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Medication Errors Case Results

Multimillion-dollar recovery A school teacher from Bethel Park suffered a devastating stroke when she was mistakenly given the wrong drug in the emergency room at a local hospital. The patient was supposed to be given a drug to lower her blood pressure, but instead, she was given a medication that raised her pressure. As a result, she suffered a stroke, which left her unable to work and with a severe speech and movement impairment. We obtained a multimillion-dollar recovery on behalf of this woman and her husband.

Six-figure recovery for improper use of antibiotics -Antibiotics are often referred to as modern day "wonder drugs" as they have certainly helped to eradicate many infections which otherwise would cause great harm. However, in recent years there has been much concern in the medical profession about the overuse of antibiotics because those drugs have their own side effects. We recently encountered one such situation in which a man recovering from knee surgery was unnecessarily given the antibiotics Clindamycin and Cipro. One possible side effect of those drugs, particularly Clindamycins, is that the patient develops C-difficile associated diarrhea which, in turn, can cause colitis. That is exactly what happened to this gentleman. He went on to develop colitis from the unnecessary use of antibiotics and ended up being hospitalized for a very lengthy period of time with multiple complications. Although he survived the ordeal, he went through several months of hospitalization and medical care that otherwise would have been avoided.

Large six-figure recovery A woman from Uniontown was in a Pittsburgh hospital with fractures of the tibia and fibia (lower leg) following an automobile accident. After undergoing surgery for those fractures, she was given antibiotics to protect against possible infection. One of those antibiotics was Gentamicin. However, the doctors gave her too much of the drug, and she developed Gentamicin toxicity, which caused a vestibular injury to her balance mechanism in the inner ear. As a result, she was unsteady on her feet and often developed dizziness with sudden movements of her head. We obtained large six-figure recovery on her behalf.

Significant six-figure recovery An 80-year-old man from Pittsburgh was on a regular medication called Coumadin, which is a blood thinner. His prescription was filled at a local pharmacy. The pharmacy made a mistake and gave him a dose of Coumadin that was more than double the strength he was supposed to receive. As a result, he developed severe internal bleeding and nearly died. He underwent a major surgery and was hospitalized for nearly a month. Surprisingly, this elderly, vibrant gentleman survived. We obtained a significant six-figure recovery against the pharmacy that improperly filled the prescription.

Significant six-figure recovery A 51-year-old man from Altoona who was already in the hospital after suffering a heart attack died from a second heart attack after he was mistakenly given a huge overdose of the drug Thorozine. Due to mistakes by the nursing staff and the hospital pharmacy, the patient received a dosage three times what was appropriate, and it was injected at a rate of 12 times faster than is recommended. He suffered a fatal cardiac arrest several minutes later. We filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the hospital and pharmacy and received a significant six-figure recovery for this man's wife.

Significant six-figure recovery An elderly woman from Erie died as a result of bleeding in her brain (the medical term is hemorrhagic stroke) as a result of being given the drug TPA. We filed a claim on the grounds that the hospital never should have administered TPA to her. We obtained a significant six-figure recovery on behalf of her estate.

Recovery well in excess of six figures A 55-year-old woman from Johnstown, Cambria County, developed a large hemorrhage in her leg as a result of receiving too much of the blood-thinning drugs, heparin and Coumadin. The hemorrhage in her leg resulted in damage to the femoral nerve, which caused her left leg not to function normally. We filed a medical malpractice claim against her doctors on the ground that they were not monitoring her blood work close enough, and if they had done so, they would have reduced the dosage of the blood-thinning medication. We obtained a recovery well in excess of six figures on her behalf.

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