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Child dies following hospital staff's medication error

A family tragically lost a child recently in what was supposed to be a safe place - a hospital. The child, just seven months old, was given the wrong drug by medical staff and died following the medication error. California parents will surely empathize with the completely devastating situation this little boy's family is undoubtedly facing.

The death occurred at St. Luke's Magic Valley Medical Center in Twin Falls, Idaho, and staff there have called the event a "tragedy." Investigations are ongoing as to how exactly the death happened. The hospital itself is investigating the incident, and the local police department has been requested to investigate as well. The investigations ought to yield additional information about the steps that led to the hospital staff administering an incorrect drug to this child. Upon completion of the hospital's report, it will be reviewed by the state's Department of Health and Welfare in conjunction with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The investigations are seeking to determine what the cause of this terrible mistake was.

Medical mistakes in hospitals happen surprisingly frequently, and are the third-leading cause of death in the United States, according to a study published in the Journal of Patient Safety. Data released in that study revealed that these serious medication errors kill between 210,000 and 440,000 people a year.

Patients and their families ought to always be vigilant, as doctors and nurses make mistakes. Unfortunately, even with the utmost vigilance, it is often not possible for patients and their families to know when their doctors are making what may turn out to be deadly mistakes.

Source: Idaho Statesman, "Medicine mistake kills child at St. Luke's in Twin Falls", Sept. 25, 2015

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