Archives for September 27, 2004

NHS critic killed by medical error

So, irony isn’t just for stateside medicine:

Telegraph | News | Patient’s liver ‘saturated’ with iron after hospital confusion over dosage

Patient’s liver ‘saturated’ with iron after hospital confusion over dosage
By Daniel Foggo

A critic of declining standards in the National Health Service died after being given a large overdose of iron by a hospital doctor who did not read the instructions on the drug’s label properly.

Carys Pugh, 63, a former president of a patients’ association in Wales, was taken to casualty at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital after the blunder turned her skin brown and “saturated” her liver with iron.

While she fought for survival in hospital for seven weeks, Mrs Pugh suffered a heart attack and contracted deep vein thrombosis in both legs, a chest infection and then E.coli. Finally, she suffered a second heart attack that killed her.

When her daughter, Hawys Pugh, complained to the hospital authorities about what had gone wrong she was told that the doctor who had carried out the routine infusion for suspected anaemia had found the instructions difficult to decipher and that he had only read half of them.

“They told me that because the text was in two columns instead of one, the doctor just read the section on how much to give, but didn’t bother reading the rest which said over what duration it should be given,” Miss Pugh said.

“Instead, he just put the entire dose into her system in one go. They suggested it was the manufacturer’s fault and said they would be contacting them.

(emphasis added).
Medication errors happen everywhere, it’s human nature. It’s human, but probably not terribly professional, to blame a manufacturer for having not bothered to read the instructions.

cross posted on TheLingualNerve
thanks to reader Jim for the steer


Update: Fake! The original photo is here, along with a discussion of most of the same concerns about fakery. Again, reader Jim is the source (Jim needs a blog). Thanks, Jim!

This necessitated a new engine, and new underwear for the passengers
on the left side of the plane.....

This has been floating around the internet for a bit, and I finally got a copy forwarded to me. I think it’s a full-on engine fire, but it could be a compressor stall. Either way, what a picture!

Charitable Servitude

Medpundit on the experience of being expected, nee, required, to care for patients for free:

The most frustrating aspect of it all is that I have no choice. I have to give and give again, even if the giving exceeds my capacity. Charity given freely is at least attended by some warm and fuzzy feelings. But forced charity feels more like being robbed.

Welcome to the ED.