The state Department of Health on Friday opened an investigation of Mary Bridge Children's Hospital regarding a medication error that put a 6-year-old Federal Way boy in intensive care with internal bleeding.
State investigators will look into systems, procedures and training at the hospital to see whether changes need to be made, according to Health Department spokesman Tim Church.
“We want to know what happened and – if it was a system problem – how to change it,” Church said.
Mary Bridge has acknowledged the error, and on Friday, hospital spokeswoman Marce Edwards said investigators will have the hospital’s full cooperation.
The case involved a boy with appendix problems who was taken to Mary Bridge on Nov. 6.
According to the boy’s mother, Destiny Brown-Fuhr, doctors performed a successful appendix surgery, but an overdose of medication caused internal bleeding and made another surgery necessary.
After four days in the ICU, the boy was transferred to a regular ward in the hospital and now appears to be recovering satisfactorily, according to Brown-Fuhr’s attorney, Carol Johnston.
Church said the state investigation will be relatively narrow in scope, looking only at procedures, not individuals.
“We will visit the hospital, we’ll want to talk to administrators and staff who were in and around the situation,” he said. “We’ll look at whether they had policies and procedures and were people trained to know what they were.”
System facility investigations typically take about four to six weeks, Church said.
If warranted, follow-up investigations of specific individuals might take place later, Church said.