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Medical Error Kills 21 Polo Horses

Posted on April 20, 2009

The University Of Florida School Of Veterinary Medicine says it’s likely that too much selenium in a compound given to 21 polo horses is what killed them. The 21 polo horses were getting ready to compete in a Florida match on April 19, according to an article.

They all had received an injection only described as a compound consisting of vitamin B12, along with a form of selenium and vitamins and minerals. A similar drug is Biodyl, a French-made compound not approved in the U.S. The horses not injected did not die.

The 21 horses were preparing for a championship match and were flown in from Venezuela. Shortly after being given the unnamed drug, they began crumpling to the ground to the shock of the well-heeled crowd at the International Polo Club Palm Beach in Wellington.

We now know that Franck’s Pharmacy in Ocala prepared the compound. It is a retail compounding pharmacy used by veterinarians and physicians considered one of the biggest and best in the country to create customized formulas.

Franck’s admitted it made an error in the mixture.

Every year in the U.S. there are about 30 million dispensing errors out of three billion prescriptions, according to the National Patient Safety Foundation. Some errors are minor, but others can be serious.
A 2006 Institute of Medicine report called, “Prevention Medication Errors,” points out that these sorts of human errors in medical settings harm at least 1.5 million every year, while more than half of medication errors result in “adverse outcomes” such as death or serious illness.

Prescription errors can be considered negligence or medical malpractice in Florida. Whether dispensing the wrong medication or in the wrong dosage, highly paid professionals should be expected to meet professional standards and show a level of caring.

If you or a loved one has suffered as the result of a prescription error, you may have a claim for medical negligence against the pharmacist, pharmacy, or drug maker. Our skilled Jacksonville pharmaceutical litigation lawyers at Farah & Farah are experienced in investigating claims of medication mistakes resulting in serious injury and wrongful death. Call us today for a case evaluation.