Grandfather Receives Wrong Medication, Inducing Coma

Medical errors can occur in a number of situations, including by filling a prescription with the wrong pills, operating on the wrong limb, or providing medication to the wrong person. These mistakes can be devastating for patients as well as their families.

Mixed PillsIn a medical malpractice claim based on a medical error, a plaintiff has to demonstrate that the medical professional acted negligently by either engaging in a negligent act or negligently failing to take a required action. That is, a plaintiff must show that the medical provider failed to meet the applicable standard of care by failing to act in a manner in which other medical professionals would act under the circumstances.

A 74-Year-Old Grandfather Fell into a Coma After Being Given the Wrong Medication

According to one news article, a 74-year-old man went into a coma after having been given the wrong medication at a hospital. Earlier this year, the man went to the hospital with flu-like symptoms. He was diagnosed with liver cancer and admitted to the hospital. After a couple of weeks at the hospital, he was given medication that was not prescribed to him.

According to his family, the man was given three extended-release morphine pills. The pills were given to him by a registered nurse on duty that night, but they were meant for another patient with bone cancer. The medication caused him to fall into a heavily sedated, comatose-like state for three days.

In an attempt to counter the effects of the medication, the man was eventually given Narcan, a medication that is intended to reverse an opioid overdose. After the incident, a social worker said that the morphine dosage would likely have killed him, which is why he was given Narcan.

The man’s family claims that the mistake occurred because the nurse did not confirm the man’s identity prior to giving him the medication. The man’s grandson was present when the medication was administered. The man and his grandson questioned why he was being given pain medication because he had not been on pain medication for at least two weeks. The nurse told them that she did not want the man to wake up in pain and then gave him the medication. The man and his grandson continued to question why the medication was given after the fact, and the grandson then went to verify that the medication was meant for his grandfather. At this point, he realized that the medication was given to his grandfather in error.

The man’s granddaughter said when she spoke to a supervisor, the supervisor said the nurse admitted to not checking the man’s bracelet to identify him and giving him the wrong medication. However, the granddaughter said the supervisor blamed her grandfather. The supervisor told her that her grandfather should have known the medications he was taking and that patients are given the wrong medication all the time. When the man finally woke up on his 75th birthday after being in a coma for three days, he was very upset that he had been given the wrong medication.

Contact a Maryland Attorney

If you or a loved one has been injured, you may be entitled to compensation. Medical errors can take both an emotional and a physical toll on a patient. At the law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC, our attorneys have been compassionately and skillfully assisting our clients for decades. We serve clients in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Virginia and handle all types of personal injury claims, including pharmacy error claims. Call Lebowitz & Mzhen at 404-654-3600 today to schedule a free consultation.

More Blog Posts:

Pharmacy Errors Occurring After a Transition to Long-Term Care, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, May 8, 2017.

Human Error Is Not the Only Contributing Factor in Some Pharmacy Errors, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, April 24, 2017.

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