Prescription drug sends seven girls to hospital

  • Katherine Schiffner<br>For the Enterprise
  • Monday, March 3, 2008 9:56am

LYNNWOOD – Seven girls at Meadowdale Middle School were hospitalized March 11 after taking prescription blood-pressure medicine.

The girls, seventh- and-eighth graders, apparently took the medication in the morning while in a school bathroom, Edmonds School District spokesman John Boerger said.

“The students were taken to the hospital for precautionary reasons,” he said.

The medication was apparently prescribed to one of the student’s parents, Boerger said.

The students reported taking up to five pills, said Greg Macke, Lynnwood Fire Department’s assistant chief of support services. The medication drops blood pressure and slows heart rates, he said.

“This drug had high risk, and we’re very fortunate the children did not take more than they did,” he said. “We’ve had experience in the past where people have overdosed on those drugs and we haven’t been able to resuscitate them. We’re fortunate that didn’t happen today.”

One of the girls had a higher blood pressure and heart rate Friday morning, he said, but aid crews did not know if that was due to the medication.

School officials overheard students talking in the hall about taking the medicine and questioned the girls, Boerger said.

One of the girls is also suspected of giving doses of her prescription antidepressant to two others at the school Thursday, he said.

Both incidents violated district policy, Boerger said. The school is investigating, and the students will face discipline, he said.

The Lynnwood Police Department is also investigating.

The school sent a letter home to parents asking them to talk to students about the danger of abusing medication.

Firefighters are worried that students aren’t aware of the risks, Macke said.

“We’ve run into this problem before. We believe there’s this trend now that kids are not educated to the risk of medications that are not prescribed to them,” he said.

In December, several students at Lynnwood High School went to the hospital after taking doses of cold and cough medicine, Boerger said.

Katherine Schiffner is a writer with The Herald in Everett.

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