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‘Human Error’ Kills Cancer Patient

Fri., June 16, 1995

A patient with a usually curable type of cancer died after a doctor mistakenly gave him a chemotherapy overdose.

“We deeply regret this human error,” University of Chicago Hospital president Ralph Muller said in a statement Wednesday. “Despite the many checks and balances we have in place to prevent medication errors, this terribly unfortunate accident did occur.”

Vincent Gargano, 41, a mail sorter from Des Plaines, Ill., died Tuesday. He was being treated for testicular cancer, which is curable in about 95 percent of cases if caught early and 80 percent of the time when detected late.

Gargano had been receiving two drugs. The hospital said a doctor got the dosages mixed up, resulting in an overdose of cisplatin.

The doctor responsible for the error was suspended Wednesday from clinical duties, Muller said.

Tags: treatment

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