Ten people in a care facility in Oklahoma were hospitalized after being injected with insulin instead of a flu shot, the police said.
Eight of the patients were residents of Jacquelyn House and two were employees, Sgt. Jim Warring, with Bartlesville Police Department opposite CNN. According to the website of AbilityWorks, the company that owns the eight-inhabitant site, the facility serves the mentally and developmentally disabled.
EMS and fire brigade teams found "several unresponsive people on Wednesday afternoon," police chief Tracy Roles said during a press conference reported by CNN subsidiary KTUL.
Most patients suffered from symptoms after the drug had been administered "were unable to explain the problems," Warring said. "Many of them are not vocal and can not walk."
"All of these people are symptomatic, lying on the ground and need help, but they can not communicate what they need," said Roles. "That's why I commend the Fire and Rescue staff who have done a great job identifying the problem."
The pharmacist who injected the insulin was a contractor and went to the facility on Wednesday to administer influenza vaccine to residents and staff, Rebecca Ingram, CEO of AbilityWorks, Oklahoma, said in a statement.
Ingram said that all persons who received the injection had reactions and were taken to the Jane Phillips Hospital in Bartlesville.
Some of them stayed at the hospital on Thursday for administering long-acting insulin, police said.
Ingram did not discuss whether insulin was injected into the residents and employees, but the authorities investigated the "cause of the reactions to the injections."
"I have never seen where there was any kind of medical mishap on this scale," said Roles. "But it could have been a lot worse, not playing down where we are but thinking about where we could be could have been very, very tragic."
Oklahoma Department of Communications communications director Tony D. Sellars said his agency will review the institution's report on the incident "to see whether we need to keep track of it or whether its action is sufficient."
"There is no reason to assume at this time that the facility had a reasonable suspicion that such an error would occur or be avoidable on its part," Sellars said.
On Thursday, another investigation was under way.
Nicole Chavez of CNN contributed to this report.
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