Baby ‘almost blinded’ after pharmacist gave her ‘ear drops instead of eye drops’

July 18, 2013 | by | 0 Comments

A mum claims her eight-month old baby could have been blinded after a bungling pharmacist gave a her ear drops – instead of EYE drops.

Chantelle Ali, 20, was handed the medicine after her daughter Cherish Kubaik contracted conjunctivitis.

After administering them four to five times with no results the new mum checked the packaging – and realised they were in fact ear drops.

Chantelle, from Kingsholm, Glos., said: “It is absolutely disgusting. The fact this has been allowed to happen is incredible.

“They could have given me anything, my daughter could have been blinded.

“You just don’t think to check these things because they are handled by medical professionals. You trust them to give you the right thing.

“Prescriptions are checked twice or three times before it comes to you and the pharmacist came over to me to tell me how to use them, so they knew what they should have been.

“I dread to even think what else they could have given her, it could have left her blind.

“She is only eight-months-old, they eyes are very delicate.”

Chantelle first took little Cherish to her doctors on Friday after the tot started to show signs of the eye infection.

As it was the weekend her doctor prescribed her eye drops, which she thought would help reduce the inflammation.

Chantelle popped into local pharmacy, Rowlands, to pick up the medicine and waited 20 minutes for the prescription to be fulfilled before a pharmacist told her how to administer it.

But when Cherish’s eye began to react to the drops the panicked mum checked the box to find she had been given medicine meant for ears.

Furious Chantelle immediately took the drops back to the pharmacy and demanded an explanation, but instead she was given the right prescription, and a number for head office.

“They just took it straight off me, gave me the right one and a slight apology,” the hotel receptionist said.

“When I said I wanted to take it further they just handed me the number for head office.

“They told me Cherish wouldn’t need to see a doctor but when I rang their head office they told me to book an emergency appointment.

“Luckily there is no lasting damage for her and she is well on the road to recovery now, but it could have been so much worse.

“I don’t think I would have been as angry if it was me, but it’s my eight-month-old daughter.

“I want whoever gave me these drops by mistake struck off.”

Rowlands, a nationwide chain of pharmacies, has confirmed it is aware of the incident and that an investigation is now taking place.

A spokesman from Rowlands Pharmacy, Gloucester, said: “Due to information governance reasons we are unable to provide specific details of the incident, other than to say we are aware of a patient safety incident from this branch of Rowlands Pharmacy and we are investigating this incident at a senior level.

“We do take all patient safety incidents seriously and monitor and review these on an ongoing basis in order to identify learning in order to update and implement best practice.”

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