Caroline Steinbrecher of Colorado is still trying to pick up the pieces after her 8-year-old son Jake died from what she called a pharmacy “Sentinel error,” overdosing her son on medication called Clonidine used to treat sensory processing disorder.
Speaking to the New York Daily News, Steinbrecher said that while “Drugging our child definitely wasn’t something we wanted to do,” she considered Clonidine “a compromise [she] could live with, because it was a non-addictive.”
That all changed last Halloween when in the course of administering what was thought to be Jake’s normal dosage of Clonidine.
“He immediately started having reactions to it,” she said, according to the Denver Channel. Jake was taken to the hospital, and doctors soon discovered he had brain swelling.
The boy was released from the hospital and his condition had improved until early June. He died on June 8.
A lab test of the medication showed that instead of the usual .03 mg per 2 milliliters of dosage Jake had consumed 30 mg per milliliters — 1000 times as much.
Ahead of the release of her son’s autopsy, Steinbrecher said that it was Good Day Pharmacy’s fault.
“It wasn’t a mistake. It was a sentinel error,” she said. “We’ve lost our purpose.”
“How could somebody do that? How there was no other way to make sure the medicine was mixed correctly before it was out the door other than the say-so of the pharmacist who made it?” she asked.
The Denver Channel reported that the pharmacist Steinbrecher accused of making a fatal error still has a license to practice. The grieving mother also said the woman still works at the pharmacy.
“She’s continued to work on at the pharmacy every day. Still has her license still is allowed to make other prescriptions for other children,” she said.
Steinbrecher says she’s speaking out to make other parents aware, so that nothing like this happens again.
“People need to be aware of what is being given to their children,” she said. “They trust doctors and they trust pharmacists to do the right thing for them and to keep their children safe, but these are all just people and people make mistakes and errors and that’s where more protection needs to be in place.”
Sadly, Jake died before his much anticipated dance recital.
“I lost my little boy so I’m more than willing to make sure other little kids could get the chance to dance if they want to,” she told the Daily News. “I think if I had to ask my son that’s he would want.”
The mother started the “Jake Steinbrecher Dance Fund” in her son’s honor to help other kids interested in dance get the lessons they need.