Prescription mix-up leaves baby without vital medication

PUBLISHED: 09:14 11 June 2018 | UPDATED: 09:14 11 June 2018

Catherine and Tanis Harkonnen. Couldn't get emergency medication for their four-month old baby.

Catherine and Tanis Harkonnen. Couldn't get emergency medication for their four-month old baby.

Archant

A mum has hit out at Weston’s health services after her four-month old daughter was left without emergency medication for two days.

Catherine and Tanis Harkonnen. Couldn't get emergency medication for their four-month old baby.Catherine and Tanis Harkonnen. Couldn't get emergency medication for their four-month old baby.

Violet Harkonnen suffers from tracheo-oesophageal fistula (TOF) and needs daily medication to control her severe acid reflux.

TOF is a birth defect where the oesophagus is connected to the windpipe, which causes stomach acid to pass into the lungs and without medication Violet vomits and is at risk of choking.

Despite ordering the medicine from Pharmacy2U two weeks in advance, it failed to arrive. Violet’s mum Catherine could not get hold of the company so she visited two pharmacies and Weston General Hospital to try to get an emergency prescription.

She said: “If she doesn’t have her medication Violet vomits and is screaming in pain – this can go on for hours.”

Catherine and Tanis Harkonnen. Couldn't get emergency medication for their four-month old baby.Catherine and Tanis Harkonnen. Couldn't get emergency medication for their four-month old baby.

“I went to the hospital at 9am and they said I had to contact a Bristol hospital as that’s where she was treated.

“I rang my GP and was told they couldn’t help because Pharmacy2u had my prescription.

“I rang up her surgeon in Bristol who wrote an emergency prescription stating she needed it that day.

“They sent it to my surgery but when I rang up at 11am they said to ring back at 3pm because that’s when they do the prescriptions.”

Catherine and Tanis Harkonnen. Couldn't get emergency medication for their four-month old baby.Catherine and Tanis Harkonnen. Couldn't get emergency medication for their four-month old baby.

Catherine finally got the medication on Friday.

She said: “If Violet doesn’t have it she panics so much she starts vomiting and crying and stops breathing. She could die or choke on her vomit at night.

“I understand her conditions are rare but surely there are records to show her age, medications and why she uses them?”

A Pharmacy2U spokesman said: “We dispense our patient orders with the utmost care. When the customer service team was made aware of the issue, all relevant procedures were undergone to assist the patient and enable them to make alternative arrangements.”

A spokesman for Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) added: “We are sorry to hear about Ms Harkonnon’s experience and any distress caused to her or her daughter.

“We will be working with the different agencies in this case to ensure that best practice was properly followed and that improvements in care are made wherever possible.”

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