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Medical mistake caused teen's overdose death

A New Mexico teen's overdose death was a medical mistake, according to the Office of the Medical Investigator. The alleged medical negligence death occurred hours after the 17-year-old girl was released from a juvenile detention center and transferred back to the hospital. The girl was reportedly moved to the Youth Development Center in Santa Fe less than two hours after being treated for a heroin overdose.

Shortly before 7:30 p.m. on May 7, a friend of the deceased victim called emergency medical personnel to a home. The girl was found to be lying unconscious on a bathroom floor and suffering from an apparent heroin overdose. When the girl was given Narcan, she reportedly responded very well to the drug.

Although the effects of Narcan are generally thought to wear off in approximately 90 minutes, the girl was booked into the Youth Development Center at 10 p.m. She was reportedly transferred because officers determined that she was wanted for violating probation. At 1:43 a.m., the girl was found unconscious and moved back to the hospital. After suffering from multiple cardiac arrests, she was pronounced dead at 6:03 a.m. Many medical websites with information on Narcan have suggested that repeated doses might be necessary for some overdose patients, and patients should be monitored while on the drug.

The family of the deceased might have a case for filing a medical malpractice claim. An attorney may be able to help family members determine all of the liable parties to list as defendants in a lawsuit. If a suit is successful, a family may receive compensation to cover hospital expenses, funeral arrangements and non-economic damages such as emotional pain and suffering.

Source: Albuquerque Journal, "OMI: Teen had OD symptoms when booked into Santa Fe County jail", Andy Stiny, August 20, 2014

Source: Albuquerque Journal, "OMI: Teen had OD symptoms when booked into Santa Fe County jail", Andy Stiny, August 20, 2014

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