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How Did School Staffers Get Insulin Instead of Flu Vaccine?

Posted By aaron On January 21, 2010 @ 9:28 pm In Flu Pandemic | Comments Disabled

JOSEPH BROWNSTEIN
ABC News
Jan. 21, 2010

When staff members at a Wellesley, Mass., school went to the nurse last Friday, they expected to be injected with a vaccine for theH1N1 flu. What they received instead was a shot of insulin resulting in a bout with low blood sugar.

[efoods]While the staffers seem to be suffering no long-term damage from mistakenly receiving the insulin injections, investigations are ongoing to determine what caused the medical error. Indications thus far have been that a school nurse was responsible. The nurse has been temporarily relieved of duty.

While ABC News contacted people at the departments of health for the town of Wellesley and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, as well as the Wellesley School District, it remains unclear how the flu vaccine, which can be distributed in pre-filled syringes or vials, was mistaken for insulin, which is drawn from a vial because each dose needs to be calibrated when it is given.

Such errors have happened before. This past fall, a number of people in the neighboring town of Needham received a seasonal flu vaccine in place of the H1N1 vaccines they were supposed to receive. And in 2007, a teacher in the nearby town of Attleboro also received an injection of insulin instead of the intended flu shot.

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