A California medical malpractice wrongful death lawsuit for the death of a 93-year-old hospital patient who died as a result of alleged medical negligence while in the hospital has been settled for an undisclosed amount. The elderly woman’s family had reported the incident to the California Department of Public Health, which investigated the incident and reportedly cited the hospital in August 2014 for deficiencies in the woman’s care.
The California medical malpractice wrongful death lawsuit alleged that the woman was experiencing chest pain, vomiting, and other concerning symptoms on November 24, 2013 when she was brought by ambulance to the emergency room of the California hospital. The emergency room record did not document the level of the woman’s pain but she was given pain medications, which included morphine and Dilaudid. She was diagnosed with a gastric obstruction that was treated by placing a tube through her nose in order to suction her stomach. After she accidentally pulled the tube out and efforts to reinsert the tube were unsuccessful, it was decided that she would be taken to radiology to reinsert the tube.
Before the woman was brought to the radiology department, a nurse provided her with Dilaudid but failed to notify the radiology department that the woman had been given the powerful opioid medication. As a result, the radiology department was unaware that it needed to closely monitor the woman’s breathing due to the fact that opioids, including Dilaudid, can cause respiratory distress, which would require specialized equipment to be used during the process of reinserting the suctioning tube.
The woman suffered respiratory distress due to the Dilaudid and she was found unresponsive in her room. She was administered Narcan to reverse the effects of the opioid and placed on oxygen. Despite the efforts to reverse the effects of the Dilaudid, the woman’s condition deteriorated and she died due to respiratory distress, according to her family’s California medical malpractice wrongful death lawsuit.
The woman’s loving family was devastated by the death of their matriarch, who they described as being active and full of life before her fatal encounter with the California hospital.
A statement issued by the California hospital on August 15, 2016 stated, “The incident was clearly unfortunate, and we worked with the state when it occurred more than a year ago. It was investigated and we completed corrective steps that were approved by the state and included a thorough investigation of our policies, adjustments in our procedures and appropriate training of our staff.”
If the medical treatment you or a loved one received (or failed to receive) in a hospital in California or in another U.S. state may have fell below the required standard of care and caused harm to you or your loved one, you or your loved one may have the basis for a medical malpractice claim to seek compensation for the injuries that were sustained.
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