16 students sent to hospital after getting insulin shot by mistake at Lawrence Township school

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LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, Ind.-- More than a dozen students were sent to area hospitals after being given the wrong shot at a Lawrence Township school Monday.

The school district said 16 students were undergoing a TB screening at McKenzie Center for Innovation and Technology when medical personnel from Community Health Network administered a small dosage of insulin instead.

The students were taken to area hospitals for observation, according to the school district, and were accompanied by McKenzie staff and school personnel. Parents have been notified.

Lucille Knowles says her daughter was one of the students who was mistakenly given the insulin dose. She says her daughter texted her several pictures of a red bump on her arm around 9:40 a.m. Her daughter said she was becoming cold and shaky.

“She’s scared, she really is,” Knowles said. “And I was too.”

Doctors say a non-diabetic person who is given a dose of insulin can become hypoglycemic, where the blood sugar drops abnormally.

“The worst case would be people can get shaky, sweaty, they can pass out, they can have seizures. And sometimes, if it got really low, it could be serious,” said President of Community Physician Network John Kunzer.

Kowles said her daughter was taken to Community East for five hours of blood sugar testing and observation.

“You have to know what you’re doing,” Knowles said. “You’ve got people’s lives in your hands. Because they could have died, my daughter could have died. So yes, I’m very angry.”

“Unfortunately, mistakes can happen in healthcare,” Kunzer said. “And this individual disclosed it and we took immediate action to ensure the safety of the children.”

“We are working closely with Community Health Network to determine the cause of the error; and to evaluate processes as needed,” the school said in a statement.

“The MSD of Lawrence Township has a long-standing and strong partnership with Community Health Network. We have full confidence that the events of today are isolated in nature and will be addressed swiftly by the Community Health Network.”

Part of a statement from Community Health Network said “Community Health Network is committed to patient safety. We value our relationships and partnerships and consider it a privilege to partner with schools including MSD of Lawrence Township.”

“We are working closely with MSD of Lawrence Township to determine the cause of the error and to evaluate processes,” the statement continued. “The safety of students in our care is a top priority.”

Kunzer said all the affected students were in very good condition by Monday afternoon. He said some had already been released to their parents and the rest should be able to go home by this evening.

“I just want to know how did this happen, why did you not pay attention,” Knowles said. “You did 16 kids, when you got to your 16th child, that’s when you realized it was a mistake.”

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