A boy in Denver, Colorado, lost his life after a local pharmacy accidentally increased the dosage of his hyperactivity medication to over 1,000 times the prescribed amount.
For three years, 8-year-old Jake Steinbrecher took Clonidine to treat his ADHD (Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder) without incident. However, when he took his usual dosage last Halloween, something went wrong.
“He immediately started having reactions to it,” mother Caroline Steinbrecher told KMGH.
The child was transported to the hospital, where the doctors said his brain was swelling. Further tests reportedly revealed the medicine in Jake’s system consisted of a much higher dosage than needed. Instead of taking the usual 0.03 mg, Jake had actually ingested 30 mg.
The Good Day Pharmacy in Loveland had accidentally given him 1,000 times the prescribed dosage, according to the family.
“It wasn’t a mistake,” said Steinbrecher. “It was sentinel error.”
Although the boy was released from the hospital at the time, he was hospitalized again earlier this month.
Unfortunately, he did not make it this time.
Jake died June 8 and his parents blame the pharmacy’s carelessness for his death.
“Jake and his family suffered dearly during his initial hospitalization, but the family was unprepared for the long term consequences which included his sudden death by an autoimmune response believed to have been triggered by the [pharmacist’s] error,” the Steinbrechers said in a press release.
The family’s attorney claims the pharmacy admitted to making a mistake in the dosage, but the pharmacist who allegedly made the mistake is still licensed to practice and continues to work there.
“[She] still has her license [and] is allowed to make other prescriptions for other children,” Steinbrecher said, adding that she wants her son’s tragic story to serve as a cautionary tale for other parents.
“I know this is hard to watch. It was hard for us to make. My wish is, this helps everyone keep this from happening to their child or loved one!” she explained.
Since the boy loved to dance, his family has established the Jake Steinbrecher Dance Fund in his memory. It helps other children have access to dance classes they could not otherwise afford.