A baby girl treated for reflux was prescribed ten times as much medicine as she needed causing acute alcohol poisoning and landing her in hospital.
Jessica Brough, 24, had been giving her baby girl, Grace, then six-weeks-old, a syringe of ranitidine twice a day in an attempt to help relieve her poor girl’s reflux symptoms.
Jessica was becoming distressed however, because her girl was hating it.
‘She writhed and squirmed,’ Jessica told that’s life!, recalling her baby’s cries as she gave her the syringe.
‘Around the same time, I noticed Grace was sleeping longer and more deeply than usual.
But I decided I’d check with the health visitor when she came.’
Showing the nurse the prescription on the box, she was horrified. Calling the hospital to double check, she told Jessica her baby girl had been overdosed.
Instead of 1ml of the medicine per dose, Grace was being given 10ml twice a day.
‘Grace was quickly rushed in for tests,’ explains the mum.
‘A nurse explained that Zantac [the brand name of ranitidine] contained alcohol and they were doing tests to see if she’d been poisoned.'
Horrifyingly, Grace had to be kept in hospital for four days while tests ruled out damage to her vital organs and brain.
Thankfully there appears to have been no lasting damage, and Grace is back home, but the mum-of-two is still shaken.
‘If the error hadn’t been spotted, Grace could have died,’ she says.
Nurses attempted to comfort Jessica but she was horrified at what had happened.
‘I felt sick,’ she remembers.
‘I never thought trying to make my girl better could put her life in danger.’
The incident was reported to the Medical Board of Australia who are investigating the matter.