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MAHC failed to follow world-recognized best practices, leaving elderly patient at greater risk

We have recently learned from a source with knowledge of the matter that MAHC never followed highly respected evidence-based recommendations when it prepared and delivered medication to our mother through her enteral tube.  This failure needlessly exposed her to the risks of drug interactions, toxicity and reduced drug effectiveness.  Indeed, as ISMP Canada warns: “These potential adverse outcomes can lead to patient harm or even death.”  We set out here the staggering scope of MAHC’s failures that placed our already severely compromised mother in even more danger during her stay.

MAHC’s board and CEO had persistently refused to confirm or deny that the hospital ignored these safety guidelines.  We now have the information MAHC did not want us to have.  It is not clear whether the hospital did not know that the guidelines existed or just did not think it needed to bother with them for a patient in our mother’s dire condition.  

Failure to follow proper steps in the preparation or administration of a drug that might contribute to an adverse outcome is recognized around the world as a medication error.  Unfortunately, that reality has still not hit MAHC. 

Researchers working in Iran’s Tabriz University of Medical Sciences whom we’ve been in touch, for instance, reported a number of medication errors in a hospital in that country involving a patient on enteral support. But MAHC will not even acknowledge the importance of such guidelines, let alone admit that errors occurred.  In our mother’s case, more than 1,100 doses of medication were compromised by multiple errors in preparation and delivery, setting a world record for the number of medication errors inflicted on a single patient in a hospital setting. 

We wonder how many others have been harmed, and certainly placed in danger, by a hospital that apparently thinks its patients don’t deserve the benefit of best practices and safety procedures that have been shown to protect patients worldwide.  They, like our mother, deserve better.  That is one of the reasons why we continue to seek answers and accountability from Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare.

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