Fatal Chemo Overdose

The Alberta Cancer Board has launched an investigation into what it admits was a “most unfortunate incident” that led to the fatal overdose of an Edmonton cancer clinic patient.

The patient, a woman in her 40s, was being treated at the city’s Cross Cancer Institute. She was sent home on July 31 with chemotherapy medication and an electronic pump intended to administer the dosage over a period of four days.

The pump, however, was programmed incorrectly and delivered the entire dosage over four hours.

“I guess she had it beat, she had high hopes, and then for this to happen – it’s shocking,” Josette King, a friend of the woman’s family, told CTV news on Thursday.

The woman died Aug. 22 from multiple organ failure and internal bleeding in the intensive care unit of the University of Alberta Hospital.

Dr. Tony Fields, vice president of the cancer board, described the incident as his “worst nightmare,” and said he’s concerned it will shake the confidence of other patients.

“We will do our best to help patients that have doubts and fears, and to counsel them,” Fields told a press conference on Thursday. “We feel that the greater importance is for our patients to know that if we slip, we will not hide it.”

An investigation has been launched by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices, and the findings will be made public in about two months. Read More….

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