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No one is immune from human error, but when doctors or nurses make mistakes, a patient’s life can hang in the balance. Unfortunately the family of an 88-year-old Brazilian woman are suffering due to a mistake that cost Ilda Vitor Maciel her life.

The woman was admitted into a Rio de Janeiro hospital, and died in late September, after the soup was put into her vein instead of her feeding tube; and now her family is seeking legal action against the hospital.

“When she injected [it] into a vein, my mother began to beat,” explained Maciel’s daughter, Ana Ruth Maciel dos Santos. “I got scared and called the nurse.”

Maciel died 12 hours after the injection.

While the hospital does acknowledge wrongdoing in giving her soup instead of medicine, officials do not believe that the mishap actually caused her death. According to the information sheet signed by a doctor at the hospital, Maciel’s death was the result of  a pulmonary embolism.

The family believes that the cause of death will help in their fight to peg the blame on the hospital since pulmonary embolisms occur when air bubbles enter the bloodstream.

Officials are still investigating the death, and are expected to have an answer within 30 days.


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