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Massachusetts General Hospital admits fault in overdose case

On Behalf of | Mar 21, 2011 | Anesthesia & Medication Errors

We mentioned in an earlier post that the family of a 76-year-old woman sued Massachusetts General Hospital after the woman died from an overdose of the blood-thinning medication Lepirudin. Massachusetts General Hospital has since admitted fault in the woman’s death, the Revere Journal reports.

The lawsuit alleges that hospital doctors and nurses committed malpractice and were completely negligent in treating a routine infection. The woman was given a dosage of blood thinner that was approximately 30 times too high and bled to death over a 12-hour period at the hospital.

The Revere Journal reports that the hospital admitted that it made a preventable mistake and that the hospital revised its policy concerning the administration of the blood thinner Lepirudin.

“We take all adverse events very seriously,” a hospital spokeswoman said. “When they occur, we strive to learn as much as we can about them and use the information to strengthen our systems to prevent similar events from happening in the future.”

The spokeswoman also added that the hospital was working with regulatory agencies that were investigating the woman’s death.

The woman worked in the Revere City Auditor’s Office. The Revere City mayor said that the woman was a “very well-liked” and a responsible city employee. Most of her coworkers believed that she was in good health and were shocked when she died.

“From what I’ve read, it was an awful mistake,” the mayor said. “I think everyone was shocked at the suddenness of her death last November. This suit provides some explanation for something that at the time seemed inexplicable.”

Source: Revere Journal, “MGH Admits Fault in Accidental Death of City Hall Worker”, Seth Daniel, 3/16/11