Typically, when a physician in a hospital makes an order for a specific medication, it must be approved and released by a licensed pharmacist. Nurses, who most often administer medications to patients, are also most likely aware of appropriate dosage amounts of most drugs. Sadly, eight different cases of doctor error indicate that something in the system of one hospital was not working to ensure correct medication dosage to patients. Massachusetts patients may be interested to learn that eight wrongful death lawsuits have been filed against a physician for prescribing a lethal dose of fentanyl to different patients.
Recently, the two additional lawsuits were filed against the physician. In one case, a mother sought emergent care for shortness of breath, but she died not long after being admitted to the hospital’s intensive care unit. Upon a review of her medical records, the family’s attorney states that the woman was administered 800 micrograms of fentanyl. In a video accompanied by the article, it was noted that any dose above 200 micrograms of fentanyl can be harmful and/or lethal to a patient’s health.
The other recent wrongful death lawsuit has been filed by the family of an 85-year-old woman. The lawsuit for the case accuses the doctor and medical staff of ordering and administering two different larger than normal doses of fentanyl within 20 minutes of the other. Another physician stated that large doses of fentanyl are ordered and administered at times, but large doses are most often in cases of surgery where a patient is under constant monitoring. The physician is no longer employed by the hospital.
Hospitals install safety checks for dangerous medications to avoid unnecessary deaths such as these. When they are ignored, death and/or injury can occur at the expense of the patient and family. Massachusetts medical malpractice attorneys understand the devastation that a doctor error can cause for a family and are available to review medical records to explore legal options for a family in the aftermath of a similar tragedy.