MDH report: Cancer patient dies after errors during chemo treatment

- Officials from the Department of Health are looking into the actions of at least one nurse at the Legacy of St. Michael assisted living facility after a woman passed away from only getting 26 of the 42 scheduled doses of chemotherapy medications in a 12-week period.

A patient diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a blood cancer, was put on a strict schedule of chemotherapy treatments both at home and at a cancer clinic.

The treatments were to start last September and go through April of this year, but according to an extensive report from the Department of Health that medical advice was not followed.

The report details multiple errors including delays in getting the medication into the computer system, which resulted in missed doses and administering the medication improperly.

According to state documents the nurse in question could not provide any training documents or a background check to state investigators.

She told investigators she “shadowed a staff nurse for two days before she was on her own."

Lab work conducted on the patient showed the cancer was progressing. A medical provider at the cancer clinic the patient also went to said, "the chemotherapy never had a chance to work."

A spokesman from the Legacy of St. Michael sent Fox 9 a statement that read in part: "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 family of the person who died says they were only notified of one instance where the patient missed medication.

At this point there are no criminal charges, but the Wright County Attorney is aware of the situation.

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