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Cardiac Patient Survives Heart Attack Only to Die from Medication Error

November 19th, 2009

A lawsuit, filed last month by the family of a medical error victim, alleges the victim was given the wrong medication by emergency room staff, causing his death. The victim, an 89-year old Texas man, was taken to the emergency room suffering from a heart attack. The man was treated for his cardiac condition, but passed away due to cranial bleeding. The victim’s medical chart shows he was given the wrong medication in the emergency room. The error caused the cranial bleeding which led to the man’s death.

An investigation by a medical review panel resulted in a split finding, with half of the board members determining the hospital and nurses failed to comply with the appropriate standard of care of their profession. The lawsuit alleges the physician who cared for the victim in the emergency room did not properly verify his verbal order for medication and communicated unclearly or incorrectly with emergency room staff.

Human error is a leading cause of such prescription errors. Incorrect interpretation of a doctor’s handwriting is often a cause for incorrect medication being administered by nurses or pharmacists. Yet another factor—as in this case—is miscommunication between doctors and nurses in the hospital. Without proper follow-up by doctors, the consequences can be grave.

There is a push to computerize prescription procedures in hospital. Computerized systems could greatly reduce the number of human errors relating to the administration of patient medication. But the implementation of such systems has been slowed by the high costs involved. Nevertheless, experts agree that the long-term benefits will far outweigh the initial costs. The reduction in human error in filling and administering prescription medications will undoubtedly save many lives and help to ease a crisis which plagues our current healthcare system.

Even minor medical or pharmaceutical errors can have serious consequences for patients and their loved ones. The administration of pharmaceuticals is an important responsibility which must be approached with the utmost of care and attention. Nevertheless, accidents which should be easily preventable occur far too often. The Lawyers of are experienced in the successful representation of victims of medical and pharmaceutical error. If you, or someone you know, have been injured because of taking the wrong medicine or other medical error, please contact us at for a free consultation. Our attorneys are available to assist in all aspects of your litigation.

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Gavin P. Lentz, Esq.
Bochetto & Lentz

Gavin Lentz (right) was selected as a "Super Lawyer" for 2006-2009 and 2010-2015 in New Jersey by Philadelphia Magazine. He has also been selected as a "Super Lawyer" by Philadelphia Magazine and the Legal Intelligencer in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 - 2015.

On September 16, 2002 Mr. Lentz was selected as one of the top 50 lawyers in Pennsylvania by the Legal Intelligencer.

He has made many television appearances, including on Fox News, The Today Show, Inside Edition, and The Phil Donahue Show.

Mr. Lentz is a member of the American Trial Lawyers Association and the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.

As a former prosecutor, he knows how to aggressively go after large pharmacy chains to prove the facts necessary to protect your loved one's rights.

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