Medication Mix-up at Local Pharmacy Sends a Cautionary Message to Snoqualmie Valley Families

A routine Thursday night for local realtors and Snoqualmie residents Wally and Erica Cruz took an unsettling turn when a pharmacy mix-up jeopardized the safety of their children. The incident is a cautionary tale about the importance of double-checking prescription medications.

The Frightening Incident

“Part of our nightly routine for our kids is to help them floss their teeth, put out their different fluoride and help our younger one brush his teeth while our older one handles her own teeth,” said Wally Cruz. However, that night was different.

“She proceeded to chew her pill per our nightly routine and thought the pill tasted horrible,” Cruz continued. “She spit most of it out, got very upset because of the taste, and knew something wasn’t quite right.”

Erica Cruz then inspected the pills and found TV 307 stamped on them. “She reached out to my father-in-law,” a doctor with 40+ years’ experience, and they identified the medication as Hydroxyzine Hydrochloride.

“With his guidance, we eventually were able to take the proper steps in calming both of our children down,” Cruz said, highlighting the emotional toll the incident took on the family. “We preach to our kids to never take anything that is not for them, so my eldest was scared she took medicine that wasn’t for her, and her brother was scared his sister was going to get sick and go to heaven.”

The Strain on Healthcare Workers

A local healthcare worker shed light on the broader issue, saying, “Anybody that works in those professions has been working double duty since Covid. It was hard enough to cover double the number of patients when a coworker was out on vacation or sick. Since Covid, it’s a typical day. No extra pay or even ‘thank you.’ Every medication error a coworker makes has been during double duty or the daily rush/pressure to treat high patient numbers. It’s a conveyor belt of patients with no name now. For those of us that truly care about patients, it’s heartbreaking to see.”

Legal Steps and Community Alert

The Cruz family has filed a complaint with the Washington State Pharmacy Quality Assurance Commission and plans to meet with representatives for Bartells. “Per our consultation with an attorney, since our child is ‘fine,’ we do not have any additional recourse. We can seek to hold those accountable,” Cruz stated.

Cruz urged others to be vigilant, saying he implores them to double-check any medications and file a complaint if they have experienced such negligence before something tragic happens to someone.

For those wishing to file a complaint, the Washington State Pharmacy Quality Assurance Commission can be reached via email at or by phone at 360-236-2620.

Lingering Concerns

“What worries me are the people that wouldn’t know what to do,” Cruz added, pondering the risk to non-English-speaking families. “My son had a kid in his kindergarten last year who was learning English. His parents didn’t speak English, and what if it happened to him.”

The Cruz family hopes their experience serves as a stark reminder for everyone to be extra cautious. “We lucked out that she is okay,” said Cruz, stressing that the situation could have been much worse. “We had help and support from my father-in-law, and the outcome was not much worse.”

On Sunday, the Cruz family received a heartfelt letter from the pharmacy stating, in part, that “we are very troubled and concerned about what happened to your family, and we are concerned about all the members of this community going forward.” 

The pharmacist went on to say that they are taking this matter very seriously and will make sure this never happens again to any of their valued customers and patients. What happened to their daughter is something that should never happen to anyone, and they will look into this issue immediately. 

“We need to win back your trust, and that is what we are focused on going forward.”  

Additional Resources

Pill Identifier: Quickly Find and ID your Drugs (with pictures)

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