A woman who received the drug “Aduhelm” at a house in Almonte, Ontario, died on Monday. This is the second time in about a month that the drug has caused a death.
Last week, another woman was admitted to the hospital in Almonte after contracting what the hospital call “a serious infection” that was due to “the intravenous administration of Aduhelm.” The woman survived the infection, and was released from the hospital after 11 days. As of Tuesday, the woman’s death was being investigated.
This latest case is leading to serious concerns over the safety of the drug and how it is being handled by the people who sell it. Before the woman who died was taken to the hospital, a hospital staff member administered the drug into her intravenous line. In other words, the “one time ever” in the history of the hospital that this has happened.
And as of Tuesday, the staff member who administered the drug was fired and the incident was being investigated. These are not the sort of decisions that should be made in a post-death investigation: These actions are illegal, they put patients at risk, and in the case of this hospital, all of these things were likely to lead to more deaths. “Patients may die as a result of activities that are potentially associated with their intravenous drug of choice,” Dr. Graeme Palmer, chief medical officer at St. Joseph’s Health Care, said in a statement. “I really question whether that’s a good use of resources.”
The hospital is starting to receive e-mails questioning why the hospital used the drug. “The hospital is collecting the concerns and requests for public information,” said the hospital’s chief executive, Dr. Barbara Coleman. She told CBC News that the hospital does not want to make the situation more difficult for the family of the patient, and that the hospital is fully cooperating with the police investigation.
Several healthcare workers who witnessed the incident in question say the staff should have immediately stopped the administration of the drug and that the hospital staff who administered it should have been fired. “They could have come to the fore and said ‘wait a minute we don’t know what this is, let’s stop the treatment.’ That should have happened. Instead of being a great shock, they should have been concerned, and someone should have walked over and cut off the tube,” Jaime Noble, a nurse at the hospital, told CBC News.