Walmart Pharmacy Error Causes Teen To Lapse Into Coma

By chillinwill · Jul 16, 2008 · ·
  1. chillinwill

    Jessie Scott, an 18-year-old from Draper, Utah has been in a coma since the end of April because of a critical error which occurred at a Walmart pharmacy. His doctor prescribed Jessie 5mg of Oxycodone Hydrochoride in a liquid solution to help him with the severe pain of his strep throat, however, what he received from the pharmacy was a concentrated solution which was supposed to have been diluted before being dispensed to Jessie. Exactly how much medication did Jessie consume? [​IMG]
    He consumed 1 teaspoon measured in a medicine cup which in its concentrated state contained 20 times the prescribed dose (100mg) and within hours, his organs began to fail and had to be placed on a ventilator.

    The KSLTV article says,

    Laurie Scott said, "This shouldn't have happened. It was needless. It was senseless and it's changed lives forever, not just Jessie, but there are other people who love him and his future."
    Laurie trusted what she gave her son, what had been filled, was correct.
    "I always ask questions. I've always medicated him his whole life. I'm the caregiver and it makes it extremely difficult," she said.
    After 16 days in ICU, Jessie moved to intermediate care for another four days, then to HealthSouth for intensive therapy.
    Wal-Mart Corporation issued the following statement to KSL News: "This is a very sad situation. Our thoughts are with this young man and his family."
    There was a dramatic turn of events this weekend. For the first time, Jessie spoke, though the words are limited and intermittent. We will continue following his story in the weeks and months to come.
    What makes this even more infuriating is that pharmacists receive extensive specialized training to prevent these exact types of situations. We are supposed to be able to trust that the medication the pharmacy prepares won't kill us, or worse. We are, however, shocked that Walmart seems to actually be acknowledging the error—they usually deny everything until the point of absurdity. Our thoughts are with the Scott family, we hope that Jessie gets better soon.

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  1. Alfa
    Please upload you pictures.
  2. Panthers007
    This sounds like something out of a 6th grade math-test.

    Usually it's found to be the doctor's fault when this sort of thing (frequently) happens. Pharmacists are expected to be experts in decoding the hieroglyphs many doctor's scribble prescriptions in. As a result, many doctor's offices are now using the unimaginable: The Typewriter/Word-Processor.

    Who ever was at fault in this case, it sounds like the kid is mending. All too many don't. There was recently a case of a 5 year old girl in Boston Children's Hospital who was given a 20 times lethal overdose of a rare cancer medication. She wasn't even being treated for cancer. By the time the doctors caught the mistake - it was too late. All they could do was tell the parents that their little girl was about to die.
  3. FuBai
    Whilst this is certainly worrying and shocking, no system has been invented that is fail safe, especially where humans are involved. As you have indicated there are many places here a fault could have occured. The question is "How common is this?" I certainly don't have that information, but I would say anything above 0.25-0.5% would indicate a serious fault in the system. We all have made mistakes at our jobs; so it is, in my mind, difficult to outright condem the pharmacists but, nonetheless, an error has occured and it is certainly not the fault of the family so what reparations are should justly be awarded to them I could not say, only that there should be some.
  4. HomerK
    Swim feels sorry for the girl and her family.
  5. FrankenChrist
    ^Um, not the time, dude.
  6. Lobsang
    Well one way to help prevent this type of thing is to not have such a concentrated form in the pharmacy at all. But I suspect it has to do with profits and money. I guess.
  7. Spare Chaynge
    I would guess it has a lot to to with practicality and storage space.
  8. zera
    This is an easily identifiable case of medical error, but tens of thousands of people die from medical errors that are only slightly less boneheaded and just as preventable every year in the US. Just a little bit of spending to upgrade medical record systems to be electronic in the US would save countless lives, so many people die because of medication conflicts that a simple database could easily prevent.

    And don't even get me started on how doctors don't wash their hands. The medical system is a mess, and for all the miracles of modern medicine, the benefits are almost completely negated by the sheer idiocy present in the system. For empirical research on this topic lookup Robin Hanson, or the Rand Healthcare experiment.
  9. Panthers007
    You wouldn't believe (well - you might) the number of people who come to me for advice on their prescriptions and OTC medications. Word travels fast - I end up with total strangers that "so & so said..." So people are interested in knowing what they're taking and possible dangers. I ask them why they don't ask their doctors or druggists. The answer is usually the same: They don't know anything further than what the ads in the PDR (Physician's Desk Reference) contains and don't care to translate. My guess is they didn't read beyond the first paragraph or two.
  10. Lobsang
    Well you see you have to understand medicine is a form of Magick and the PDR is the spellbook. A shaman does not explain thier methods. They simply cast the spell according to the book.
  11. old hippie 56
    For the people using the likes of super pharmacies, like Walmarts, Walgreens, etc. Mass production of prescriptions are the norm. I backed away from the big ones long time ago due to errors.
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