April 6, 2010

AUSTRIA: Second case of allergy-triggering painkiller treatment

. SALZBURG, Austria / The Austrian Times / April 6, 2010 Criticism of doctors at a Salzburg clinic is increasing after a second patient was given a drug he was allergic to. Peter Gerner, head of the anaesthetic and intensive care department at Salzburg’s Landeskrankenhaus clinic announced last week hospital bosses opted for self-indictment after a 80-year-old woman died when her post-surgery suffering was treated with the painkiller Novalgin – despite her informing staff about her allergy upon arrival. Now Salzburg-based Kurt Bauer said he considered himself lucky to be alive after undergoing surgery at the hospital. Bauer told the ORF yesterday (Mon) that he was given an infusion of Novalgin when part of his lung was removed by Landeskrankenhaus Salzburg surgeons last year. "I suffered an extraordinary attack of breathing difficulties one day after the operation. I was unable to breath but managed to scream," he said. Bauer found that his pain had been treated with Novalgin at the clinic when he checked documents regarding his stay at hospital. He said: "I suffer a syndrome which enables my bone marrow to produce red blood cells. A doctor said she must ‘totally apologise’ to me in an examination a while later. She admitted I was given two Novalgin infusions despite my clinical record mentioned my disease." Officials refused to comment on Bauer’s allegations, but announced a statement for later today. Landeskrankenhaus Salzburg bosses revealed last week they would introduce a fully-automatic "e-medication" computer system following the death of the 80-year-old woman. The system will record all information about a patient’s disease and will warn doctors of possible difficulties, they said, stressing that the clinic would be the first in the country to use such a system. [rc] Source: The Austrian Times