To think this mother was partly at fault

(82 Posts)
phantomhairpuller Thu 18-Jul-13 18:18:01

pharmacy dispenses ear drops for conjunctivitis

Surely the daft cow should have read the label, no?!

Do people really put things into their children's eyes without first reading the directions?

And as for the poor child's name... shock

HeySoulSister Thu 18-Jul-13 18:19:52

wow how nasty are you??

RalphGnu Thu 18-Jul-13 18:20:56

Are you Katie Hopkins?

WorraLiberty Thu 18-Jul-13 18:21:53

If the Pharmacist gave her instructions, why would she want to read them too?

LifeIsSoDifferent Thu 18-Jul-13 18:22:56

Oo this is not going to end well OP

Scrounger Thu 18-Jul-13 18:23:19

Actually that could have been me, I usually check with the pharmacist how often to give it. I think I would trust a pharmacist to prescribe the right thing. Silly me.

motherinferior Thu 18-Jul-13 18:24:39

If my pharmacist gave me drops I would assume they were the right ones. I am a health journalist with two degrees, btw.

phantomnamechanger Thu 18-Jul-13 18:24:45

God that's bad. My first instinct is yes, you read the label, check the dose/side effects etc . I have queried scripts before when why my Dr prescribed one a day of something that should have been 4 a day - the pharmacy agreed with me but had to ring the GP for consent to prescribe differently to what he had typed.

But what about illiterate parents or those for whom English is not their first language. Or the many who just TRUST it to be correct.

But I actually only came to say Hello fellow-phantom to the OP!

phantomhairpuller Thu 18-Jul-13 18:25:49

Yes the pharmacist gave the drops in the first place so obviously they are primarily to blame but do you people seriously give your children medication without first double checking it?!

Wow hmm

motherinferior Thu 18-Jul-13 18:25:52

Registered pharmacists have to go through years of training to qualify. It's fair to assume they know what they are doing.

AmyFarrahFowlerCooper Thu 18-Jul-13 18:27:51

I remember reading about someone else doing this sometime last year too. There has to be an element of trust with pharmacists so I can't think she is too silly even though I double check everything either of us is prescribed before giving it. YABU for judging the child's name though.

ANormalOne Thu 18-Jul-13 18:28:30

I would check first myself, but they should have made sure they gave the right drops out. Both are at fault.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Thu 18-Jul-13 18:28:35

poor woman must feel awful.
yes. you should always read the label. not only timo check how it is used but importantly to read about possible side effects etc.
it is a reminder about the importance of doing so

however. the pharmacy is 100% in the wrong here. what if the person had dyslexia or was illiterate or unable to read english.
there are many reasons why it is vital that pharmacists do not make mistakes!

the comment about the childs name is unnecessary.

I agree with the OP that in this case the mother should have checked the label, and read all the instructions. I can't believe that anyone wouldn't do that as a matter of course. Having said that the pharmicist needs a slapped wrist at the very least, and as someone else said, there are people who cannot read/ cannot read English.
As for the child's name, it wouldn't be my choice, but I've heard worse and no doubt some people don't like my choices either.

KittyVonCatsworth Thu 18-Jul-13 18:29:25

YABU, but to be fair, I always read the blurb inside, even for myself, even if its stuff I've used before. I want to know the side effects and what's going into me and my child.

IMO though, I would have picked up on this.

Scrounger Thu 18-Jul-13 18:29:28

Do you check the terms and conditions of everything that you sign?

- conveyancing documents
- any insurance that you purchase
- any credit agreement including HP, mortgage, loan, credit card etc

Would you understand what the details or do you discuss it with the FA / solicitor to understand the main items and trust that they have done their job?

If not, wow, just wow.

HeySoulSister Thu 18-Jul-13 18:29:39

well op you can only check the label

not the actual medicine! do you do some sort of test of the bottle contents before giving it to your children then?? or do you trust its what it is supposed to be and give it to them anyway??

HugAMoo Thu 18-Jul-13 18:29:48

What on earth has her name got to do with it?!

I never give the children anything medicinal without reading the instructions and information first. The same goes for my medication. It amazes me that some people don't (literacy and language issues aside). So YANBU for that.

YABU for criticising the child's name though.

ReindeerBollocks Thu 18-Jul-13 18:34:49

The pharmacist is at fault as they should never misprescribe - it could kill depending on the med combo.

However I slightly agree with OP - i always check and query meds even if they are from different than usual suppliers. I get very toxic meds for DS from hospital and the first rule taught to me wad ALWAYS check, then double check meds - the name, medicine, quantity and how often it is to be administered.

So about 50/50 split blame IMO. Cruel comment about the name though.

SoupDragon Thu 18-Jul-13 18:35:38

Do you check the terms and conditions of everything that you sign?

That is irrelevant. It's nothing like not reading the instruction leaflets for something you are putting in your child's body.

The main fault obviously is with the pharmacist though.

Scrounger Thu 18-Jul-13 18:37:55

No its not irrelevant, I discuss the issues with whoever if prescribing the medicine so I understand the issues, when to use, when to stop and when to return if needed. The T&Cs for legal documents are essentially the same thing, instructions for what happens in certain situations.

SoupDragon Thu 18-Jul-13 18:41:23

T&Cs for medicine are in respect of things which could seriously affect yr health. Not the same thing at all IMO, especially when you are making the decision on he half of a child.

SoupDragon Thu 18-Jul-13 18:41:34


MistyB Thu 18-Jul-13 18:41:35

Not quite the same but my DS is regularly prescribed (by ENT consultants) drops licensed for use in the eyes but for his ear infections. I usually have to explain to the pharmacist, sometimes I just don't bother and say, yes, it's for an eye infection.

I would want to know all of the details before casting judgement on whether this was indeed an error and then whether it was a dangerous one.

SoupDragon Thu 18-Jul-13 18:43:08

Besides, these are the instructions not the small print.

motherinferior Thu 18-Jul-13 18:45:59

The thing is, whether or not you or I read instructions the mother was not at fault. The pharmacist was.

erm....maybe the mum can't read. Or does the op assume everyone is functionally literate.

NoComet Thu 18-Jul-13 18:50:02

I trust our local pharmacist, but not the dopiest of our GPs, so I'd always check.

starfishmummy Thu 18-Jul-13 18:51:56

My son used to be prescribed a particular drop which could be used for eyes or ears.......just sayin'

On the bright side, the child didn't suffer any major effects and maybe highlighting this case will make more people take more care and check their medication.

Balaboosta Thu 18-Jul-13 18:59:28

I LOVE that name!

Pobblewhohasnotoes Thu 18-Jul-13 18:59:58

MistyB Thu 18-Jul-13 18:41:35
Not quite the same but my DS is regularly prescribed (by ENT consultants) drops licensed for use in the eyes but for his ear infections. I usually have to explain to the pharmacist, sometimes I just don't bother and say, yes, it's for an eye infection

I was going to post the same thing. We regularly send our ent patients home with eye drops meant for ears.

It's the pharmacists fault. I check all meds but not everyone does.

BoozyBear Thu 18-Jul-13 19:01:20

i always, always check and read the possible side effects to look out for.

Is anyone else wondering whether there was actually a mistake made at all? If these medications are often for use for both eyes and ears, what are the chances that the right thing was prescribed and then the mother realised that the label said ears, rather than eyes and panicked. I might be wrong and maybe it's only eye drops that are being prescribed for ears, but I do wonder if it's a possibility.

BackforGood Thu 18-Jul-13 19:08:38

Well, I'm amazed my dc have made it to adulthood!
If a pharmacist gave me some drops and said to put them in her eyes, then I would follow that instruction. They are the highly trained professional and I know nothing about medication or chemicals. Can't believe all the disgust and outrage at the mother (even assuming she is functionally literate, which we don't know).

Icelollycraving Thu 18-Jul-13 19:19:52

Yabu. She should have double checked but I understand why she didn't. The childs name is irrelevant & you mentioning it says far more about you than the child or her mother.

Mumoftwoyoungkids Thu 18-Jul-13 19:21:33

I always read everything before I give the children medicine. (And I never sign anything without reading it all either.) So I am surprised the mum didn't.

But that doesn't mean it isn't a very very bad error by the pharmacist. Some people can't read, some people don't speak English, some drugs interact with others even if they technically do what the patient needs.

Euphemia Thu 18-Jul-13 19:34:08

The doctor once prescribed eye drops for DD's ears (he said they were the same medicine), so it wouldn't have entered my head to worry about it.

HalfBakedAlaska Thu 18-Jul-13 19:43:59

When my son was six weeks old I accidentally grabbed the colic drops instead of eye drops from the fridge and squeezed them into his eye. I hadn't realised my husband had put the colic drops in the fridge - I was sleep deprived and never thought to check. When I realised what I'd done (five seconds after administering them) I was hysterical; it took calls to NHS Direct and the Colief helpline to reassure me there was no harm done. I didn't stop shaking all day.

Accidents happen - they don' t make you negligent or a bad mother. Stop being so judgemental.

Chelvis Thu 18-Jul-13 20:11:02

This happened to my DH's gran - given ear drops instead of the prescribed eye drops. She didn't realise because her eyes were so sore and infected that she couldn't see clearly to read the label and just trusted what the pharm assistant told her. I know that in the case the OP linked, a parent should have read it, but it could have easily happened even to a responsible adult with painful eyes! I do blame the pharmacist 90% - the waits are so long normally because they SHOULD double and triple check everything.

Doubtfuldaphne Thu 18-Jul-13 20:35:05

Wow she went to my school! I think cherish is a cute name.

ShadowMeltingInTheSun Thu 18-Jul-13 20:56:56

Personally, I'd have noticed this because I always read all information provided with a medicine before using it, and have in the past queried things that don't look quite right with the GP / pharmacist.

But I really think that the vast majority of the responsibility here is with the pharmacist. They're trained professionals who should make sure that they're giving patients the right medication.

As PP have pointed out, patients may be illiterate, have English as a second language, be on other medicines that interact badly with the wrongly dispensed medicine, or have eye sight too poor to read the label / leaflet.

And totally unreasonable to be picking on the kid's name BTW.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 18-Jul-13 21:15:30

Why would you be so rude and snotty as to mention the child's name? If she was called "Isabel" would that have been ok for you? Or too bland? hmm

Turniptwirl Thu 18-Jul-13 21:20:42

I once managed to put eye drops into my ears and only realised when I wondered why my ears weren't unblocking! Very glad I didn't do it the other way round!

xylem8 Thu 18-Jul-13 21:26:04

YABU 100% the pharmacists fault

phantomhairpuller Thu 18-Jul-13 21:29:56

I think it's a bloody horrendous name. But that said, I've met people who don't like my DCs names. Everyone is different, everyone is entitled to there opinions. Nowt wrong with that is there?

But I accept its irrelevant to the story so I apologise for that at least wink

phantomhairpuller Thu 18-Jul-13 21:30:33

*their opinions wink

kali110 Thu 18-Jul-13 21:34:37

Not totally unreasonable, she should have read the bottle.
As for comment about t&c yes i do read all! It really amazes me when people say they don't, i could never sign anything before reading them.?if anything went wrong i wouldnt have a leg to stand on

sparkle12mar08 Thu 18-Jul-13 21:35:46

I'd have checked it was the medicine I was expecting before I left the pharmacy tbh, I always do. As part of that I also check the name and address on the label on the product too, there is a woman in the next town over who is Miss MyInitial Mysurname, I am Mrs MyInitisl MySurname. She also lives at the same house number I do, though the road name is different. She obviously shops in this town a lot because I've been given her stuff in pharmacies more than once and also on collect from store Next orders!

diddl Thu 18-Jul-13 21:41:10

Be interested to know if the product names were similar.

Or if there was a picture of an ear on the box.

I think that Cherish is a gorgeous name.

I would have checked.

Although my Dr tells us the name of stuff so when you looked at the product you would know it wasn't right iyswim.

SuperiorCat Thu 18-Jul-13 21:42:23

It doesn't actually say that the medicine was prescribed or issued by the pharmacy does it? It could be over the counter medicine that she bought from a sales assistant rather than pharmacist, not that that excuses them selling her the wrong stuff, but may explain it.

kali110 Thu 18-Jul-13 21:43:58

I also hope the person who made the mistake isnt struck off.

Xihha Thu 18-Jul-13 21:56:43

I'm amazed how many people are saying they dont double check what they've been given! Pharmacists are still human and can make mistakes, surely it's better to be safe than sorry.

It says in the article that she noticed they were the wrong thing later on so I would guess there was something on the box that she could have noticed if she had checked before using them otherwise she wouldn't of noticed later either. Its still mostly the pharmacies fault but she should of checked.

It's not a name I would of chosen either but everyone's different.

Joanne279 Thu 18-Jul-13 22:18:39

Always always ALWAYS check the label/dosage/etc

My dr once prescribed me a drug I'm allergic to. I checked with the pharmacist who confirmed it was ok to take. I was still unsure so rang the surgery......who issued another prescription...why? Because I'm allergic and the dr missed it! And the pharmacist told me it was ok to take with my allergy. Also, don't prescriptions need to be dispensed and checked? So 2 people missed it! Tut tut!

My kids are 8, 5 and 9 months. Been giving calpol for years but i check the label everytime! It's takes 5 seconds!

Some people think I'm over the top, but I'm happy so who cares lol

pharmacist Thu 18-Jul-13 23:02:57

Yet another scary thread showing how much blind trust people have in the human beings that are pharmacists.

Yes, everything gets checked, by 3 separate people at my place, yes, we're all trained and experienced, yes pharmacists have degrees and are well paid so mistakes shouldn't happen.

But mistakes do happen. Chloramphenicol 5% ear drops get given out on prescriptions for chloramphenicol 0.5% eye drops in the almost identical looking boxes and little babies get sore eyes. Propranolol tablets get given out for prednisolone tablets (also in identical boxes, from shelves filled with other identical boxes) and people die as a result.

I'm not trying to excuse errors, but human errors do happen when there are humans involved and any pharmacist who says they're never made an error is lying or it hasn't got back to them. A 99.99% accuracy rate at my place works out at around 20 errors per year, and we can't choose whether the errors are nice simple ones (2 tablets short for eg) or big nasty fatal ones, they just happen.

Please, please, please read the label. And the box. And the prescription before you hand it in. And if you think for even a split second it might not be right, take it back and get them to check again.

They'll be grateful you picked it up before your child came to any harm, and not just because of the compensation claim.

claraschu Thu 18-Jul-13 23:13:45

Name was definitely Mum's fault.

Joiningthegang Thu 18-Jul-13 23:14:22

My kids get eye drops for use in their ears


kali110 Fri 19-Jul-13 00:19:06

Doc at a walk in center once gave me a prescription for someone in their eighteens. Im in my twenties :-/

Idocrazythings Fri 19-Jul-13 01:15:28

She took the baby back to check when her eyes were going red, which shows common sense. If she was stupid she'd have kept giving them. I'm agreeing with others who say maybe she does not have a high degree of literacy. When a pharmacist is labelling and handing over a medication they are responsible.

Idocrazythings Fri 19-Jul-13 01:22:26

Pharmacist yes errors occur, as you said. I have made them, in the past, and anyone who says they haven't just doesn't know about the mistake they have made (or lying as you said!), BUT isn't that why we have so many checks procedures and policies in place now? It is now 2013 and a very different world and working place to when I first graduated in 1996. I really think nowadays the way guidelines are structured and safeguarded means errors should not be excusable. And anyone giving out a medication is accountable.

StuntGirl Fri 19-Jul-13 01:33:18

Of course the mother should have checked. Reading the instructions is important every time you get new medication. If you blindly put your trust in 'professionals' you are a fool. As qualified and intelligent as they are they are human too.

And the pharmacist should, of course, have given the correct medication. I sincerely doubt it was deliberate. Mistakes unfortunately happen. S/he will probably get struck off.

ZingWidge Fri 19-Jul-13 01:43:36

I tend to check the label for info, dosage etc - but never to deliberately confirm what I was given!

anyway I can't check what's in the bottle!
there could have been a mix up with the content - noone would have known!

yes, I trust to be given the right thing.

<orders home medicine analyzing kit. jusr to make sure. from now on.grin >

LookMaw Fri 19-Jul-13 05:47:51

The pharmacist is at fault, obviously. (I personally always read the little leaflet that comes with medicines, and google them. But that's just me and my weird thirst for medical knowledge)

But going to the papers and demanding they lose their entire career because of one simple human error, that luckily didn't do any real harm?

Clearly the mother has never made a mistake.

pharmacist Fri 19-Jul-13 07:24:48

Idocrazythings yes nowadays things are different, we now have written SOPs to tell us 'check the medication is right' and if the medication isn't right then we can be beaten with the SOP folder as well. Errors still happen.

The Swiss Cheese model is a good one I think, you can do everything in your power to reduce the number of holes but there's still the possibility that the holes will line up and an error will get through. That's why planes still crash even though the airlines' safety measures are far far stricter than any doctor's or pharmacist's.

I don't expect anyone to analyse what's in their medication, but the mum could have read the word 'ear' instead of 'eye' on the box, had she read the box.

Not excusing errors, we all feel horrible when one happens, more in a 'what could have happened' sense, we all like to think all our checks are failsafe but they're not, one minor, no-harm error could easily have been the one that kills someone.

Off to work now, 800 prescriptions to check today, enjoy the sunshine everyone grin

justmatureenough2bdad Fri 19-Jul-13 07:43:27

i certainly sympathise with the mum in this situation i hate, hate, hate "i want whoever is responsible for this struck off" argument that it was a mistake, but it was neither fatal nor, it would seem, even particularly injurious.

As such it doesn't justify such a demand. Perhaps request an investigation and some indication of a process review to ensure that this doesn't happen again.


pianodoodle Fri 19-Jul-13 07:52:34

I think it's disproportionate for her to call for the pharmacist to lose their job.

phantomhairpuller Fri 19-Jul-13 09:57:15

IMO the mother wants to be bloody grateful that her child suffered nothing more than a slight allergic reaction. Things could have been a whole lot worse and for that reason the pharmacist needs a bloody good slap on the wrists but does not deserve to lose his/her job over it.

As a few people have already said, we're all human and we ALL make mistakes. In this instance, you learn from it and you move forward.

Selling the story to the papers is a blatant attempt at getting a nice bit of compensation.

Samu2 Fri 19-Jul-13 10:03:20

I had a similar incident when my son was prescribed antibiotics.

The pharmacist wrote the wrong dosage on the bottle so he was getting double the dose three times a day. After two dosages I worked it out that it couldn't be right but to start with I just trusted that she knew what she was doing.

I got a letter of apology.

OhDearNigel Fri 19-Jul-13 10:04:53

Lots of caribbean women have names like Cherish, maybe its a family name. I cant see its any different to Hope, Charity, Grace or Faith

OhDearNigel Fri 19-Jul-13 10:06:04

IMO the mother wants to be bloody grateful that her child suffered nothing more than a slight allergic reaction


mrsravelstein Fri 19-Jul-13 10:13:07

i always take the leaflet out of the box and read everything before i take any medicine or give any to my kids - checking if there are any contraindications, reactions to other medications, checking that its the right medicine for what's wrong - there have been many many occasions when i've been prescribed something that turns out to be inappropriate for one reason or another. and yes i read all the small print on legal documents etc too. i am amazed that people don't.

phantomhairpuller Fri 19-Jul-13 10:13:40

Nigel, MY opinion. Clearly different to yours. That's life shock

kooksi Fri 19-Jul-13 10:17:10

It's quite a nice name

AmyFarrahFowlerCooper Fri 19-Jul-13 10:21:15

Surely a job working with medication is one where mistakes shouldn't be made? They should be double checking, triple checking everything they prescribe. Since that is, you know, their job.

phantomhairpuller Fri 19-Jul-13 10:31:30

Surely a job working with medication is one where mistakes shouldn't be made? They should be double checking, triple checking everything they prescribe. Since that is, you know, their job.

Absolutely. But the fact of the matter is, mistakes happen. They shouldn't happen, but they do.

Loa Fri 19-Jul-13 11:12:53

I'd check but then I have many relatives on lots of medication and two of them have had potentially fatal errors - series dosage errors - made at different pharmacists - luckily they spotted them in time.

I've also had a pharmacist pick up issues when GP have prescribed medicines that can't be taken with existing prescribed medicines.

I must say I always check the leaflet inside now, especially to check on what the reactions could be.

I've been wary since a pharmacist told me that Voltarol was a good medicine with few side effects (prescribed by doctor for tendonitis). After a handful of doses, I nearly collapsed. Turns out I was past the mild, moderate and medium side effects and heading into severe. Doc has since told me that it now rules out a whole group of anti inflammatory drugs, so I sincerely hope I don't develop any condition that requires them.

BlueSkySunnyDay Fri 19-Jul-13 13:13:32

The pharmacist is wrong but I think as a parent I would always check that what I was giving was right.

WellThatsLife Fri 19-Jul-13 13:50:05

Every pharmacists worst nightmare. We double, triple check but occasionally things get missed. Similar packaging, similar names, someone coming up to talk to about a problem causing a loss of concentration.

As others have said above any pharmacist who says they have never made a mistake is lying or they have never come back to them

ZingWidge Fri 19-Jul-13 14:00:16


poor you

I had a bad reaction to iron tablets whilst pg - just the average gp presciption stuff.

they were 2 tablets/ day but high dose. I took 2 on the first day and felt unwell by the evening. took another in the morning, did school run, went shopping (feeling increasingly ill) - by the time I got home I had to lie down, I was shaking slightly, felt dizzy and sick (not morning sickness) and felt drowsy and faint.

it was horrible. I had to call a friend to come over and help put shopping away, then look after me and my youngest.

I'm sure it was the tablets and stopped.

took me 2 days to get back to normal! switched to a much lower dose of iron tablet and was ok.

another pg mum I know had even more severe reactions just after 1 of the same iron tablet. neither of us knew we could react so badly, despite reading the leaflets!

MammaTJ Fri 19-Jul-13 16:45:32

I always double check, but then I am allowed to administer meds in my place of work. I do not expect the average person to check!

I had an incedent once when the Opth....... eye doctor prescribed some eye drops for my DS. The pharmacy did not have the eye drops so the GP prescribed an alternative. I checked the leaflet once we had collected it and found it was not suitable for children under 6. He was three at the time. Did I report him? No. Did I complain to the GP and the pharmacy? Yes. In my view, both the pharmacist and the GP were at fault but there was no real harm done.

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