Criminal Charges Pressed Against a Healthcare Provider. A First.

This case has really bothered me.  For the first time that I can find, a pharmacist has been criminally charged in the death of a child in Ohio.  Eric Cropp, a pharmacist, made a fatal error when checking a chemotherapy solution for Emily Jerry.  CLEVELAND — Former pharmacist Eric Cropp was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter Wednesday in the death of a 2-year-old girl killed by a lethal injection of a salt solution during a cancer treatment.

Cropp, 40, of Bay Village, pleaded no contest to the charge at a hearing in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court. Judge Brian Corrigan will sentence Cropp on July 17. The maximum sentence is five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Prosecutors dropped a reckless homicide charge as part of a plea deal.

Cropp was the supervising pharmacist at Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital on Feb. 26, 2006, when pharmacy technician Katie Dudash prepared a chemotherapy solution for Emily Jerry that was 23 percent salt. The formula called for a saline base of less than 1 percent.

The child died on March 1 after slipping into a coma.

As the supervising pharmacist, Cropp's duty was to inspect and approve all work prepared by the technicians before it was given to patients. Dudash agreed to testify against Cropp and was never charged.

The Ohio Board of Pharmacy stripped Cropp of his license in 2007. Since then, he has been unable to find steady employment, his attorney Richard Lillie said recently. Cropp has worked odd jobs, cleaning boats and walking dogs.

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Cropp served 6 months in jail, paid fines, has tons of community service hours, lost his license for life, etc...

I realize that this case is very sad in that a little girl has died.  But I have read this case inside and out and it's fairly certain that the hospital hung Cropp out to dry.  The hospital settled for millions with the family.  The mother was on a witch hunt for the pharmacist to pay.  The tech faced NO CHARGES AT ALL.  This is unreal!!  First of all, we are humans.  Humans make mistakes.  I get nervous thinking about cases and situations like this and I look at what happened and wonder "Could this happen to me as a pharmacist?"

Eric's mistakes were that he didn't take a break that day.  He had a friend bring him lunch.  He was way behind because of a printer problem.  The hospital IV setup was not condusive to safety.  There was a bag of NS laying near  where the compound was finished.  WHO in the world makes NS from hypertonic?????  The tech was planning her wedding.  She gets to resume her life with no issues at all.

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