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Lawsuit alleging fatal medication errors settled

When a hospital fails to properly care for a patient in West Virginia and the patient ends up dying, the surviving family members are entitled to take legal action against the facility. In one case in another state, a 37-year-old man died at a hospital following a routine procedure. The victim's wife filed a lawsuit against the hospital, alleging medication errors. Recently, the suit was settled.

The man suffered an irreversible brain injury. The injury occurred because he did not get enough oxygen while undergoing a routine endoscopy procedure. The procedure involved the placement of a tube down the man's throat to determine what was causing his problems with swallowing.

During the procedure, the man was under conscious sedation, which means he was given medication to relieve his anxiety and pain. However, nurses reportedly gave the man more than two times the drug dose initially ordered. It was alleged that they did not monitor him properly. They also are said to have ignored signs suggesting oxygen deprivation.

The amount for which the lawsuit was settled is confidential. However, the amount is a minimum of $3.75 million. Anyone in West Virginia who has lost a loved one due to medication errors has the right to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the medical facility allegedly responsible for the loved one's death. No amount of money can restore the life of the victim in such a situation, but it may help the surviving family members to recover damages incurred and help to ensure that similar tragedies do not occur in the future.

Source: madison.com, "Lawsuit settled in death after routine procedure at St. Mary's Hospital", David Wahlberg, July 26, 2016

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