Montana residents may be interested to know that a hospital has admitted to erroneously administering incorrect medication to one of its patients, which caused the patient to die.

The patient, who was 65 years old, lost her life shortly after she was intravenously administered the incorrect medication. According to the chief clinical officer she was supposed to receive an anti-seizure medication but instead was given a medication normally administered to patients that are undergoing an invasive surgical procedure.

Following the administration of the wrong medication, the 65-year-old patient ceased breathing, went into cardiac arrest and also suffered irreversible brain damage. Three of the hospitals employees have been implicated in the error that precipitated the patient’s death and consequently have since been placed on paid leave while the hospital conducts an investigation.

According to chief clinical officer the investigation, among other things, is primarily looking into the medication process. Every step in the medication process will be scrutinized including the process of ordering medication from the manufacturer, and the internal process by which the pharmacy manages mixing, packaging and labeling the final drug. The investigation will also focus on how once the drug is ready for administering it is released to the nurses and then administered to the appropriate patient.

Such careless medical care, hospital errors and medications errors have reportedly declined. However, according to multiple studies, hundreds of thousands of deaths occur every year across the U.S. due to hospital errors. In one such report published a year ago in the Journal of Patient Safety states that as much as 210,000 to 400,000 lives are lost annually because of preventable hospital errors.

Source: CBS News, “Hospital medication error kills patient in Oregon,” Dec. 4, 2014