Have a Story to Tell? Had a medical error?

This blog is about patient safety, medical malpractice, staying healthy, and preventing future errors. Help & empower someone else, Teach a lesson, Bear witness, Build our community - Email us or call 781-444-5525.

Frustrated with a health problem?

Need an ally in your health crisis? Call 781-444-5525, or learn more.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Loving Intentions: A Medication Error

Saleem (not his real name) was a Syrian-born toddler, brought to the hospital with a viral infection, feverish, and bleeding from the nose on October 29. His mother, an X-ray technologist at the hospital, had given medicine to her two-year old son when he first became ill. Then, when Saleem started bleeding, she took him to the hospital.

The boy died soon afterward. Based on a liver biopsy, the physician in charge of the investigation into Saleem’s death found necrosis (tissue that had died from a lack of oxygen) and fatty tissue in his liver. He, the pathologist, and the government’s health department investigators are 98% sure the cause was a drug interaction or drug sensitivity.

Type of error:
This was a preventable adverse drug reaction, from the wrong drug, or perhaps from an overdose of the right drug.

Apparently, Saleem’s mother had inadvertently caused her son’s death by giving him the wrong medication or dosage.

Ways to prevent similar tragedies:
Parents and grandparents should avoid giving one child’s prescribed medication to another young child; an infant’s organs may not be able to metabolize (break down and use) the medicine.

Readers: Is it ever acceptable for a parent or grandparent to give one child’s prescribed medication to a different child? When? Do you know of similar errors?

Read more in Nina Muslim's article, “Toddler’s death due to adverse drug reaction” GulfNews.com, Nov. 6, 2006.

No comments: