Woman Dies from Alleged Dispensing Error

Meghan Ross, Senior Associate Editor

A pharmacy error turned fatal after a staff member allegedly dispensed Florence Frost's medication to an 86-year-old patient named Margaret Forrest.

A pharmacy error turned fatal after a staff member allegedly dispensed Florence Frost’s medication to an 86-year-old patient named Margaret Forrest.

A fatal accident inquiry is now hearing details from the 2013 case, which took place at a Boots pharmacy in Scotland. The inquiry heard that the pharmacy allegedly gave Forrest gliclazide, which led to hypoglycemic brain injury and other complications, the BBC reported.

Forrest was found unconscious in her apartment by her son, Billy, on November 12, 2013. When Forrest was brought to Raigmore Hospital, the staff thought she was Frost because a paramedic had grabbed a box of medication from the apartment that had Frost’s name on it.

Coincidentally, Billy’s partner, a mental health nurse named Ellie, worked at the hospital and asked how Forrest was doing. This led the staff to realize that they had misidentified Forrest as Frost, the BBC reported.

After spending 2 days in a coma at the hospital, Forrest died. Her family does not wish to prosecute the Boots pharmacy manager Nicola Ferguson or any other staff members.

Ferguson did not wish to participate in the inquiry, but her police statement was heard by the court, the BBC reported. In this statement, she told Detective Sergeant Alan Ross that she was told that Forrest possessed Frost’s medication, but she did not know how it happened.

“I can confirm that Mrs. Forrest’s medication was kept next to Mrs. Frost’s,” Ferguson said, according to the BBC. “We keep it on shelves in alphabetical order.”

However, the court was shown photographs taken by police and depicting that not all of the medications on the shelf in question were in alphabetical order. The inquiry will continue.

Forrest’s son described his mother as “still sharp” and active. She had backpacked to the Afghanistan border and in Australia for 3 months a few years before she died, the BBC reported.