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Woman dies after hospital purportedly gave her wrong medicine

Residents of New Mexico may have heard a news report about a recent incident that occurred at an Oregon hospital. According to reports, a female patient died after the hospital staff allegedly gave her the wrong medication.

According to the report, a 65-year-old Bend woman died due to brain damage from lack of oxygen and cardiac arrest after medical personnel supposedly gave her medication containing a paralyzing agent. Instead, the patient was supposed to receive fosphenytoin, an intravenous anti-seizure medication. The medication that the woman received is generally used during surgeries.

Following the incident, three of the hospital's staff members were put on paid leave. In the meantime, the hospital is trying to determine how the fatal accident transpired, according to the hospital's chief clinical officer. On Dec. 3, the patient died after she was taken off the life support equipment that she was on to keep her breathing.

In the U.S., hospital errors account for thousands of deaths annually, many of which could have been easily prevented. However, during 2010 and 2013, hospital errors dropped to 17 percent, according to the report.

In the event a person dies due to a doctor or hospital staff administering the wrong medication or any other type of medical error, the grieving family of the decedent may elect to retain the services of a local medical malpractice attorney who may be able to determine who was at fault in the incident. Sometimes, the manufacturer of the medication or the pharmacy that prepared and packaged the medication may be to blame for the loss. Plaintiffs who succeed in such cases are usually awarded for their accident-related losses such as medical expenses and funeral costs. Under some circumstances, they are also compensated for loss of companionship.

Source: CBS News, "Hospital medication error kills patient in Oregon", December 04, 2014

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