Home Health Patients from the Ascensión hospital network receive lethal doses of narcotics after disastrous cyberattack

Patients from the Ascensión hospital network receive lethal doses of narcotics after disastrous cyberattack

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ICU nurse Melissa LaRue at Ascension Saint Agnes Hospital in Baltimore (above) said she almost administered a dangerously incorrect dose of a medication: a patient's blood pressure medication.

A cyberattack on a major US hospital system has resulted in lethal drug mixes, including patients who were mistakenly administered narcotics, resulting in admission to intensive care for life-threatening breathing difficulties.

In another case, a patient suffered cardiac arrest and died after data errors delayed test results that determine the treatment that will save your life.

Elsewhere, a nurse who works for the Kansas branch of the major medical group recalled a “near miss” in which she nearly administered a lethal dose of a narcotic to a baby due to false documentation.

Employees at Ascension, a Catholic health system with more than 140 facilities nationwide, said these patients are just some of those suffering the continuing fallout from a cyberattack last month.

The healthcare giant “detected unusual activity” on its networks, leaving doctors and nurses locked out of digital systems and unable to access vital details about patient care.

ICU nurse Melissa LaRue at Ascension Saint Agnes Hospital in Baltimore (above) said she almost administered a dangerously incorrect dose of a medication: a patient’s blood pressure medication.

An ICU nurse who works at Ascension Via Christi St. Francis in Kansas (above) said she almost gave the wrong medication to a critically ill patient because she couldn't scan him like she always had in the past with electronic records.

An ICU nurse who works at Ascension Via Christi St. Francis in Kansas (above) said she almost gave the wrong medication to a critically ill patient because she couldn’t scan him like she always had in the past with electronic records.

Despite Ascension claiming on June 14 that network access had been “restored,” more than a dozen staff members have revealed that surprising mistakes are still being made at hospitals, from medication mix-ups to test results. lost tests.

Employees say their hospitals are turning to impactful solutions to avoid computers, including using handwritten sticky notes to keep track of dozens of critically ill patients.

Justin Neisser, a travel nurse who worked at Ascension Hospital at the time, said CBS4 in May: ‘I just want to warn patients coming to any of the Ascension facilities that there will be delays in care. There is the possibility of error and damage.

An emergency room doctor at an Ascension hospital in Michigan, who remained anonymous for fear of retaliation, said Kaiser Health News A patient was administered a dangerous narcotic intended for someone else due to confusing documentation.

After receiving the wrong medication, the patient’s breathing slowed dangerously and he had to be admitted to the ICU and put on a ventilator.

The doctor said, “We intubated him and sent him to the ICU because he received the wrong medication.”

Another emergency provider, a nurse also in Michigan who remained anonymous, told Kaiser that a woman suffering from low blood sugar and confusion went into cardiac arrest and died after hospital workers said she They waited four hours to get the lab results they needed to continue their care. .

But they never received the results.

Marvin Ruckle, an Ascension nurse at Ascension Via Christi St Joseph in Kansas (above), told Kaiser Health News he almost gave it to a baby

Marvin Ruckle, an Ascension nurse at Ascension Via Christi St Joseph in Kansas (above), told Kaiser Health News he almost gave a baby “the wrong dose of narcotic” because of a paperwork mix-up.

The nurse said, “If I started having a crushing chest pain in the middle of work and thought I was having a big one, I would find someone to take me down the street to another hospital.”

Marvin Ruckle, a nurse at Ascension Via Christi St Joseph in Kansas, told Kaiser Health News that he almost gave a baby “the wrong dose of narcotic” because of confusing documentation.

The nurse has worked in the neonatal intensive care unit for 20 years, but said it was “difficult to figure out what the correct dosage” of the baby’s medication was from the baby’s chart.

Ruckle said he had “never seen that happen when we were on the computer system” before the ransomware attack. He added that he had not received training for cyber attacks.

Another ICU nurse who works at Ascension Via Christi St. Francis in Kansas said she almost gave the wrong medication to a critically ill patient because she couldn’t scan him like she always had in the past with electronic records.

Lisa Watson told Kaiser: “My patient probably would have died if I hadn’t gotten it.”

And although Watson had used paper charts for much of his career before electronic records were implemented, he said the system implemented after the cyberattack was “not the same at all.”

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He added: “When we made the paper charts, we had systems in place to send those orders to other departments in a timely manner, and they all disappeared.”

Across the country in Maryland, ICU nurse Melissa LaRue of Ascension Saint Agnes Hospital in Baltimore said she, too, almost gave the wrong dose of medication: a patient’s blood pressure medication.

She said: ‘Thankfully, (it was) triple checked and remediated before that could happen. But I think the potential for harm is there when you have so much information and paperwork you have to go through.’

While Ascension may be one of the most recent, it is far from the only institution suffering from cyberattacks. The FBI released its Internet Crime Report earlier this month, revealing that in 2023, nearly 1,200 organizations were affected by ransomware, including 250 reports by medical groups, the most of the 16 industries the report covered.

However, experts have warned that attacks on hospitals not only steal a patient’s information, but also pose a serious threat to public safety. Due to other recent cyberattacks, Americans were prevented from receiving life-saving medications and, in one case, a nine-month-old baby lost his life.

Cybersecurity expert Steven McKeon previously told DailyMail.com that crumbling infrastructure and outdated security systems have made it too easy for hackers to infect networks with ransomware, warning that the situation will only get worse.

DailyMail.com contacted Ascension for comment and a spokesperson referred this website to the hospital statement released last week.

However, Sean Fitzpatrick, Ascension’s vice president of external communications, told Kaiser via email: “As we have made clear throughout this cyberattack, which has impacted our system and our dedicated clinical providers, caring for our patients is our Maximum priority”. “We are confident that our care providers at our hospitals and facilities will continue to provide quality health care.”

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