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Medical Staff Overlooks Patient’s Medication Allergies – Twice | Ormond Beach Medical Malpractice Attorney

Medical Staff Overlooks Patient’s Medication Allergies – Twice

Patients expect the best of care from their doctors. What they don’t expect is to be given medication to which they are allergic. On two occasions.

That’s what happened to this patient who required emergency medical treatment after being given medications to which he had known allergies on two separate occasions. This patient’s medical malpractice lawsuit was successful.

After surgery to repair a congenital abnormality of his bile tract, this 32-year-old male patient suffered from repeated episodes of obstruction and infection. During one of several post-operative hospital admissions for infection, he received a small dose of cefotetan.

The patient had a serious whole-body reaction that was treated quickly with good results. Cefotetan was added to the list of medications to which the patient was allergic, which also included Compazine. On his physician’s advice, the patient began wearing a medical alert bracelet indicating his drug allergies.

Two months later, during another admission, the patient was given Compazine for nausea. When the patient questioned the nurse after the injection, he received Benadryl in time to mitigate his allergic reaction.

Four months later, after a second surgery, the patient was readmitted for a post-op infection, and ofloxacin was ordered. When asked to consult on the patient’s post-op care, an Infectious Disease specialist — apparently unaware of his allergy — changed the order to cefotetan, which the patient received and reacted to adversely.

He was stabilized and admitted to the ICU for overnight observation. The next day, the patient refused to be admitted to the floor where the drug error occurred.

The patient filed a lawsuit against the institution for multiple incidents of negligence regarding the ordering and administration of medication. The lawsuit was eventually settled out of court.

This case involved multiple errors involving common factors (i.e., same patient, same drugs) but different providers.

When different people repeat the same mistake, the blame should fall on the systems they are relying on to prevent such errors from occurring. Everyone along the medication path needs a system of checks and double checks to ensure that the patient receives the right amount of the right drug in the right manner at the right time(s). No such system was in place here.

The patient had chronic health problems, and multiple hospital admissions. Without his own intervention and watchfulness, more errors — and more serious consequences may have resulted.

For more on medical malpractice cases, see the library of articles by Daytona Beach medical malpractice attorney.

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