Fatal Hospital Error Causes Patient’s Death By Giving Him Wrong Medication

Raymond Stott was admitted to St. James’ hospital in Leeds, England, in March. He spent close to a month in the hospital before he was killed by receiving a medication that he was severely allergic to.

Stott was admitted to the hospital after having a heart attack at his residence. The hospital was unable to stabilize Stott before he suffered another heart attack. This forced the hospital staff to admit Stott into the Intensive Care Unit. During his 21-day stay in the Intensive Care Unit, Stott began to be a hindrance to his own care. Hospital staff stated that Stott was being fed through a feeding tube, which he removed on his own on April 3.

The feeding tube was set to go back in on April 4, but never happened. In the early morning hours of April 4, Stott was given amoxicillin. The medication was meant to be given to a different patient. Stott had a severe allergic reaction that the hospital was not able to control. One of his children, Jackie, commented about the deadly mistake.

“When we found out it was not natural, we were absolutely devastated. We are so upset that a mistake has happened and it has taken our father. He was getting better, but he was taken through an error. If it had been natural, we could say that he couldn’t go on any more. But he was fighting. He was a lovely person, very kind and everyone used to call him Uncle Ray.”

Stott was only being prescribed medication for pain management. At no time during his care was he on antibiotics, which is what amoxicillin is. Jackie and Raymond’s other children were not immediately told about their father being given the wrong medication.

“We kept asking ‘Is anyone going to tell us?’ Eventually we saw a doctor, who said the nurse had cannulated my father. She had the medication in her pocket ready to give to the next patient, but she accidentally gave to my father. When she realised she had given the wrong medication, she told somebody straight away. The crash team were called and they tried to give him two adrenaline shots, but he passed away.”

Raymond Stott’s death is currently under investigation. Doctor Yvette Oade, the chief medical officer for Leeds Teaching Hospitals, commented on the hospital tragedy.

“I’d like to express my sincere condolences and apologies to Raymond’s family,” she said. “We will keep in contact with them to discuss the progress of our investigation, the findings when it is completed and to answer any questions they may have.”

Errors such as this are far too common in hospitals around the world. Patients are normally given a wristband, or have a note in their chart, which states if an allergy is present. Prior to giving medications, the nurse administering the medication is obligated to check the chart and for an allergy wristband. The nurse is also supposed to make sure that the name of the patient is the same as the name that the medication was ordered for.

Fatal errors such as this are considered to be medical malpractice. Not only is the nurse who administered the amoxicillin responsible for Stott’s death, but the entire hospital can be held responsible. It is not known if Stott’s family will be filing a lawsuit against St. James’ hospital and their medical staff.

Do you know anyone who was given the wrong medication while in a hospital?

[Image Via Shutterstock/ballemans]