Authorities demand change at hospital after patient's death by overdose

Source: WGCL

Federal authorities are demanding change at a local hospital after a patient's overdose death. The hospital is accused of making a deadly mistake, giving the patient far too much of a drug and causing that patient to die.

CBS46 reached out to officials at DeKalb County Medical Center and they are calling the death a quote "tragic event." We also spoke with a medical expert who has been covering Georgia health news for a quarter of a century and says this is the first time he's reported on an overdose death like this.

"They are under immediate jeopardy of losing federal funds," says Andy Miller, Editor and CEO of Georgia Health News, who is looking into and reporting what happened in October inside this Decatur hospital. "A nursing home patient was admitted to the hospital with a rectal bleeding problem and the patient got too much of a certain medication it was clearly a medication error."

Miller says that patient was given a calcium channel blocker, used to treat high blood pressure and chest pain, but was given far more than the maximum recommended limit.

"The recommended dose was 10 milligrams and the patient got 100 milligrams, 10 times what she should have had," continued Miller.

The patient was placed in critical care on a ventilator but ultimately died in the hospital.

Now, DeKalb Medical must submit a plan of correction to federal authorities detailing how they will make sure it's won't happen again. If the hospital doesn't get the necessary approval from the federal authorities by November 27, DeKalb Medical's provider agreement with medicare and medicaid will end.

DeKalb Medical sent CBS46 this statement regarding the issue:

"We want to make sure it never happens again. We self-reported the incident and have submitted a corrective action plan."

The hospital tells CBS46 News that federal regulators have already accepted their corrective action plan but Miller adds this is the second time in four months, DeKalb Medical has had a serious patient care problem.

In August, a patient with mental illness was accidentally discharged and then couldn't be found for several days.

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