Ten people at a care facility in Oklahoma had to be rushed to a hospital after they were injected with insulin instead of a flu shot, the police said.
Eight out of the ten patients were residents of Jacquelyn House and two were employees, Sgt. Jim Warring, with Bartlesville Police Department said. The facility primarily serves intellectually and developmentally disabled people.
Police Chief Tracy Roles said, EMS and fire crews responding Wednesday afternoon “found … multiple unresponsive people”.
Warring said that after the medication was administered, most patients affected were not able to explain the symptoms and many of them were not vocal or even able to walk.
Police Chief Tracy Roles said “All these people are symptomatic, lying on the ground, wanting help, but can’t communicate what they need”. “That is why I give a lot of praise to the EMS and fire staff for doing an outstanding job by identifying the problem.”
Rebecca Ingram, CEO of AbilityWorks of Oklahoma, said in a statement, that the pharmacist who injected the insulin was a contractor and had went to the facility to administer the flu shot to residents and employees.
Ingram said that all people who received the injection had reactions and were taken to the nearby Jane Phillips Hospital in Bartlesville.
Several remained hospitalized till Thursday due to the long-acting insulin that was administered.
Ingram did not discuss whether the employees and residents were injected insulin but said that the authorities were investigating the cause of the reactions to the injections.
“I have never seen where there’s been some sort of medical misadventure to this magnitude, but again, it could have been a lot worse. Not to downplay where we are, but thinking about where we could be, it could certainly have been very, very tragic”, Roles said.
Tony D. Sellars, the director of communications for the Oklahoma State Department of Health, said his agency will review the facility’s report on the incident and determine if they need to follow up or if their action was sufficient.
Sellars said there is no reason to suggest at this point that the facility should have had a reasonable suspicion that this sort of error would occur or be preventable on their part.
An investigation is still underway.