For Immediate Release

April 12, 2013


         Chemotherapy Compounding Status Update

Following an initial assessment of medical files, London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) originally identified 665 patients who were affected by the chemotherapy compounding issue and commenced an immediate plan to contact these patients and provide appropriate information and supports.


This initial assessment was conducted by a clinical team convened to review these files day and night in order to identify affected patients as quickly as possible, with the aim of ensuring they heard from the hospital first about this unfortunate situation. Despite our best efforts, and due to circumstances beyond our control, many learned of the matter elsewhere.


Given the significant number of LHSC patients impacted and the compressed timeline for the initial file assessment, LHSC has since conducted a second review as a due diligence measure. Today, as a result of this final review, LHSC is reporting publicly that an additional 26 patients have been identified as being impacted by the chemotherapy compounding issue. Cancer Care Ontario was advised when this review was finalized and LHSC commenced calls immediately in an effort to reach every additional patient impacted, before the information was released publicly.


“At this time, we have attempted to call all 26 patients and sent letters as well, to express our sincere regret that they, too, are impacted,” said Neil Johnson, Vice President of Cancer Care for LHSC. “Now that we have done the best we can to first reach these patients, we wanted to disclose this added development publicly. Our focus continues to be on helping to connect the affected patients to the information and supports they need.”


LHSC has also been asked by various media outlets to clarify the split between pediatric and adult patients impacted and to state how many of the impacted patients have since passed. Now that the final patient impact numbers have been calculated, we can advise that:


  • Of the total of 691patients at LHSC, 40 were pediatric, 651 were adult.


  • Our best estimate, based upon currently available information, is that 117 patients of adult age from this group of 691 patients are deceased; however their passing cannot be directly attributed to the chemotherapy compounding issue. It should be noted that the hospital cannot be 100 percent certain of the number of deaths, since we are not always notified of deaths that may have occurred after treatment was concluded.


We will continue to learn from and continuously refine our processes to ensure patients receive high quality care at every step of their journey.


The Ministry of Health indicated that an independent expert panel led by Dr. Thiessen would be assembled to review quality assurance, reaching out to hospital leaders, Cancer Care Ontario, the College of Pharmacists, and Health Canada to bring together the right group to take a close look at how best to safeguard patient care to prevent incidents like this.  LHSC is fully supportive of this approach and will actively contribute to the review.