ALBERTA

New Alberta health minister says dialysis contamination death is tragic

06/04/2015 10:04 EDT | Updated 06/04/2016 05:59 EDT
EDMONTON - Alberta's new health minister says she was "devastated" when she heard that one of four dialysis patients at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton had died after they were mistakenly treated with contaminated water.

Sarah Hoffman tells radio station CHED the situation is the tragic result of human error.

She says her objective moving forward is to have enough safeguards in place so that if there is a human error it doesn’t impact patient care.

Hoffman also says that she is looking into the number of administrators in Alberta hospitals.

Alberta Health spokesman Kerry Williamson has said the other three patients are being carefully monitored and one has been readmitted to hospital.

AHS has said a worker opened a wrong valve during regular system cleaning last week, and a chemical was released into the water used for dialysis of the four patients.

Health services president Vickie Kaminski has said the exposure was limited to a few minutes and it's not yet known if the patient's death was connected.

“I can only imagine how difficult a time it is for the family, as well as the staff who worked in that unit," Hoffman said Thursday. "Human error is a reality, we have to have humans running these machines.

"The most important thing is that we don’t impact front line service, (and) that we make sure that when Albertans show up to an emergency room, that they will have timely service and confidence that they are being treated in an efficient effective way.”

(CHED)

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