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Family settles lawsuit involving fatal medication error

On Behalf of | Dec 24, 2018 | Doctor Errors

Advancements in medicines have helped heal patients from cancer, stabilize blood pressure, regulate heart rates, level blood sugars and offer relief of unpleasant symptoms such as pain. Although drugs have an incredible ability to assist patients with medical conditions, they can be extremely harmful to an individual’s health if administered incorrectly. Individuals in Massachusetts who have suffered an adverse reaction from a medication error may find some relief in the advice of a skilled medical malpractice attorney.

Sadly, one man’s family discovered the repercussions of a medication error in 2017. Their husband and father sought medical care for nausea and vomiting from a Veteran’s Affairs hospital, and he died 11 days later. Details of the 64-year-old man’s diagnosis were not reported.

During his stay, physicians determined that the man needed a drug called filgrastim. The drug is designed to be given to a patient to increase a patient’s production of white blood cells, and it can be given on a daily basis if needed. Instead of the prescribed drug, the patient was given a similar drug called pegfilgtastim. Pegfilgtastim is also designed to help patients increase their production of white blood cells, but it is not to be given on a daily basis as it was in this man’s case. A lawsuit filed by the family claimed that the patient developed respiratory distress and died as a result of the prescription error.

The lawsuit was set to go to trial, but the family and the hospital settled for $800,000. According to the family’s lawyer, they did not like the idea of a lawsuit but hoped the lawsuit would help prevent another fatal medication error and prevent future deaths. Experienced medical malpractice attorneys in Massachusetts can advise families of deceased patients of their options to file their own lawsuit in civil court after a review of the evidence.