News Search

Not all heroes wear capes

SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. -- Attention to detail is a vital part of every Airman’s day-to-day work. However, one Airman recently went above and beyond, potentially saving the life of another Team Seymour member.
 

Senior Airman Bianca Mares, 4th Medical Support Squadron pharmacy technician, was working what she felt was going to be a normal work day.

“One of our regular patients came in with a typed prescription for insulin with a dosage of 230 units,” said Mares. “I looked up the patient’s past history and they never received a prescription that high,”

“The patients normal dosage of insulin is usually 20 units,” said Mares. “Because the increase in units was so dramatic, one use of the insulin could have possibly been a lethal dose.”

Mares said because the dosage was so high, it automatically triggered some red flags for her.

Tech. Sgt. Christina Lariccia, 4MDSS pharmacy NCO-in-charge said there are certain steps to take in the case of a prescription error.

Normally when a prescription error is suspected, they talk to the pharmacist, said Lariccia. “If the pharmacist feels the prescription does not appear to be normal, we call the doctor and try to verify if it is the proper dosage.”

After attempts to contact the doctor who prescribed the medication, Mares talked to one of the nurses at the facility where the prescription was made, who verified the prescription on the computer.

“I still felt like the prescription was incorrect, so I consulted with the pharmacist,” said Mares. Eventually the doctor who prescribed the medication returned the call and said the dosage should be 20 units instead of 230, said Mares.

Due to Mares’ judgement and attention to detail, she was able to stop the refill of the prescription, and get the patient’s proper dose.

“Airman Mares definitely succeeded in my eyes,” said Lariccia. “Here at the pharmacy we have a three-check system to try and catch mistakes. When a prescription is turned in it will be scanned into our computer systems. It will then be checked by the front counter personnel, the prescription fillers and finally the pharmacist.”

Lariccia said at the end of day it is up to the pharmacy team to determine if the prescription should be filled or not, and Mares used great judgment.

“I am extremely proud of myself for being so attentive, but at the end of the day this is my job,” said Mares. “We fill prescriptions on a daily basis. I am just grateful that I have great supervisors above me to guide me in the right direction.”