When the cure kills

Deaths of three Aarhus cancer patients may have been caused by an overdose of chemotherapy

Some 28 cancer patients being treated at Aarhus University hospital were given an overdose of the chemotherapy drug cabazitaxel. The deaths of three patients may be directly related to the overdoses, which were 16-21 percent higher than the recommended amount of the drug. The overdoses, which were given mostly to prostate cancer victims, resulted in more violent side effects than usual.

“This is a critical and totally unacceptable situation,” Ole Thomsen, the head of health Region Midtjylland, told DR Nyheder.

The hospital sent letters explaining the mistake yesterday to the surviving patients and relatives of those who have died.

READ MORE: Thousands dying from hospital errors each year

Patients were offered a consultation to discuss the mistake and treatment options. They were also informed that they can apply for compensation from the Patient Insurance Association.