Vitamin D prescription errors that killed a gran

A care home resident died after being given a massive overdose of vitamin D in a prescription blunder.

Great-grandmother Eileen Cowles, 86, was given two capsules a day instead of two a month. The mistake was made by GPs in repeat prescriptions, despite queries from care home staff and pharmacists.

Her family discovered the mistake after finding papers while clearing out her room at Primrose Court care home in Guiseley, West Yorkshire, following her death in April 2015.

A post-mortem examination revealed she died from intestinal bleeding caused by high levels of calcium in her blood due to the excess vitamin D.

Cowles began taking the vitamin D supplement colecalciferol to strengthen her bones after she fractured a hip in a fall at home. She was initially told to take two tablets a month, the correct dose, the hearing at Wakefield was told.

After she moved into the care home. she switched GPs. A prescription from GP Claire Wiles said to ‘take two’ capsules. When asked whether this was daily, weekly or monthly, Dr Wiles said daily, the inquest heard.

She went on maternity leave and GP Ibrahim Syed signed four further prescriptions for two tablets daily. He blamed overwork for his ‘mistake’.

The inquest continues.

© Daily Mail

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