Pregnant Woman Mistakenly Given Drug That Could Cause Miscarriage
February 9, 2011
by Kate Goodin
© Photo Courtesy of ABC News
A six-weeks pregnant woman in Colorado was mistakenly given a powerful drug that could cause miscarriage instead of the antibiotic she was prescribed, the AP reports.
Mareena Silva, 19, filled her prescription at her local Safeway pharmacy but went to the hospital after she took a pill, felt sick and checked the bottle. Doctors say Silva could have a miscarriage or a baby born with birth defects—but there is also a chance she’ll have a healthy baby, too.
The drug Silva took was intended for another woman and is used in chemotherapy treatments and to terminate early pregnancies. ABC News reported that the drug was methotrexate, and that Silva, in an interview, said the pharmacist knew she was pregnant. "He helped my pick out my prenatal vitamins and even told me congratulations," she said. ABC also reported that the patient the methotrezate was meant for had the same last name and a similar first name to Silva’s.
Safeway has reportedly apologized to Silva and will cover any medical expenses incurred as a result of the error. “Sorry's not going to cut it,” Silva said to ABC. “I'm going to have to deal with this for a long time. My baby could have deformities. There's a lot that goes with it.”
Obviously this is an awful story, but the big question that remains is what constitutes justice for such an egregious mistake. Does this mean Safeway will cover any long-term medical care expenses for her child, if needed? What if the child is completely healthy and requires no care—should Silva still be compensated? And, in the worst case scenario, should charges be pressed if Silva miscarries?
Watch Silva's interview with ABC: