Monday, November 14, 2011

Lung transplant patient given wrong pills

The lesson we learn here is to double-check our medications. I check mine at the pharmacy before leaving the store.

by Ian Robson, Sunday Sun
SWAP-op patient Kerry Newton came through her lung transplant...only to be put at risk by a Boots the chemist.

The High Street giant has launched an investigation after the 31-year-old was given an incorrect prescription.

Kerry was horrified after handing in a prescription for the anti-rejection drug Prograf only to be given another.

Kerry had only recently left hospital after having a transplant at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital.

Doctors told her she must not use any other anti-rejection drug or risk problems.

But inside the packet, which was marked Prograf, was another anti-rejection drug Advagraf.

Kerry, 31, of Kenton, Newcastle, said: “I always check in the shop to see if it is the right box, and it was.

“So I took it home and opened the packet. It was only then, as I was about to take it, I realised something was wrong.

“The tablet was half white and half peach when it should have been all white.

“I complained to Boots the next day and I was told it would not have been safe if I had taken the wrong tablet. I can’t understand how it got mixed up.

“They can’t have checked the prescription properly to allow this to happen. The consequences could have been disastrous.

“It could kill someone giving them the wrong anti-rejection medication.”

Kerry’s partner Ben Laidler said: “I am just pleased that Kerry checked the tablets before taking them or who knows what would have happened.

“It’s unbelievable that a chemist as big as Boots could mess it up so badly.”

The prescription was dispensed by Boots in Harewood Avenue, Kenton.

Kerry had been on a transplant waiting list for three years before her operation earlier this year.

She had been housebound for a year and was on oxygen most of the day.

She said: “I felt like giving up because I had no life. The transplant has made a huge difference and I don’t want my recovery to be put at risk.”

A spokeswoman for Boots apologized for the mistake and said steps were in place to stop it from recurring.

She said: “We have apologized personally to Miss Newton for the dispensing error. Boots takes patient safety very seriously and our customer health and wellbeing is of the utmost importance to us.

“We are currently looking into the incident and will ensure measures are put in place to prevent this from happening again.”

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