Story By: Kathryn Quinn, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News
Cops probing the death of the mum-to-be who died after apparently taking a diabetes test at a chemist believe pharmacists may have accidentally given her Lidocain hydrochloride – a common anaesthetic.
Police have now arrested two pharmacists from the outlet in connection with the probe.
According to local media, 28-year-old Annika S. from the city of Sollingen in the western German state of North Rhine-Westphalia went for a routine glucose tolerance test in the 25th week of her pregnancy. Glucose tests are routinely used to diagnose gestational diabetes during pregnancy.
The young woman reportedly collapsed after taking the glucose test in the Heilig-Geist-Apotheke pharmacy in the city of Cologne.
After collapsing in the pharmacy, the mum-to-be was taken to hospital where the doctors found heart irregularities, according to local media. She needed to be resuscitated, but died later that day.
According to reports, the mum-to-be died of organ failure and her unborn baby Linus died the day after an emergency caesarean was carried out to try to save the infant.
Now following an investigation prosecutors have confirmed that the glucose mixture was contaminated and they are investigating two of the workers from the pharmacy.
The contamination of the glucose mixture is believed to have been a mistake and not done by intent, according to Cologne Public Prosecutor Ulrich Bremer.
The two workers, not named due to local privacy laws, gave extensive statements about their work at the pharmacy and the procedures in place.
The poisonous substance Lidocain hydrochloride which is used in anaesthetics was according to the reports kept in very similar containers to the glucose mixture which is used in the tests.
Police believe the packaging may have been mixed up.
Police and the city of Cologne have warned the public of the danger of the glucose solutions issued by the pharmacy, which is closed while the investigations are carried out.
Meanwhile, local media said that another pregnant woman suffered similar symptoms during the glucose test, but managed to stop before it was finished.
A gynaecologist at the hospital reported the case to police as both women did the test at the same pharmacy.
According to reports, investigators found a toxic substance in one of the glucose containers.
Karl-Josef Laumann, health minister for the state of North Rhine Westphalia, confirmed that three branches of the pharmacy have been closed pending further investigations.
The probe continues.
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