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Louisiana hospital allegedly gave wrong medication to patient

A person admitted to a Louisiana hospital in 2012 for treatment of encephalitis related to the West Nile virus has filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the hospital. According to the patient, shortly after he was admitted to the hospital, doctors administered antibiotics, intubated and sedated him. At the time, the staff assured the patient that he would be removed from the ventilator and extubated gradually.

During the treatment, the patient was administered insulin, along with another medication that increases blood flow to the lungs. However, during a CT scan, a nurse observed that the patient was not receiving the medication meant to increase the blood flow to the lungs and instead had been given a medication that had not been prescribed to him. Instead, he was receiving an anti-seizure relaxant.

Due to the mistake, the patient nearly received an overdose of the anti-seizure relaxant. Since his mental status had not improved, extubation was delayed. After being intubated for nearly a month, he was finally extubated and discharged to a skilled nursing facility.

The person later filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the hospital, seeking compensation for loss of consortium, emotional distress, physical pain and suffering, mental anguish and medical expenses.

As hospitals and doctors are responsible for administering correct treatment to the patient, they are liable for mistakes committed by them. They are required to provide maximum care for all patients, as even a minor negligent act can prove fatal for the patient. However, some medical practitioners may be negligent in their duties, which can result in a worsened condition for the patient. A person who has been improperly treated can file a lawsuit against medical professionals for damages. A medical panel may review the claim and decide if there was a breach in the standard of care provided to the patient. The victim should prepare the claim carefully to enable panelists to unanimously agree that the medical professional was negligent in treating the patient.

Source: The Louisiana Record, "Local hospital sued over allegedly giving West Nile virus patient wrong drug," Kyle Barnett, June 16, 2014

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