Dietary supplement administered intravenously


Intravenous news: Mercury News report “Thousands of nurses returned to work Tuesday after a five-day labor dispute that turned deadly for one cancer patient. The cloud of Judith Ming’s death hung heavily over the returning staff at the Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Oakland, where the 66-year-old died Saturday morning after a dietary supplement apparently was introduced into her intravenous line. The Alameda County Coroner’s Office has not yet completed the autopsy on Ming, who suffered from ovarian cancer. The fill-in nurse who police said made the error was questioned and released Saturday. She is 23 years old and from Louisiana. One Alta Bates Summit veteran nurse said she and her colleagues did not think highly of the 500 replacements provided by Alabama-based Advanced Clinical Employment Staffing, which the medical center relied on for five days when it locked out the regular nurses, who had declared a one-day strike Thursday.

The Alta Bates Summit nurse, who asked not to use her name because her husband works for a public agency, said her colleagues are concerned that the staffing firm sent inexperienced nurses. “It’s such a sad situation,” the nurse said. “I feel really bad for her.”

The nurse said the replacements could not have had adequate training before taking on their responsibilities at the hospital because there was “no one here to train them” on the sophisticated equipment and computer programs now used in medical care, or show them where equipment, medications and other items are kept.

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