A hospital in the United States recently admitted that a medication error killed an elderly patient when personnel administered a paralyzing agent instead of an anti-seizure medication.
Initial investigation showed that a hospital pharmacy employee mistakenly filled an IV with the wrong medication, which caused the patient to stop breathing and suffer cardiac arrest and brain damage. The patient was taken off life support after 2 days.
If a member of your immediate family is injured due to medication error, you may be entitled to compensation under a medical malpractice claim.
Medical errors causing death
Medical errors are the third leading cause of death and critical care admissions in the United States. Most medication errors can arise from:
- Improper dosage
- Giving the wrong drug
- Using the wrong route of administration
Age of Patient Is a Risk Factor
Elderly: Patients over the age of 60 years old are at risk for fatal injuries arising from medication errors. These elderly patients are often prescribed several medicines for various health conditions at the same time. Any mistake in the administration or dosage of medicine to an elderly patient can lead to death.
Children: Children in hospitals who are seriously ill often require multiple drugs that can interact with each other and produce harmful reactions such as heightened side effects and reduction in the effectiveness of another medication.
Common drug combinations that are used in children are painkillers such as morphine and oxycodone followed by antibiotics and drugs intended to fight off infection. This combination can produce side effects such as bleeding, breathing problems, reduced iron absorption, and sedation. Other problems can arise when the dosage for a baby or young child is miscalculated, such as when a baby receives a dose suitable for a 200-pound adult.
Depending on the circumstances of the medication error, the hospital, doctor, or other health professionals may be accused of medical malpractice. Your personal injury attorney can assess your situation and help sort out your legal claims against those responsible.
In metropolitan Las Vegas, and for many years now, the law firm of Bertoldo Carter Smith & Cullen has been helping injured individuals and their families recover compensation for medical malpractice. We also handle other types of personal injury cases such as defective drugs, medical device liability, anesthesia errors, hospital-acquired infections, and cancer misdiagnosis.
You are invited to call us today at (702) 505-8115 to arrange a free initial consultation.