Four cases of incorrect administering of drugs occurred at Nihon University Itabashi Hospital in 2015 and 2016, including a case in which a patient’s heart briefly stopped after being given the sedative Precedex at a rapid pace, sources said.
The hospital, based in Tokyo’s Itabashi Ward, admitted the dosage errors Wednesday and issued a statement of apology, saying it was taking preventive measures. The hospital said it has stopped using the drug.
Instructions attached to Precedex packages warn of serious problems if it is not properly administered.
According to the hospital, a nurse administered the drug to a man in his 70s at an overly rapid pace in July 2015, although a doctor had not instructed her to do so. As a result, the patient went into cardiac arrest, though he was revived.
The man died of oral cancer last September. According to the hospital, the administration of Precedex was not related to his death.
Following the incident, the hospital reportedly ordered doctors and nurses to stop administering the drug at a rapid pace. However, it failed to instruct medical interns on the new rule.
Last May, an intern told a nurse to administer Precedex at a rapid pace to a man in his 80s. The patient did not suffer any ill effects in the incident.
In December, a nurse administered 10 times the instructed dose of the drug to a 2-year-old girl after mistakenly setting the speed of a drip at a high speed. This was noticed by another nurse. Then, 10 days later, the same girl was given an overly large dose of the antipyretic analgesic Acelio under the instructions of a trainee doctor.
In both instances, the girl was not found to have suffered any ill effects.
The hospital has claimed the accidents occurred due to the staff’s insufficient knowledge of the drugs and a failure to double-check their actions by superiors. It said it has created a booklet detailing how to handle drugs that need particular care when administered. Doctors are required to carry this booklet with them.
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