Thursday, April 4, 2013

Here's a big oops!

A bunch of cancer patients in Canada received less than the specified dose of chemotherapy. Nearly 1200 patients in a group of medical centers and then 186 at another. Oopsy! They do not really say how it happened but its clearly a problem. Chemotherapy doses, I believe, are based on body weight. I think the dose you receive always starts on the higher side to see if its tolerated and then the oncologist can tweak it down.But if the oncologist does all their math and then the dose is too weak, that's a problem.

What is scary is this wasn't discovered until a pharmacy technician noticed it.

The hospitals say they have steps in place for handling chemotherapy drugs but they will work carefully to find out the source of the problem. I certainly hope they do.

While you are in chemo you assume you are getting th eright treatment. But what if the doctor is doing their best and some how your drugs were mislabeled. And what if you were overdosed the 3-20% that was the amount underdosed in this case? You might get pretty damn sick from it. At the very least your blood counts would tank.

Anyway, a big oops here. I hope someone learns a lesson and everyone is okay who got the wrong dose.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I ask to have a copy of my chemo orders. Before starting chemo I asked to be shown how the dosage was calculated. I not only check the labels on the bags to make sure they are mine and are the corrects drugs but also the dose. All this is on the orders from the oncologist. I check their math too. Yes, I am crazed but I caught an error one time.