Patients in Boston and across the country must always be aware of the potential of being given the wrong drug when given a prescription or undergoing a medical procedure. While medical professionals are expected to take precautions that the right medications in accurate amounts will be given to the patients, there is always the potential of medication errors. There’s an inherent trust that a patient gives to a doctor and medical staff. If there is an anesthesia error or administering an incorrect drug, it is a betrayal that can result in terrible consequences including a fatality.
A 65-year-old woman died after she was given the wrong medication while she was in the hospital. Instead of an anti-seizure medication, she was administered a paralyzing agent that is frequently used during surgery. Two days before she died, the woman had gone to the hospital emergency room with questions about her medication after having had brain surgery. While there, she was supposed to have been given the anti-seizure medication intravenously, but instead received the paralyzing agent. As a result of receiving the wrong drug, she went into cardiac arrest, her breathing stopped and she had brain damage. She was later removed from life support.
When a patient is given medication, it is important that they receive the right amount and the right medication. The results of administering an incorrect drug can be serious injuries and death. Even if the person survives the mistake, they could be negatively affected for the rest of their lives with allergic reactions and various problems such as brain damage and paralysis. This will put a significant amount of stress on the personal and financial future of the individual and his or her family as there might be the need for long-term care and an inability to function normally. With a fatal medication error, it’s imperative that the family left behind knows how to move forward with litigation to be compensated for the mistake.
In this case, the woman simply went to the emergency room with a question about her medication and wound up being given the wrong drug and dying. Since this incident led to her death and the hospital has acknowledged the mistake, her family should still make certain they protect themselves before accepting any settlement offer. For that, they should discuss the matter with a legal professional experienced in medication errors.
Source: CBSNews.com, “Hospital medication error kills patient in Oregon,” Dec. 4, 2014