Reports: CA cancer patient wrongly got supplement

Posted Sept. 27, 2011, at 8:46 p.m.
Last modified Sept. 28, 2011, at 10:34 a.m.

OAKLAND, Calif. — A cancer patient who died at a California hospital during a nurses’ strike was given intravenously a nutritional supplement meant to be administered through a feeding tube, according to published reports.

A replacement nurse at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Oakland mistakenly hooked the nutrient solution up to an IV for 66-year-old Judith Ming, instead of to the tube leading to Ming’s stomach, the Oakland Tribune reported.

The newspaper quotes another nurse who was hired by an Alabama contractor to fill in while many of the hospital’s regular nurses were locked out by management following a one-day strike on Thursday. The lockout continued until Tuesday because the hospital had hired 500 replacement nurses for a five-day contract.

Hospital officials have acknowledged Ming, 66, died from a medical error but have not described what happened pending an investigation into Ming’s death. Police have said only that a replacement nurse gave her a non-prescribed dosage of a drug known to be lethal in the manner in which was administered.

The strike was over benefit cuts and other concession the nurses’ union says Sutter Health is demanding.

 

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