KKH apologises for dispensing expired nose drops to baby, engages independent review panel

Ms Judy Teo said that despite using the nose drops for a month, her daughter still had a blocked nose and had trouble breathing properly. Upon checking, it was found that the medication dispensed had expired in April. PHOTO: FACEBOOK/JUDY TEO

SINGAPORE - The KK Women's and Children's Hospital (KKH) apologised on Wednesday (Oct 10) for dispensing expired nose drops for a baby suffering from fever and flu.

KKH said that it has also taken various actions to follow up on the case, which includes engaging an independent review panel.

Last Monday, netizen Judy Teo, 32, said in a Facebook post that her daughter, who is about two months old now, was issued with nose drops which expired earlier in April. The next day, the hospital said it was investigating Ms Teo's allegations.

Mr Alson Goh, chief operating officer at KKH, told The Straits Times on Wednesday that the hospital acknowledged that the nose drops given to the baby were past their stated expiry date.

He said that this may have resulted in a "loss of effectiveness" of the drops, and that appropriate measures had been reinforced.

"We sincerely apologise for this. We are currently engaging with the staff involved," said Mr Goh.

He added that KKH has since done a thorough check on all in-stock medications and reminded its staff to check expiry dates before issuing medications.

Mr Goh said that an independent review panel is being engaged to "identify opportunities for further strengthening and improvement of our system in this regard".

"We have also clinically followed up with the patient. We remain in close contact with and are rendering the necessary support to the family," he added.

Ms Teo, a customer service officer, earlier said that she took her daughter to KKH on Aug 25 after the child came down with fever and flu.

The hospital then gave the nose drops to her daughter.

Ms Teo said that despite using the nose drops for a month, however, her daughter still had a blocked nose and had trouble breathing properly.

This prompted her husband to check the nose drops on Oct 1, which was when the couple realised that the medication had expired in April.

Earlier in May, KKH apologised after it dispensed the wrong medication to a young girl by mistake.

The hospital had given a nasal spray and a bottle of nose drops to the parents of the girl, and only realised later that the medicine had been opened and used before.

KKH said then that it was conducting investigations and reviewing internal processes in the light of the incident.

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