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Critically ill patient given anti-septic mouthwash rather than water


Cory Kilbane

A critically ill patient was given anti-septic mouthwash rather than water to drink whilst in intensive care at Mayo University Hospital.
The incident occurred on June 12 and according to reports widely circulated last week, a consultant helped the glass containing the liquid to the patient’s mouth. The contents were partially consumed before the mistake was noticed.
It was reported that the male patient, who then began drooling, became distressed and vomited. It is also believed that he was was in pain, dehydrated and fatigued after the incident.
The patient had not drunk for some time prior to the incident and is believed to have gulped down the substance that was handed to him by the doctor.
The incident was subject to an internal investigation, but the patient’s family was told last week that the investigation had come to an end, and that every effort was being made to ensure that a similar incident would not happen again.
In a letter, signed by General Manager Catherine Donoghoe and associate clinical director Dr Fionnuala Lavin, the hospital stated: “Since this incident, new practices have been implemented to prevent a reoccurrence … It is very unfortunate that this incident occurred and we are sorry for the distress that this event caused.”


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