14-month-old baby overdoses on cough syrup after Bedok clinic gives wrong prescription

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Berlinda Lum – the mother of a 14-month-old baby – has accused a Bedok clinic of giving her baby the wrong prescription for Fedac cough syrup after she took her child to the clinic last Wednesday, 22 Nov.

The clinic had prescribed that Lum feed her baby 10ml of the cough syrup which she did. When the child fell unconscious, Lum rushed her child to Gleneagles Hospital where doctors found that the child had overdosed on codeine – an opiate found in Fedac cough syrup.

Lum’s baby only regained consciousness a full day later.

When Lum called the Bedok clinic, she was allegedly asked “So what do you want us to do now?”

When she subsequently visited the clinic in person, she was apparently told by the doctor that the correct dosage for her child should have been 2.5ml, thrice a day – this is four time more than what was printed on the label of the cough syrup.

However, the Bedok clinic doctor’s new prescription also appears to be wrong – according to a Health Sciences Authority directive, Fedac is not to be prescribed to children below the age of two. It is to be prescribed with caution to children between the ages of 2-6.

According to an Australian medical drug directory, only 1.5ml of Fedac is supposed to be prescribed to children between the ages of 2-5, if it is prescribed at all.

Lum has since reported the case to the Singapore Medical Council (SMC). The investigation is expected to take at least 9 months.

Read Lum’s story in her own words here:

On 22nd evening, my son went to a clinic in Bedok (clinic name withheld), and consulted the doctor, Dr. (name withheld), and he prescribed Fedac for my son, who is suffering from cough.

However, this is the start of my nightmare, as after we went home, and feeding him with the medicine, he was completely knock out, which I thought was normal. Upon closer inspection, his prescription was supposed to be 2.5ml 3 times a day, but the label written was 10ml 3 times a day, which I had fed him with!

In another words, he was fed 4 times of his dosage and immediately, I took him to Gleneagle Hospital A&E to seek antidote for him!

The doctor at Gleneagle told me that if I had given the complete doesage as per prescribed for 3 times a day @ 10ml each time, my son will die!

The next day, I called the clinic and told them what happen, and guess what, they arrogantly told me that: ‘So what you want us to do now’? Instead of apologizing, their attitude are beyond words can describe.

Immediately, I went down to the clinic and request to speak to the doctor, and understand from the doctor that this is not the first time they had negligence on their case: first time was wrongly prescribe ear drop as eye drop, and second was a patient at 106 years old with high blood wrongly prescribed with diabetic medication, which nearly kills the patient.

My son only woke up yesterday evening, 23rd November, and still a little bit drowsy. I really hope there’s no side effect on his future growth!

I’ve also taken the liberty to speak to the Singapore Medical Council of reporting them, and all they ever reply is that they will take 9 months to investigate the case! I’m not sure how much damage they will have done in the 9 months if they are still operating.

Those who knows me also knows that I’m the founder of Ian Milk Blessing,  To date, I’ve been very active in providing free milk powder to the less fortunate, and had blessed others close to 8000 tins of milk, and spending my time going around Singapore to help others till 2.00 to 3.00am in the morning.

All I’m asking, is to let the general public knows about the negligence practice of this clinic, and please avoid at all cost!

 

The label of the Fedac cough syrup bottle prescribed to Lum’s baby
Letter from Gleneagles Hospital
Second opinion from Mount Elizabeth Hospital

UPDATE: Qualitas Medical group, the group managing YSL Bedok Clinic & Surgery, which is the clinic accused of prescribing an overdose of cough syrup to the baby, has apologised over the matter and has offered to cover the medical costs of the child:

Clinic’s management offers to reimburse medical costs of toddler prescribed overdose of cough syrup

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50 COMMENTS

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    Always verbally ask the doctor the dosage before stepping out. Even if the doctor brushed u off with the nurse will let u know, just insist on asking him to tell u just in case the nurses got it wrong. In the course of 2 years taking my boy, I have experienced 3-4 times where the prescription instructions varies from what the doctor told me. I would then repeat wat the dr told me to the nurses n get them to verify again. This includes Hospital A&Ewhere the ibufen n Panadol dose interval differs from the dr. Naturally I followed the one which was written down by the dr in the consultation room. Thumb of rule, never trust blindly, never take chances. When trying a new drug, always read the given leaflets for side effects n dosage again before feeding child.

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      At the hospital, when you collect the meds, the pharmacist at the dispensary would check the meds and dosage against what the doctor prescribed. In cases where they disagree, who can I trust – doctor or pharmacist? Any opinion?

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      Laura Kuan Having had past experiences being given differing instructions, hence I would always write down the dr’s instructions. In my case, I showed the pharmacist wat the dr had written for me or said to me and asked her to verify. When they see “written” dosage advices from dr, the pharmacist will always tell u to wait while they check with the dr. So far, I never had anyone telling me the dr is wrong. In all instances where I receive “conflicting” n corrected advices, I would take additional step to refer to the manufacturer’s guide n Google the net just to be sure. I figure what is extra 5mins vs possible life changing consequences.

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    OMG! That doctor should be suspended. The person who dispensed the medicine is also very careless !!! Should hv queried and re-confirm on the dosage with the doctor and not blindly giving out the medicine.

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    drs? now most of them are greedy and incompetent and give wrong diagnosis. yet they still charge consultation fee of $25 – $ 50, for just less than 10 minutes of checking.
    this is so expensive.
    the singapore medical council only interested in raising fees. ownself check ownself.
    and there are so many drs from who knows where. the white demons should be treated by them.

  4. 0

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    drs? now most of them are greedy and incompetent and give wrong diagnosis. yet they still charge consultation fee of $25 – $ 50, for just less than 10 minutes of checking.
    this is so expensive.
    the singapore medical council only interested in raising fees. ownself check ownself.
    and there are so many drs from who knows where. the white demons should be treated by them.

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    For me, i alway check the medication again on the internet, to get more info and also compare the info i got from the clinic. For TCM, i alway ask what are inside the liquid and powders before i leave the hall.

Comments are closed.