FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2017

Baby given overdose of TB vaccine

LONDON — An investigation is under way after a newborn baby was given 10 times the normal dose of a tuberculosis vaccine at a hospital in North Lincolnshire, England.


The boy was injected with 0.5mg of the vaccine instead of the usual 0.05mg dose, lawyers for his family said.


The boy, who was born Feb. 5 at Scunthorpe General Hospital, is being treated for tuberculosis by immunology specialists at Sheffield Children's Hospital.


He was in a stable condition March 8.


"We launched a full investigation as soon as we found out about the incident,” said Simon Rigg, a spokesman for Scunthorpe General Hospital.


"That investigation is ongoing and we will continue to keep the parents informed as to the progress of that investigation," Rigg said.


A law firm has been instructed to act on behalf of the baby's parents, said the vaccine was prescribed and administered by a junior doctor.


David Body, a medical law specialist, said, "Their baby is receiving treatment for TB, which has its own side-effects, but they are hopeful that the treatment will be successful with no long-term damage to their baby's health.


"It is important that we get answers about how and why this has happened."


The firm’s lawyers also said they are investigating reports that other children had been given vaccine overdoses.


"It is unclear how many people have been affected but we have received reports that others may also have been given the same overdose,” Body said. "This case raises important questions about basic systems in hospitals to ensure the safe administration of drugs, including vaccines."


A spokesman for the Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals National Health Service Foundation Trust said no further details would be released because of patient confidentiality.


"This is a difficult time for the baby's family,” Body said.


"Their baby is receiving treatment for TB, which has its own side effects, but they are hopeful that the treatment will be successful with no long term damage to their baby's health."