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10 received insulin instead of flu shots in hospitals




Ten people at a Oklahoma care facility were hospitalized after being injected with insulin instead of a flu shot, police say.

Eight of the patients were residents of Jacquelyn House and two were employees, Sgt. Jim Warring, with the Bartlesville Police Department, told CNN. The facility serves intellectual and developmentally disabled people, according to the AbilityWorks website, the company that owns the site with eight residents.

EMS and fire crews who responded on Wednesday afternoon "found … several responders," said Police Chief Tracy Roles during a news conference covered by CNN affiliated KTUL.

Most patients' suffering symptoms after administering the medication "could not explain the problems," Warring says. "Many of them are not suicidal and cannot go."

"All these people are symptomatic, lying on the ground, needing help, but unable to communicate what they need," said the roles. "That is why I give a lot of praise to the fire and EMS staff for doing an outstanding job of identifying the problem."

The pharmacist who injected the insulin was a contractor and went to the facility on Wednesday to administer the flu shot to residents and employees, Rebecca Ingram, CEO of AbilityWorks in Oklahoma, said in a statement.

Ingram said that all people who received the injection had reactions and were taken to Jane Phillips Hospital in Bartlesville.

Several remained in hospitals on Thursday because of the long-acting insulin administered, police say.

Ingram did not discuss whether residents and employees were injected with insulin, but said authorities were investigating "the cause of the reactions to the injections."

"I've never seen where there has been any kind of medical misunderstanding in this size," Roles said. "But again, it could have been much worse. Not to trivialize where we are, but thinking about where we could be, it really could have been very, very tragic."

Tony D. Sellars, communications director for the Oklahoma State Department of Health, said his agency will review the facility's report on the incident "to determine whether we need to follow up or whether their actions were adequate."

"There is no reason to suggest at this time that the facility should have had a reasonable suspicion that this type of failure would occur or be preventive on their part," Sellars said.

An investigation is still ongoing on Thursday.

CNN's Nicole Chavez contributed to this report.

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