Hunt for wrongly doped man
Graylands Hospital. Picture: Michael O'Brien/ The West Australian

Mental Health Minister Helen Morton did not know last night if her department was still in contact with a man wrongly held and given a dangerous antipsychotic drug.

She said she was concerned for the 27-year-old man’s well-being after he was given the strong drug Clozapine, which can have serious side effects.

It is understood authorities are trying to find the man to ensure he gets necessary treatment.

The man was admitted to Graylands Hospital after police mistook him for a missing involuntary patient. He was wrongly admitted to the hospital where staff administered the drug.

The mistake was realised only after the man had an adverse reaction and was put under intensive care at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.

He was discharged under police care the next day but Mrs Morton could not say whether the Health Department was still in contact with him.

She said she found out about the scandal only when The West Australian called about it on Christmas Eve.

She has demanded answers for an “appalling and huge mistake” and said she would put the issue of compensation to her Government.

“I have asked the police and hospital to follow up and ensure that there’re no ongoing consequences from the medication,” she said.

“I am absolutely appalled that in this day and age something like this could happen in WA.”

WA Police refused to answer further questions yesterday.

Council of Official Visitors chief Debora Colvin said it was vital that the victim was told of potential side effects from Clozapine, including seizures, cardiomyopathy and a low white blood cell count.

She said patients on Clozapine required regular blood tests

Mental health advocate Bill Cebula said the incident proved the power to apprehend mental health patients should be given to health professionals as well as police.

Margaret Doherty, from Mental Health Matters 2, said the fundamental question was how hospital staff did not see it was the wrong person.

The West Australian

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