When Pennsylvania residents suffer illness or injury, they likely believe that a consultation with a doctor may be the first step toward recovery. Sometimes, however, people end up in a worse condition after medical treatment. In some cases, patients suffer unavoidable injuries while in medical care while injuries in other instances are directly caused by medical staff failing to observe the fundamental standards of medical care. Such cases may lead to medical malpractice lawsuits.
A hospital in another state was recently sued by the wife of a man who allegedly suffered brain damage as the result of medical negligence suffered by her husband as a result of his hospitalization on New Year's Day last year. On Jan. 17, he apparently complained of weakness and was unable to eat for two days. In addition to a continuous supply of oxygen, a PCA pump administered Dilaudid. The electronically controlled infusion pump administers an intravenous analgesic when the patient presses a button. His wife asserts that he appeared confused, weak and drowsy the following day, and he allegedly suffered from disorientation and garbled speech.
The claim states that two physicians then examined him in ICU. They apparently reported that the Dilaudid caused the patient to suffer brain damage. He was discharged, but his wife claims that he now needs constant care in a nursing facility. The plaintiff seeks compensatory damages for the pain and suffering her husband suffered, along with the loss of life enjoyment. In addition, she seeks compensation for medical costs incurred up to date, along with ongoing expenses for his daily care and medical treatment.
The hospital is accused of negligence for its failure to monitor the patient's vital signs and the oxygen level or saturation in his blood by the use of pulse oximetry, and failure to program the administering PCA pump in a manner that would not pose danger of brain damage. Any Pennsylvania resident who has suffered avoidable injuries while in the care of a medical facility may be entitled to pursue recovery of any damages related to the incident. He or she retains the right to file a medical malpractice claim in a civil court, naming as defendants the facility and any medical staff that may have contributed to the injuries alleged.
Source: madisonrecord.com, "Woman alleges husband suffered disability after receiving intravenous medication", Dec. 23, 2014