Patient Story

Your Name: Stephen Allen

Patient's Name/Relationship: Raymond Allen, uncle

City/State: Albuquerque, NM

When did event occur (what year)? 1975?

Where did event occur? Not Sure

What type of medical harm did you experience or witness? Medication Error

Please describe what happened. Your story will appear on our website exactly as you have written it unless there is a problem, in which case we will contact you for clarification. The patient had suffered a stroke, and was in the institution on an IV. He suffered the freeze-up of his muscles and was in much pain. My sister was there, and comforted him as best she could. Later, when my father was in the hospital in Tucson under similar conditions, I happened to observe that the IV he was apparently being maintained on listed no potassium in its ingredients, even though it did list sodium. I had recalled from reading that a sodium-potassium imbalance could cause muscle failure of this sort. I mentioned it to one of the nurses. On a later occasion I saw a tag "KCl" attached to the IV, with no further explanation given to me.

What was the outcome of the medical harm issue? Death