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Wrong tablets nearly killed me
8:58am Monday 4th March 2013 in Latest
A MAN says he is lucky to be alive after being dispensed the wrong drugs by a Dorset pharmacy.
Richard Whipps was told by doctors that the mistake, in which he was given diabetic medication instead of steroids for asthma, had put him into a diabetic coma and could have killed him.
Thanks to his vigilant wife Debbie, Mr Whipps was rushed to hospital and promptly treated.
Mr Whipps, 38, of Oaklands Close, Verwood, visited his doctors on February 4 and was prescribed antibiotics and steroids for a chest infection.
He collected his prescription from Lloyds Pharmacy in Ringwood Road, Verwood, that evening and the following morning took six steroid tablets as instructed.
That afternoon he felt unwell and began suffering an asthma attack. He was taken by ambulance to Royal Bournemouth Hospital and released later that evening.
On Wednesday February 6 Mr Whipps took his antibiotics and six steroid tablets as instructed but again felt unwell.
Debbie checked the medication and was shocked to discover the box and drugs inside were actually for diabetics – even though the printed label stuck on the box contained the details for the correct medication. Mr Whipps said: “The medication had been checked twice by members of staff at the pharmacy but they still got it completely wrong. I felt horrendous but just thought it was a side effect of the steroids. I had no idea I had actually been taking the wrong medication.”
Mr Whipps, who has twin girls aged three, was rushed to Royal Bournemouth Hospital and put onto an IV glucose drip.
He spent the night on the acute medical ward before doctors had corrected his sugar levels and he was allowed home.
He said: “I am really, really angry about what happened and how serious it could have been.
“The nurse and the doctor at hospital said it was very serious what had happened to me and that I was basically going into a diabetic coma. If my wife hadn’t noticed and I had been left overnight, I could have been killed.”
A Lloyds Pharmacy spokesperson said: “We take the health of our patients very seriously and are extremely sorry that Mr Whipps was given the incorrect prescription medication.
“We have stringent standard operating procedures and a full investigation has taken place into the circumstances surrounding the incident.
“We will shortly share the findings of our investigation with Mr Whipps and have been in contact to apologise for any distress caused.”
Mr Whipps has since received a letter from Lloyds offering their apologies and explaining the outcome of their investigation.