A mum claims her toddler could have been killed after a mix up in Boots saw a pharmacist give her the wrong medicine.
Emily Newlove was horrified to realise the chemist had prescribed the wrong kind of liquid paraffin, which warned ‘may be fatal if swallowed’.
She was given the bottle – which was labelled ‘keep out of reach of children’ – to treat her two-year-old daughter Grace, who suffers from constipation.
The 22-year-old said: ‘The label on the bottle reads “May be fatal if swallowed and enters airways” followed by “If swallowed, immediately call a poison centre or doctor”.
‘After speaking with another pharmacist I was told this medication would have killed her if taken.
‘Had I not checked the label this could have been a life or death situation.
‘While I appreciate everyone makes mistakes and errors happen, certain procedures are put in place and things like this should be being double-checked.
‘It fills me with great concern and fear at how easily this error has taken place and how often it could potentially be happening to other people.’
Emily, from Brightlingsea, Essex, said Grace had a history of constipation and consultants had prescribed a number of remedies to ease her condition.
Grace has been on liquid paraffin daily since the end of January but Emily said her local Boots in Brightlingsea had sometimes found it difficult to get hold of the medication.
She said: ‘I spoke to the lady on the till and asked her to confirm she could definitely get both medicines as I didn’t want to be in a situation where Grace ran out.
‘A short while later Boots called to confirm they were able to order the medicine.
‘I went back to see if Grace’s prescription was ready for collection; I was given two medicines in a bag.’
But when she got home she realised the bag contained liquid paraffin used to make creams, not her usual oral medicine.
‘I noticed one of the bottles was different from usual and also didn’t have a information sheet with it, nor was it in a box’, she said.
Miss Newlove has lodged a formal complaint with Boots and wants to raise awareness of the importance of checking medication.
A spokesman for the high street pharmacist said: ‘At Boots UK, patient safety is at the heart of what we do and the care and welfare of every patient is our number one priority.
‘We are currently investigating this dispensing incident and we would like to apologise most sincerely to the patient and her family as we work to resolve their concerns.’