National Taiwan University Hospital apologizes for two post-dialysis deaths

Deaths occurred two weeks after a dialysis mistake, so no link suspected: Hospital

National Taiwan University Hospital apologizes for the death of two patients after a dialysis mistake.

National Taiwan University Hospital apologizes for the death of two patients after a dialysis mistake. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – National Taiwan University (NTU) Hospital on Tuesday apologized for the deaths of two patients after a mistake during dialysis, though there was no direct link between the mishap and the deaths.

Last Saturday, media reported that a patient had died at the prestigious hospital after he had been mistakenly inserted with tubes containing untreated tap water instead of water filtered through reverse osmosis during hemodialysis. Of the six patients who underwent the mistake, one died later, the media reported.

On Tuesday, NTU Hospital officials held a news conference at which they apologized to the patients and their families for the mistake.

It also emerged that two of the six patients involved had died two weeks after the incident, but the hospital said that because of that time span, it was unlikely that the deaths had anything to do with the administration of tap water.

A hospital spokesman explained the incident had happened on May 25. During a busy time at the intensive care ward, a nurse specialized in liver dialysis had linked up a machine to receive regular tap water. However, the nurse on the next shift discovered the mistake and corrected the situation immediately, the Apple Daily reported.

The six patients affected were put under observation and tested for infections, but those tests turned out negative, leading doctors to believe that the two deaths were not a consequence of the mistake.

All six patients had originally been gravely ill, but only two died, two had already left hospital, and two had been transferred from intensive care to a regular unit, the NTU Hospital spokesman said.

The nurse involved in the incident had temporarily left work in intensive care and was receiving appropriate counseling, the Apple Daily reported.