Tokyo Metropolitan Hiroo Hospital was raided Thursday by the Metropolitan Police Department in connection with the death of a woman in February after disinfectant was placed in her IV drip.
According to investigators, the hospital was searched on suspicion of professional negligence resulting in death caused by the incident, in which a nurse mistakenly fed the patient disinfectant instead of an anticoagulant.
The patient, a 58-year-old woman, had undergone surgery to treat rheumatoid arthritis in the joint of the middle finger on her left hand.
On the morning of Feb. 11, a nurse mistakenly injected chlorohexidine, used to disinfect wounds, into the drip instead of heparin saline solution, police said. The woman died of shock immediately after receiving the drip.
Another nurse had earlier left the disinfectant in the patient’s room when she administered an antibiotic IV drip, and she also left the saline solution to be administered later.
Last Friday, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government issued reprimands to both nurses, with the first receiving a two-month suspension and the other a written reprimand.
Warnings were also issued to other hospital staffers for failing to take safety measures and for their tardiness in clarifying the cause of the woman’s death.
Police were notified 11 days after the woman’s death and cremation, and the release of information to the next of kin was also late in coming, investigators said.
Investigators have so far questioned hospital staffers as well as asked university hospitals and other experts to analyze the woman’s medical records as well as organs and blood kept by Hiroo Hospital.
Traces of dissolved disinfectant were found in the organ and blood samples, and police said they concluded the woman died after being administered the disinfectant.
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