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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    In heels

    Hospital error kills patient

    A Seattle-area woman died early yesterday, two weeks after she was accidentally injected with a toxic cleansing solution during a medical procedure at Seattle's Virginia Mason Hospital.

    "We're just so sorry and so devastated this happened," Dr. Robert Caplan, the hospital's director of quality, said late last night. "It's a very unfortunate error that we all feel horrible about."

    About two weeks ago, the woman came to the hospital "for a sophisticated procedure" in the radiology department, Caplan said. A technician was to inject the woman with contrast dye to show how her therapy was progressing, but instead, the woman was injected with a toxic antiseptic, he said.

    Almost immediately, hospital staff realized something was wrong and activated the hospital's "patient safety alert system," Caplan said. Everyone involved in the case was immediately taken off duty.

    "The cleansing solution basically acted as a poison, which caused widespread damage to the organs of her body," Caplan said. The damage "couldn't be remedied or reversed, even through aggressive treatment," including amputation of one of the woman's legs, he said.

    He declined to discuss details last night because of federal laws protecting patient privacy.

    The woman died just after midnight, but as of last night, her name had not been released by the King County Medical Examiner's Office.

    In a statement posted on its Web site yesterday, hospital officials said, "Recently a preventable medical error occurred at Virginia Mason that we believe caused the death of one of our patients.

    "We have offered our heartfelt apologies to the family of the patient and are doing everything we can to help them in this time of grief. But perhaps the only way we can make our apology real is to do everything we can to prevent medical errors in our system," the statement says.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Cajun Country, Louisiana
    Hmm. Methinks the "heartfelt apology" may not go far enough. Want to bet this one ends up in a lawsuit too?

  3. #3
    poco's Avatar
    poco is offline A cat will blink when struck with a hammer.
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    I, personally, cannot see for the life of me how this could have happened. Contrast comes in a specific type bottle -

    So often times it happens that we live our life in chains, and we never even know we have the key. ...Eagles, "Already Gone"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Amongst the beautiful Washington Islands
    Their admission only means they couldn't figure out how to cover up this fiasco.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Denver CO
    Quote Originally Posted by Fran Bancroft
    Their admission only means they couldn't figure out how to cover up this fiasco.
    Although there may be some truth in this observation, its nice to see someone admit a wrong and apologize rather than clamming up and lawyering up.
    This is my opinion, and change is good.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    When my son had his tonsills out when he was 5, the cauterization machine caught on fire in his mouth and burned the inside of his mouth and around part of the outside of his lips. The first thing the doctor said to me was, "I'm so sorry, this was totally my fault, I should have tested the equipment before I put it in his mouth."

    Those words saved him a HUGE lawsuit. I admired him for taking responsiblity.

    My son still has a tiny scar on the side of his mouth.

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