A medication error malpractice case in Oregon resulted in $12.2 million in damages. 56-year-old Lee Lyman suffered $6,445,500 in economic damages after a medication error left him brain injured. These economic damages represent future medical expenses and care, and lost wages. He was given more than 18 times the appropriate prescribed dose during surgery.
The trial revealed that the anesthesiologist misread the computer screen in gathering the amount of medication that Mr. Lyman needed. The overdose was toxic to the patient. Even the hospital’s pharmacy director testified that this was a failure of the hospital system.
This was a case against multiple defendants. Oftentimes a jury will apportion the damages between the various wrongdoers. In this case, the jury determined that the hospital bears 60 percent responsibility for the harm to Mr. Lyman; that the anesthesiologist bears 25 percent responsibility; and that the Anesthesia corporation bears 15 percent responsibility.
As a result of the medication error malpractice, Mr. Lyman suffered a serious brain injury. He’s lost significant functional ability in his activity of daily life. The jury found that he will likely need medical care for the remainder of his life.
Medication Error Malpractice Case Arose out of Heart Arrhythmia Overdose
The jury reached this decision after a three-week trial. They reached this conclusion after it was found that an anesthesiologist administered 2,700 milligrams of amiodarone, instead of the 150 milligrams ordered by a surgeon. This is a medication that’s often used to address heart rhythm problems. Amiodarone affects the rhythm of your heartbeats. It is used to help keep the heart beating normally in people with life-threatening heart rhythm disorders of the ventricles. Sometimes the medication is called a anti-arrhythmic medication used for various types of cardiac dysrhythmias.
An arrhythmia is a condition of the heart that occurs when the heart has an irregular heart beat. This is a serious health risk to the patient because it causes the blood to flow out of the heart unevenly. This fluid blood flow, when the heart is working properly, is often called laminar blood flow. Laminar blood flow is necessary to make sure oxygenated blood reaches all parts of the body. When an arrhythmia occurs in the heart, it creates a risk in the patient of clots forming in the heart.
To prevent this, anti-clotting medications and anti-arrhythmic medications are necessary. But it is incumbent on the medical provider to appropriately prescribe and dispense the correct dosage of medication. When medication error malpractice occurs, it can have devastating impacts on the patient’s life and the patient’s family.