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Mistakes apparent cause of illnesses and death; FDA steps in

The suffering or loss of a loved one understandably brings grief and sorrow to all involved. When illness or death is thought to be caused by mistakes or medical negligence, frustration or even anger can sometimes accompany the sadness. Hawaii residents who believe that they have suffered illness or that a family member has died due to an apparent fault in the medical care he or she received are eligible to pursue consultation with a professional legal team experienced in medical malpractice claims in order to determine whether legal action would seem prudent in their case.

Though no definitive blame has yet been placed, it seems apparent that something went awry in a recent incident involving bags of saline solution intended to be used intravenously during medical training exercises. The Food and Drug Administration is currently investigating a situation where 17 people took ill and one died, apparently due to being given an intravenous saline that was not meant for actual patients. It has been reported that the manufacturing company distributed the bags with labels indicating that the contents were to be used for clinical simulation purposes only.

The San Diego-based company issued a recall of the bags in January and has since been trying to determine why hundreds of them were used on real patients. Seventeen hospital patients spanning seven states have fallen ill after being given the saline. One hospice patient died. According to reports, it has not been proved that the use of the training saline bags was the cause of the illnesses or deaths. However, the manufacturing company states that the solution in the bags meant for training is not sterile.

A medical officer from the CDC stated that more than 50 clinics had been issued the saline bags from the manufacturer. What remains unclear is whether the bags were shipped by mistake or used by medical staff inaccurately. Investigations continue in order to determine who may be culpable. In Hawaii and all other states, patients have legal rights when it comes to apparent mistakes believed to be made while under the care of professional medical personnel. Anyone with questions regarding such circumstances might find it useful to contact a legal professional. 

Source: The New York Times, "FDA begins inquiry after deaths and illnesses from saline bags meant for training", Sabrina Tavernise, Jan.15, 2015

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