Physicians and nurses owe a duty to all of their patients to administer the proper medication and provide a certain basic level of medical care. Most of the time, physicians do the best job they can making sure that the sick are well cared for, but on occasion a lapse in judgment can result in serious consequences.
Bethel v. United States of America
In a recent case from Colorado, a man was granted a verdict in excess of $10 million after he suffered severe brain damage as a result of medication error. The facts of the case were as follows:
Bethel, the plaintiff in the lawsuit, was under the care of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center when he underwent general anesthesia. He was to be cared for by a doctor as well as by a first-year resident. The resident prepared Bethel for surgery, but in so doing administered a paralytic drug instead of a sedative drug. At this time, the doctor was away attending to another patient.
Due to the administration of the improper medication, Bethel was not sedated and got up, tried to remove his oxygen mask, and was visibly agitated. The resident and nearby nurses restrained him. The doctor was then called back into the operating room.
When the doctor returned, she initiated a rapid sequence induction and administered anesthesia drugs, which required intubation to help Bethel breathe. However, the intubation was not successful, and the attending nurse could not detect a pulse. Thereafter, another doctor came in to establish a surgical airway so Bethel could breathe. Eventually Bethel’s breathing returned to normal.
As a result of the deprivation of oxygen, however, Bethel suffered severe brain damage across all parts of his brain. After the incident, Bethel was unable to care for himself and requires the full-time assistance of a caregiver.
Bethel brought a medical malpractice suit against all the doctors involved. After a trial, the court determined that all attending doctors, including the resident, provided medical care to Bethel that was below the acceptable standard of care. As such, the court awarded Bethel a verdict of $10,710,700, the amount he requested in his complaint.
Pharmaceutical Error Cases Can Have Drastic Consequences
As you can see from Mr. Bethel’s case, the administration of the incorrect medication can have devastating consequences on a person’s life, potentially drastically affecting the remainder of his or her life. In these cases, the victim of the medical malpractice is entitled to look to his or her doctors for responsibility. While the patient cannot return his or her life back to normal, they may be able to get compensation for the diminished enjoyment of it.
Are You in Need of a Maryland Pharmaceutical Error Attorney?
If you or a loved one has recently experienced any kind of ill effect from the administration of an improper drug, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. To find out more about the medical malpractice laws in Maryland, and to speak to an experienced Maryland personal injury attorney, contact the law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers. The dedicated attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen have years of experienced enforcing the rights of injured Marylanders. Click here, or call 410-654-3600 to speak to an attorney today.
More Blog Posts:
Fosamax Plaintiff Receives $285,000 Verdict After Jury Trial, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, February 12, 2013
Pharmaceutical Company’s Failure to Warn Did Not Cause Plaintiff’s Injury, Court Rules, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, April 29, 2014.