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Toxic Medication Overdose at Hospital Led to Patient’s Death

Hospital hallway

When we enter the hospital for treatment we trust that the doctors and other medical professionals will provide us with the best care possible. Unfortunately that is not always the case. A medication mistake proved deadly for one woman. A lawsuit was filed against the doctors and Gottlieb Memorial Hospital alleging that they administered a lethal dose of Fentanyl which caused the woman’s death the next day. The lawsuit was filed by the woman’s estate administrator and seeks damages of more than $50,000.

Medication Mistakes

Medical mistakes, including medication errors, are the third highest cause of death in the United States. This is a chilling fact that is very sobering. Medication mistakes impact hundreds of thousands of people every year and are responsible for about 1,000 deaths every day. The problem seems to be getting worse before it gets better. Medication mistakes include various things such as:

  • Prescription Error
  • Pharmacy Mistake
  • Drug Interactions
  • Improper Dosage
  • Administration Errors

Mistakes can occur at any point during the diagnosis and treatment process. The doctor may make an initial error by prescribing the wrong medication or the pharmacy could make an error while filling the prescription. The directions may be wrong, causing the patient to take an incorrect dosage. If a caregiver is administering the medication they may not provide it at the proper intervals or at the correct dosage. Other mistakes can also occur, such as a mix-up in medications between patients.

Pain Medication Overdose

While a patient in a hospital, the doctors and other staff members are trusted to supply the proper medications in the correct dosages. In this case, the woman was given an overdose of Fentanyl, a pain medication. The extremely high dosage caused the woman to go into cardiac arrest and she died the next day. The hospital and doctors were negligent by providing a toxic dose of medication that led to her death. It is unclear what actually caused the overdose to be administered. Negligence by a doctor is also sometimes called medical malpractice.

Medical Malpractice

Doctors and other medical professionals are held to a high standard of care. They are expected to know more than an average person about medical care because of their extensive training, education, and experience. Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor does something that causes harm to a patient. It can also happen by the failure to do something that should have been done. For example, the failure to make a proper medical diagnosis may sometimes be considered malpractice because a mistake was made. Sometimes the mistake is not serious and the patient recovers.

In this situation, however, the woman died from injuries caused by the overdose of medication. Those who are victims of medical malpractice, or their relatives, may be entitled to collect money to cover their hospital bills and other expenses that were incurred. If you or your loved one was the victim of a medication or medical mistake, contact the experienced legal team at Levin & Perconti for a consultation.