Cancer patient dies after multiple errors during chemotherapy treatment, report claims

Health investigators in Minnesota are questioning at least one nurse at an assisted living facility after a deceased patient who was scheduled to receive 42 doses of chemotherapy medications in a 12-week period only got 26. The patient, who was not identified, had been diagnosed with multiple myeloma, and was put on a strict schedule of treatments both at the Legacy of St. Michael and at home, Fox 9 reported.

A Department of Health report revealed multiple errors in the patient’s treatment, including delays in putting information regarding administering the medication and dosage data into a computer system. The nurse at the focus of questioning reportedly told investigators that she “shadowed a staff nurse for two days before she was on her own,” but could not provide any training documents or a background check, Fox 9 reported.

A facility spokesman has refuted the department’s findings about the nurse.

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“We respectfully disagree with some of the Department of Health’s findings in this matter and have filed an appeal with documented facts to the department, including documentation that the nurse identified as not having a current license in fact did have a current license, was trained to administer medications, had a completed background study and was tested for tuberculosis,” the spokesman told Fox 9.

The patient’s treatment was scheduled to start in September and continue through April, though lab work showed that the cancer had progressed with one provider saying “the chemotherapy never had a chance to work.”

A relative told Fox 9 that they were notified of one instance in which a dose was missed. No criminal charges have been filed, Fox 9 reported.