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The family of a California man has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Vibra Hospital of Sacramento after a nurse injected him with as much as 8,000 times the prescribed dosage or a blood pressure medication, causing his heart to stop. According to a report in The Daily Mail, the lawsuit alleged the nurse failed to check the IV package or the patient’s current blood pressure. She allegedly injected the patient with a concentrate of Levonphed, a powerful drug used to treat severe low blood pressure.
Fatal Medical Error Alleged
In violation of the hospital’s policy, the nurse, who had never before administered the drug, was not overseen or accompanied by anyone. The patient’s heart stopped even before she had administered the entire dose. Vibra is one of seven California hospitals facing as much as $75,000 in fines for mistakes that costs patients their lives.
The Department of Public Health found that the hospital had failed to administer a drug as prescribed by the physician or in accordance with facility policy. Investigators also determined that the hospital had failed to develop and implement policies and procedures for establishment of a safe and effective system for the storage, dispensing and use of drugs.
According to a statement released last month, Vibra has since put all of its warning signs in bold letters moving vials of concentrate out of their accessible locations and shutting down the entire intensive care unit where the patient died until all nurses have been properly trained on how to safely administer medications.
Medical Mistakes and Deaths
Medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States right behind heart disease and cancer, according to a recent study by Johns Hopkins. A majority of these mistakes are the result of system errors, gaps in communication, inadequate training or just recklessness. These mistakes result in 250,000 to 440,000 deaths each year in the United States.
If you have lost a loved one in California due to negligence or wrongdoing, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation for damages such as medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income and loss of love, care and companionship. An experienced California wrongful death lawyer will be able to advise you regarding your legal rights and options.