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$________ CONFIDENTIAL Medical Malpractice – Hospital Negligence – Pharmacy – Nursing – Wrongful death of 78-year-old patient receives medication overdose resulting in cardiac arrest – Failure to properly update hospital's drug administration guidelines.

Withheld County, MA

In this negligence matter, the plaintiff alleged that the defendants were negligent in failing to properly administer blood pressure medication which resulted in a fatal overdose for the 78-year-old decedent. The defendants denied negligence and disputed that there was a deviation from acceptable standards of care.

The 78-year-old male decedent, with a history of high blood pressure that he treated via infusion of blood pressure medication with a pump, was admitted to the defendant hospital with hypotension and fatigue due to ascites. He was diagnosed in acute renal failure and right heart failure and started on antibiotics for a urinary tract infection. He was started on dialysis and medication to raise his blood pressure, as well as blood thinners.

The decedent was hospitalized for several weeks, completed his antibiotics and his renal failure was being effectively treated with the dialysis. In order to properly regulate his blood pressure, which had been historically high and required treatment for the five previous years, he was administered Treprostinil, which he had been taking at home, via a catheter on a pump. There was a conflict between the pump’s library, which had been updated for the proper dosing, and the hospital’s drug administration guidelines, which had not.

The defendant nurse attending to the decedent overrode the prescribed dosage, believing that it was excessive since she was relying on the outdated drug guidelines and programmed the pump to override them. The patient’s blood pressure dropped and instead of administering saline, the defendant nurse inadvertently programmed the pump with the blood pressure medication, causing the entire contents of the medication bag to empty into the decedent. As a result, he suffered cardiac arrest and died shortly thereafter.

The plaintiff brought suit against the defendant hospital alleging negligence on behalf of its pharmacy who failed to properly update the drug administration guidelines, the nursing staff that administered the medication contrary to the programmed dosage and overrode the safety precautions that were in place and erroneously programmed the dispensation of medication instead of saline resulting in a lethal overdose; and the defendant hospital itself for its failure to properly update its drug guidelines and properly educate its nursing staff on the correct dosage levels for medication. The defendants denied liability and disputed damages and causation. The defendants argued that there was no deviation from acceptable standards of care.The parties agreed to a confidential recovery of $________ to resolve the plaintiff’s claim in this matter.

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