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Hospital negligence may have led to woman’s death during detox

June 11th, 2019

As most Louisiana residents likely understand, people are complicated, and each person may react differently to a challenging situation, such as a death in the family. Unfortunately, some people turn to dangerous substances to help them deal with their grief. Recently, a woman in another state was admitted to a hospital and addiction center after she experienced a heroin addiction relapse. In what appears to be a matter of hospital negligence, sadly, the woman died at the center shortly after beginning treatment.

The woman had turned to heroin as a coping mechanism following her brother’s suicide six years ago. At one point, she was rushed to a hospital and underwent detox; although she recovered then, eventually, the 30-year-old woman relapsed and was again admitted to a local hospital and addiction center, where she began detox treatment. She made it through the initial 72-hour period, but on a recent Saturday, her mother worried as she hadn’t received an expected phone call from her daughter. The mother called the hospital and was told staff were having difficulty getting her daughter to eat and drink. The following morning a hospital administrator called to tell her that her daughter had passed away during the night.

The case is now under investigation. Reportedly, a behavioral health technician at the addiction center had checked on the woman at 2 a.m. and heard the patient gagging, but such behavior did not cause concern as it is a typical reaction to detoxing. Apparently, during another check at 6:15 a.m., the same technician did not see anything concerning but left to retrieve equipment to check the patient’s vital signs; when she returned, the woman was dead. Although the hospital claims they conducted the 15-minute patient checks required according to hospital policy, the mother has said investigators told her the checks did not take place regularly, and no one checked her daughter for quite some time that night.

This grieving mother now believes that hospital negligence led to her daughter’s death. She may wish to consider pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit. In Louisiana, as in other states, any resident who feels he or she has endured a similar situation can consult with an attorney experienced in this area of the law. He or she can review individual case details and explain options for legal recourse.

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