National Taiwan University Hospital denies dialysis mistake caused death

Patient died days after tap water administered instead of filtered water

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National Taiwan University Hospital in Taipei. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – National Taiwan University Hospital on Saturday denied media reports that the faulty placement of a water tube during liver dialysis was responsible for the death of a patient.

Due to unclear labeling, six patients at the intensive care unit were apparently erroneously inserted with tubes containing untreated tap water instead of water filtered through reverse osmosis during hemodialysis, the United Evening News reported, and one of them passed away several days later.

However, experts point out that while such mistakes have also happened in the United States, Europe, Vietnam and Hong Kong, the tap water is unlikely to lead to fatalities, the Apple Daily reported.

Relatives suspected there was a link between the patient’s death and the dialysis incident, but the hospital responded by saying that the death was caused by the patient’s original serious health condition. It nevertheless acknowledged that a mistake had been made during the treatment, reports said.

At the average hospital, it was difficult to make a similar mistake during dialysis, but in an emergency situation or at an intensive care ward, it was more likely to happen, the Apple Daily reported. If the patient’s condition deteriorated more than two days after such an incident, then it could not be blamed on the tap water error, experts said.