Mom warns parents after medication mix-up at Henrico school

Posted at 10:30 PM, Apr 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-26 07:11:17-04

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- Laura Lancaster is trying to wrap her mind around a mix-up at her son’s Henrico school. It was something she said could have led to serious consequences.

“He said ‘mom, the medicine you brought me to school today gave me a headache.’ I said what medicine? I didn't bring you medicine to school today,” Lancaster explained.

Caleb, an 8th grader at Wilder Middle School, said when his mom gave that reply, he was confused.

That’s because the night before, his mom told him she would pick up some medicine at the pharmacy. Caleb said she never indicated that she would bring it to his school.

The next day, when he was called from his classroom into the nurse’s office and given medication, he just believed the nurse when she told him the medicine was from mom.

Laura Lancaster and Caleb

“That’s why I took it without asking any extra questions,” said Caleb. “She just poured the pill into my hand and I went and got some water and I took the pill."

He said the nurse never showed him the prescription bottle. He said he felt the effects soon after.

“I went back to class and sat there for a little bit and then my head started hurting. I started feeling lightheaded and put my head down,” Caleb said. “The teacher asked me, ‘Caleb are you OK?’ She was like do you want to go back to the nurse? I said no because I didn’t feel like I was able to get up.”

When Caleb later told his mom what happened, she said she notified the school principal about the nurse’s mistake.

Her major concern was the fact that her son had already taken three other medications that same day.

“He tried to explain the nurse’s part. First, we heard three different versions of what happened and that’s the part that’s disappointing to me,” said Lancaster. “When the principal tried to explain the story the second time, he said the roster with the kids' names on it, Caleb’s name and the other child’s name and date of birth were so similar that’s how she made the mistake. He said she admitted to her mistake and she is devastated and she's in tears.”

The mom also said she was told the nurse would receive more training.

Lancaster contacted the CBS 6 Problem Solvers after learning from the county’s Supervisor for School Health Services that there was no written policy regarding giving student’s medication. They follow standards of care for the nursing profession, but Lancaster believes more regulations are needed.

When CBS 6 reached out to Henrico County Public Schools, a spokesperson said that while they could not talk specifics about the case due to student privacy laws, they had been working closely with the family to address concerns. Standards of care have also been reviewed with the appropriate school personnel.

Fortunately Caleb quickly recovered. His mother wanted other parents to be aware of what happened and encouraged them to have a talk with their children who take medicine at school.

“That's why I want to let the parents know you have to be careful with your kids taking medicine at school. Make sure they look at the name, because she did not let him see the medicine,” Lancaster added.

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