36 weeks pregnant, Winnipeg woman given medication to induce labour by mistake

A Winnipeg mother-to-be said she's scared and wants her complaints heard after she went for an ordinary appointment with her gynecologist and was given medication to induce labour by mistake.

Mother-to-be has filed complaints with Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, College of Physicians and Surgeons

When she was 36 weeks pregnant, Serissa McKay was given medication intended for a patient who had recently miscarried by mistake. (Cliff Simpson/CBC)

A Winnipeg mother-to-be says she's scared and wants her complaints heard after she was mistakenly given medication to induce labour when she went for a routine appointment with her gynecologist.

Serissa McKay went in for her regular weekly appointment on June 21. She's due to give birth to her first child on July 18.

When a receptionist handed her four tablets and told her to head to the restroom and insert them into her vagina, McKay assumed it was part of her scheduled test for group B streptococcus, a bacterial infection found in pregnant women's vaginas or rectums.

McKay followed the instructions but a few moments later, she got a call on her cellphone from the front desk of the clinic, which she said she thought was strange.

"I answered the phone, she said, 'Are you Serissa?' I said yes. She said, 'Were you just here?' And I said, 'Yes, I was just in the waiting room, I'm just in the restroom right now.'

"She said, 'Did you take the medication yet?' I said yes, I did. She said 'OK, I'm going to need you to come back immediately.'"

The receptionist brought McKay into an examination room, explaining to her she'd been given the wrong medication by mistake. The tablets she'd been handed were intended for another patient who had recently miscarried.

"The receptionist, she said, 'I thought you would know that these weren't yours,'" McKay said. "I'm like, 'How am I supposed to know if you didn't know?'

"It's my first time going through this, so I expect that they would know what they were doing."

When McKay's doctor came in a few minutes later, she said the tablets would induce labour if they weren't removed.

'I'm scared'

After the painful process of removing the tablets, McKay said her doctor told her they hadn't been absorbed much, so she didn't have much to worry about. Then her doctor performed her regular checks on McKay.

McKay said it was only after she asked about what would happen next that the doctor told her to keep an eye out for labour symptoms and to come back if they started.

36 weeks pregnant, Winnipeg woman given medication to induce labour by mistake

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"She sat back at her desk, typed away a little bit and asked me, 'You're Brenda, right?'" Mckay said. "I said, 'No, I'm not Brenda, I'm Serissa.' And she said, 'Oh, that was my next guess.'"

McKay left the office in shock.

"The shock didn't wear off until I went home and actually contacted my mom and explained what happened, and my mom freaked out, which made me freak out," McKay said.

In the week since the appointment, McKay said things have seemed normal but she, her boyfriend and her family can't shake their concerns.

"I'm scared," she said.

McKay requested another doctor from the clinic, but she doesn't want to switch to another hospital.

"I got a phone call back from my doctor … and she just said, 'You didn't seem too upset when you left my office. I didn't think anything about it,'" McKay said.

Complaints filed

McKay said she's filed complaints with the clinic, the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba.

"I think for me, it's more [about] her knowing the mistake she made. On the phone she didn't really seem apologetic or caring at all of what happened, and that kind of is what really hurt, you know?" McKay said.

"This my child, it's my first one. And for someone to be so indifferent of the mistake they made …"

CBC News has reached out to the clinic, the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority and the College of Physicians and Surgeons for comment.

CBC News is not naming the clinic or doctor involved because they couldn't be reached for comment Wednesday.

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