Pharmacist Investigated After Dispensing Error Puts Woman in Hospital

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A New Zealand pharmacist is being investigated after a woman was given the wrong medication that put her in a hospital.

The woman had a prescription for a medication to lower the risk of blood clots to prevent deep vein thrombosis before traveling oversees, but instead received medication to treat severe anemia.

Unfortunately, the pharmacist did no catch the error even when the label of the medication did not match the original prescription.

The woman previously experienced life threatening reactions due to deep vein thrombosis and was concerned about getting blood clots while flying again.

According to a complaint to the Health and Disability Commissioner, the woman injected herself twice with the wrong drugs on the day of her flight. She felt unwell the next day and found bruises all over her legs and was admitted to hospital.

It took two weeks for the pharmacist to finally discover the dispensing error and tried to contact the woman who was still on her overseas travel.

Commissioner Anthony Hill determined that the pharmacist in question was solely responsible for the error, emphasizing that there were distinct differences between the two drugs, the packaging and the fact that one had to be stored on a shelf while the other in a fridge.

The pharmacy has since taken efforts to change its processes for dispensing medications.