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Hospital admits patient death was caused by drug mix-up

Florida resident may have heard that an Oregon hospital announced on Dec. 4 that a patient was administered the wrong medication while under their care. Due to the medication mistake, the woman died.

The report stated that the patient, a 65-year-old woman, had visited the emergency room at the hospital on Dec. 2 with questions regarding medication she was given after brain surgery. However, instead of an anti-seizure medication, she was given a paralyzing agent. She ultimately stopped breathing, went into cardiac arrest and suffered brain damage. The brain damage was determined to be irreversible, and she was taken off life support the following day.

The hospital responded to the error by placing three employees believed to be involved in the mix-up on paid leave. The hospital also launched an investigation in an attempt to determine how the woman was given the wrong medication. The Deschutes County district attorney was notified by the hospital following the incident.

It is estimated that approximately 210,000 to 400,000 patients die each year due to errors made by hospitals and medical staff. If a patient receives the wrong medication or the wrong dose and dies as a result, the family of the deceased patient may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim against the hospital and the staff members who caused the death. This claim allows certain family members such as the deceased person's spouse or children to recover the cost of any damages they sustained when their loved one died, including medical bills and compensation for lost income and lost companionship.

Source: CBS News, "Hospital medication error kills patient in Oregon", December 04, 2014

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