Boston Hospital Investigated for Not Reporting Chemotherapy Overdoses

From Reuters

State officials were investigating Friday why a noted cancer treatment hospital failed to report that one patient died and another was seriously injured by chemotherapy overdoses.

Disclosure in a Boston Globe story of the overdoses at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute put a hitch in a $95-million bond issue marketed by the medical center this week to construct a 13-story research building.

The Globe reported Friday that the bonds' underwriter, Goldman Sachs & Co., told investors that it may back out of obligations to buy the bonds because the firm was unaware of the overdoses.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health, which licenses hospitals, said it has notified Dana-Farber that it violated state requirements to report chemotherapy overdoses within a week.

One overdose resulted in the Dec. 3 death of Betsy Lehman, 39, a Globe health columnist who was undergoing treatment for breast cancer.

A second woman, a 52-year-old breast cancer patient, also received a similar fourfold dosage of the same toxic drug--cyclophosphamide, known commercially as Cytoxan--and has suffered irreversible heart damage, the Globe reported Thursday.

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