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8-year-old dies after alleged pharmaceutical error
December 22, 2016
A mother claims that her 8-year-old boy died after the pharmacy gave him incorrect medication, according to The Denver Channel. Jake Steinbrecher had been taking medication for hyperactivity for three years. But, after taking his usual dosage of Clonidine last Halloween, his parents knew something was wrong.
Caroline Steinbrecher told The Denver Channel that her son immediately began to have a reaction, so she took him to the hospital where doctors told her that his medication had caused brain swelling. The doctors tested his medication and found something shocking: The dosage was 1000 times what he was prescribed.
Jake was prescribe .03 mg of the medication. The pharmacy dolled out 30 mg. Jake seemed to be doing fine and was released from the hospital. Earlier this month he had to be hospitalized again. He died June 8.
"Jake and his family suffered dearly during his initial hospitalization, but the family was unprepared for the long-term consequences which included his sudden death by an autoimmune response believed to be triggered by the [pharmacist's] error," the family said in a statement to the press, according to Inside Edition.
Steinbrecher told reporters she doesn't understand how the mistake was made. "How could somebody do that? How was there no other way to make sure the medicine was mixed correctly before it was out the door other than the say-so of the pharmacist who made it?"
The Denver Channel reports that the pharmacist who made the error is still licensed to practice and is still employed at Good Day Pharmacy.
"People need to be aware of what is being given to their children ... They trust doctors and they trust pharmacists to do the right thing for them and to keep their children safe, but these are all just people and people make mistakes and errors and that's where more protection needs to be in place," Steinbrecher said.
RX Outreach recommends that patients and parents always double check their prescription and make sure the pill you are getting is what your doctor said you should be getting (the label tells you what your pill should look like).
Jake had just finished second grade at B F Kitchen Elementary School. He studied dance at the Berthound Dance Company. A memorial fund has been established in Jake's name.