In a case arising out of Canada, an 85 year old man died after receiving Methadone that was intended for a female patient that was formerly in his hospital room. Methadone is used to treat severe pain and can also treat drug addiction. In the United States, Methadone is blamed for 1/3 of prescription painkiller deaths.
This case illustrates how medication errors can happen in a hospital setting, and also how preventable these mistakes are. A series of errors took place which contributed to the man’s death. Most obvious, a nurse accidentally wrote a methadone prescription from a female patient’s chart onto the victim’s chart. Proper hospital protocols should have been in place to alert the nurse that this patient was not prescribed Methadone.
The hospital’s negligence was alleged to have been the cause of this man’s death. When a hospital is negligent in dispensing medication to its patients, the deceased’s relatives are legally entitled to financial compensation. Compensation aka damages may include:
- medical and funeral expenses
- loss of the victim’s future earnings
- loss of consortium
- punitive damages varies by state
- Other damages provided for under state statute
Regardless of the cause of the error, mistakes such as this are far to common. A study by Johns Hopkins estimates over a quarter of a million Americans die each year from medical errors. Medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death in the United States, exceeded only by cancer and heart disease.
Have You Been Affected by a Pharmacy Mistake?
If you or a loved one has recently been harmed after being provided with the wrong medication, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for the injuries you have sustained. At Kane Law, we handle pharmacy error cases. To learn more about how we can help you pursue a claim for compensation, call 1-866-764-6060.