Report Shows Faulty Chemotherapy Dosage in Ontario Claims 17 Lives

A report of Ontario’s cancer care agency revealed on Tuesday that almost 1,000 patients in Ontario using chemotherapy within the last year for diseases including cancers of the breast, lung and bladder have been receiving watered-down or diluted treatment containing a lower dosage of medication than prescribed. The report states that seventeen patients at Windsor Regional Hospital alone have expired due to the therapy.

The faulty intravenous treatment was discovered last month by a pharmacy technician at a Peterborough hospital. The premixed cocktail of medication, that has been shipped out to at least four hospitals in Ontario and one in New Brunswick by a Mississauga supplier, is constituted of too high percentage of saline solution that it instead dilutes the chemotherapy agent. The report points out that majority of the chemo patients being treated at London Health Sciences Centre, i.e. almost 665, are being given this inaccurate dosage since March 1, 2012. Whereas, almost 300 patients have suffered at Windsor Regional Hospital since Feb. 24, 2012, along with thirty-four patients at Oshawa’s Lakeridge Health hospital, one patient at Peterborough Regional Health Centre , and 186 patients at a New Brunswick hospital.

The president and CEO of Windsor Regional Hospital, David Musyj, alleged that “I can’t imagine what (those families) will have to go through when they’re just dealing with the loss of their loved one, to be told the chemotherapy treatment was watered down.” He added that “even though probably we’ll never know if it contributed to their deaths or not, that still will not make it less painful.”

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