long to get a medication ready is because there are plenty of steps in the process to ensure that they will be getting the correct medication at the correct dosage.

    Mistakes happen. As a healthcare professional it is our duty to ensure these mistakes do not leave the pharmacy. Luckily this mistake was caught BEFORE DAMAGE WAS DONE.. In a perfect world, none of these types of mistakes would happen. In order for that world to exist, everyone, both pharmacy staff AND PATIENTS, need to slow down. Waiting an extra 15-20 minutes so the pharmacy can do their job properly is not going to kill you. If you see a pharmacy with a line of 10 people picking up, with a staff RUNNING to get prescriptions done, I suggest telling them you’ll pick up at a later time.

  • http://healthblog.steveariens.com/?p=767 healthblog » Have Rx errors become so common that we are protraiting a lack of concern when they happen?

    […] is a piece from a Chicago TV station of a mis-fill that happened at a Target.  Here  is a quote from the piece about the […]

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