Woman dies from stroke after being given wrong medication

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Heather Planner, 87, of Buckinghamshire, died from a stroke after being accidentally given another patient’s medication.

Mrs Planner had been prescribed apixaban, a blood-thinning medicine. However when she went to collect her prescription from the pharmacy, she was incorrectly handed tablets that were meant for another patient.

The carers who were looking after Mrs Planner then gave her the incorrect medicine four times a day, for two and a half days.

As a result of not taking any of her blood-thinning medication, Mrs Planner suffered a fatal stroke.

The senior coroner, Crispin Bulter, found that no measures were in place to ensure that carers properly acknowledged any changes in medication.

Kate Smith, a solicitor in the medical negligence team at Ashtons Legal, comments: “This tragically avoidable case highlights the importance of inquests and the power the Coroner has to issue a Prevention of Future Deaths report. The Coroner has identified real concerns in respect of a lack of procedure regarding medication changes. It is very concerning that when this error was made, there was not sufficient reflective learning and action plans put in place to prevent a similar situation from happening in the future. Hopefully there will be further investigation into this to make sure that lessons are learnt and changes are made to ensure better patient safety moving forward.”


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