Healthcare Center Sued for Wrongful Death After Man Dies from Pain Medication Overdose

In recent news that our Washington D.C. nursing home attorneys have been following, a medication error lawsuit has been filed against a local hospital in Salt Lake City, after a patient died from receiving an alleged overdose of a potent pain medication.

According to Deseret News, Clarence Burton was admitted to Woodland Care Center on August 1, 2008, to be supervised by nurses while he underwent radiation and chemotherapy treatment at St. Mark’s Hospital. Burton was reportedly fighting bone cancer, and had been prescribed the brand name pain medication patches Duragesic, containing the strong medication fentanyl to help him deal with the pain.

The lawsuit alleges that the care center staff members made a grave medication mistake when they failed to follow the doctor’s prescription, which was to give Burton one 50-milligram pain patch every 72 hours. The manufacturer of Duragesic also advises to wait 72 hours before increasing the pain medication dosage. Instead, the staff allegedly applied three pain medication patches on Burton’s neck, and he was found a few hours later, lying the floor in complete cardiac arrest.

When Woodland was met by the emergency personnel, they were reportedly unable to revive him, and he was taken to the hospital, where he was given another drug to counteract the fentanyl overdose. Burton was later resuscitated, but according to the lawsuit, remained unresponsive, as he had sustained sepsis, renal insufficiency, and elevated liver function as a result of the alleged malpractice. Burton was taken to another care center six days later, where he died on August 9, 2008.

Burton’s daughter is suing for $490,000, and accuses the care center of medication error and negligence, by failing to adhere to the doctor’s medication order, as well as administering the fatal doses of the Duragesic patches that alleged caused his wrongful death.

This is the second lawsuit from this year dealing with an alleged overdose of the Duragesic patch, that our Washington D.C. medication error injury attorneys have reported on in a blog. In January, a hospital was sued for wrongful death after 68-year-old died after allegedly receiving an incorrect dosage of the potent pain killer.

If you or a loved one has been injured or died due to a medication error in the Washington D.C. area, call our attorneys at Lebowitz and Mzhen, LLC at 1-800-654-1949 today. Our lawyers are dedicated to ensuring that medication error victims and their loved ones receive the personal injury compensation they deserve.

Woodland Care Center Sued Over Overdose Death, Deseret News, November 15, 2010

Related Web Resources:

National Institute on Drug Abuse: Research Report Series- Prescription Drugs: Abuse and Addiction
U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Second Safety Warming on Fentanyl Skin Patch

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