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An elderly lady underwent an elective procedure for a brain aneurysm to have the defective blood vessel embolized and a platinum coil to be inserted, effectively blocking it off from the vascular system. Unfortunately, during the operation a medication mistake caused her to die a languishing death after she was injected with chlorhexidine, a topical antiseptic which is toxic to the body. The clear skin cleanser was in an unmarked container next to the clear dye (also in an unmarked container) that was intended to be injected. She developed extreme leg pain and swelling that went on to cause tissue death and organ dysfunction. She suffered a stroke, kidney failure, limb necrosis requiring amputation and heart attacks in the 19 days before her death. Medication errors reportedly cause an average 7,000 deaths each year in America. The hospital involved has issued a public apology to the victim and family, and has adopted safer work practices.
Source: summary of medical news story as reported by The Signal.com
About: Medical error in surgery causes debilitating death
Date: 1 July 2005
Source: The Signal.com
Author: Diana Sevanian
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