In separate incidents, patients at two California hospitals have died as a result of medication errors that took place in July and August of this year.
A 12-year-old girl, Josephine Francis Hart, died at Kaiser Permanente (South Bay) after being given a double dose of epinephrine by a nurse who thought the second bag of the drug contained an antibiotic.
The California Department of Health Services concluded that the hospital was deficient in its care of the child as a result of the procedures in place that permitted a double administration of epinephrine, which speeds up the heart rate.
The hospital has since changed its procedures by now requiring at least two registered nurses double-check that the medication is being administered to the right person.
In the second incident, the Kaiser Permanente Santa Teresa Medical Center was cited by the health department in the death of a 21-year-old chemotherapy patient, Christopher Robin Wibeto, who died in August, three days after a cancer-fighting drug called vincristine, which was intended for another patient, was injected into his spine.
The second hospital has entered into an agreement with the health department that now requires three people, a doctor, a nurse, and a pharmacist verify that the correct medication is being administered to patients.