Posted On: July 23, 2010 by Pennsylvania Personal Injury Attorney

Patient Dies of Medication Overdose Due to Hospital Negligence

According to this article on Maineville.com, a Mayo Regional patient received 10 times the needed epinephrine.

The article reported that Timothy Harvey, 51, went to the hospital’s emergency room on June 4. He was suffering from an allergic reaction and died early the next morning from a massive overdose of medication mistakenly administered by hospital staff.

The hospital’s CEO said it takes full responsibility for this situation.

The middle-aged man went to the emergency room on June 4, with symptoms of an acute allergic reaction that included facial swelling and some thickening of the tongue. He had eaten seafood about an hour earlier that evening but had no prior known seafood allergy.

The patient was given 0.3 milligrams of epinephrine, an appropriate amount, and the patient showed signs of improvement. While he was being held for observation, some of his earlier symptoms recurred and he was given a second dose of epinephrine. It can be re-dosed in the same amount as often as necessary to address a patient’s symptoms. However, the second dose was too large.

Harvey later began to experience chest pain and shortness of breath, the medical provider realized the man had been given 3 milligrams of epinephrine, or 10 times the normal dose.
The incident is still under investigation.

When a patient, such as Mr. Harvey, has been treated with substandard care by a doctor or healthcare provider and has suffered an injury or disability as a result, the patients have been the victim of medical malpractice. Misdiagnosis, failure to diagnose, surgical errors, prescription drug errors, birth injuries, failure to treat diseases, delay in treatment, and negligence are just a few examples of medical malpractice that take place throughout the United States. People of all ages are at risk for medical malpractice, including children, adults, and the elderly.

Medical malpractice in Pennsylvania and throughout the U.S. is a distressing situation, and the Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyers at Cherry, Fieger, and Marciano, LLP, will make the process as simple as possible for you. If you or a loved one has been the victim of hospital negligence in Pennsylvania, please contact Cherry, Fieger, and Marciano, LLP today for a free consultation with a Philadelphia medical malpractice attorney.