A Virginia woman received the wrong medication from her pharmacy; however, her son caught the pharmacy error in time prior to her taking her prescription. According to reports, Christiane Wiggins was supposed to receive Cyanocobalamin, vitamin B12, but received a different medication entirely.
Wiggins said that this was a refill, and when she picked it up the label on the bag and container indicated that it was her correct medication. However, she did notice that the cap on the bottle was a different color than normal and the color of the liquid was also different, but she thought maybe the manufacturer changed and dismissed her concerns.
When Christopher Wiggins, her son, came over to help her with her B12 injections, he immediately noticed that the drug she received was not B12. He had some previous medical training and determined it was atropine. He told his mother that the medication she received was far more dangerous than a vitamin injection.
The problem was that the vials appeared to be almost identical to B12; however, atropine is used to resuscitate patients in cardiac arrest or to treat nerve gas poisoning. Her son told her, “If I inject this I could kill you with this or you could get a heart attack or stroke or something really could happen to you.”
Christiane received her medication from the military base near her home, which had her prescription filled at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Unfortunately, Walter Reed filled the wrong prescription.
Sadly, this type of medication mistake occurs millions of times a year in hospitals and pharmacies nationwide. Although Christopher Wiggins prevented his mother from suffering any harm, others aren’t so fortunate. Some people can die and others can suffer injuries by receiving the wrong medication, which is why Christopher Wiggins is now working with the Virginia senator on legislation to address the problem.