Intravenous news: nytimes.com report “Thirty-five weeks pregnant, Robin Rodgers was vomiting and losing weight, so her doctor hospitalized her and ordered that she be fed through a tube until the birth of her daughter. But in a mistake that stemmed from years of lax federal oversight of medical devices, the hospital mixed up the tubes. Instead of snaking a tube through Ms. Rodgers nose and into her stomach, the nurse instead coupled the liquid-food bag to a tube that entered a vein.
Putting such food directly into the bloodstream is like pouring concrete down a drain. Ms. Rodgers was soon in agony. When I walked into her hospital room, she said, Mom, Im so scared, her mother, Glenda Rodgers, recalled. They soon learned that the baby had died.
And she said, Oh, Mom, shes dead. And I said, I know, but now we have to take care of you, the mother recalled. And then Robin Rodgers 24 years old and already the mother of a 3-year-old boy died on July 18, 2006, as well. (She lived in a small Kansas town, but because of a legal settlement with the hospital, her mother would not identify it.)
Their deaths were among hundreds of deaths or serious injuries that researchers have traced to tube mix-ups. But no one knows the real toll, because this kind of mistake, like medication errors in general, is rarely reported. A 2006 survey of hospitals found that 16 percent had experienced a feeding tube mix-up.