A care facility for people with intellectual disabilities is under investigation. Several patients and staff members were taken to the hospital after being mistakenly injected with insulin.
The residents were supposed to receive an influenza vaccination. It is unknown at this time how the mix-up occurred.
Emergency responders arrived at Jacquelyn House in Oklahoma and found “multiple unresponsive people.”
Local Police Sergeant, Jim Warring, told CNN the patients couldn’t explain their symptoms and:
“Many of them are not vocal and not able to walk.”
Of the people affected, eight were residents of the care center and two were staff members.
This leaves ten people in emergency care.
Police Chief Tracey Roles was incredulous at the situation, saying,
“I’ve never seen where there’s been some sort of medical misadventure to this magnitude. It could have been worse.”
“Not to downplay where we are, but thinking of where we could be, it certainly could have been very tragic.”
This isn’t helping us fight the antivaxx crowd https://t.co/5A0AHNWfsk— Thiccolas Cage (@FartboySlim) November 8, 2019
NOW THAT IS GROSS NEGLIGENCE— MaryDerrickArt (@maryderrickart) November 8, 2019
how on earth was this allowed to happen?
Waddaya mean, “Oops”?— John Beresford Tipton (@ChiefScribe) November 8, 2019
Errors can be made However, one hopes this is not another suggestion to help anti vaxers I'd rather have a child w/autism than polio, measles et cetera— emma darcy (@emmydarcy88) November 8, 2019
Insulin is normally given to people with diabetes.
It is a hormone that regulates the absorption of carbohydrates and glucose. Giving insulin to someone without diabetes can lead to insulin shock, with mild initial symptoms.
If left untreated, it will quickly lead to hypoglycemia, with the body absorbing a lot more of the glucose in the blood very easily. This low blood sugar means your body doesn’t have enough energy to power its own cells.
The biggest questions everyone has was how did someone make this mistake?
I knew this would happen sooner or later. Note: not given by RN. Training and focus of care matters. https://t.co/F7oOFfa3be— Suzy (@SuzyRosemeyer) November 8, 2019
Staff needs to get fired you mean. 10 people could’ve died.— Josef Marthé 🇺🇸 (@JosefMarthe) November 8, 2019
Wasn't a nurse. It was a pharmacist. 🙄 The corporate bigshots cut the nurse out of the scenario.— Crazy Mary (@crazymary1964) November 8, 2019
Insulin, both long- and short-acting, are a daily part of my life. And I know, firsthand, it’s powerful stuff. Fuck up, and it can be lethal. This is not a mistake an experienced pharmacist tech would make. This is far worse, as his or her prosecution will make clear. ☠️🦈— bleusharque (@bleusharque) November 8, 2019
The Jacquelyn House had contracted with an experienced pharmacist to administer the flu vaccine.
They are unsure how the mix up in medication happened, but the pharmacist is cooperating with investigators to find out.
This is a difficult story at a time when people are questioning the efficacy of vaccines. “Anti-vaxx” advocates have already spun conspiracy theories about this being a cover-up for vaccine injury.
However, this kind of mix-up is unfortunately more common than people think.
In September of this year, 16 students in Indiana were hospitalized after receiving insulin injections instead of a TB skin test.
The students were supposed to get a TB test. They got a shot of insulin instead. https://t.co/4aDor0YA39— Allison Carter (@AllisonLCarter) September 30, 2019
Wow, no medical training leads to this https://t.co/Q8hmul6Vfo— May Leen (@dragonflymcs) September 30, 2019
How can you mistake Insulin for the TB medication? Yikes! https://t.co/5CQuVYS69p— Mary_warrior_guerrera (@maryromty) October 1, 2019
How do you confuse a TB screening with an insulin shot and do it to 16 students? 🤦🏻♀️— Nik (@NMBK73) September 30, 2019
For a TB test, normally the patient receives a small injection of tuberculin.
However, the students of McKenzie Center of Innovation and Technology got a small dose of insulin instead. After the mistake was identified, the students were rushed to the hospital.
One student and his parent are suing the school over the mix-up.
Cynthia Smith told a local news station,
“I’m panicking right now because I’m worried, you know, because I know what insulin does. I’m a nurse. I know what insulin can do to you if given in the wrong content.”