Using sterile needles, medicines and intravenous fluids on patients is established standard of care. Keeping anything injected into a patient sterile is vital to preventing life altering and/or threatening illness. Louisiana patients trust medical staff to follow standard practice for their health safety. Recently, a hospital employee in another state allegedly endangered hundreds of patients when he tampered with intravenous medications prior to its administration to patients. Many patients are now filing medical malpractice lawsuits as a result.
Last fall, the hospital began notifying approximately 700 patients that they may not have received ordered pain medicine that was recorded as administered during their stay. It was discovered that over a period of six weeks, a technician in the pharmacy allegedly replaced two strong intravenous narcotics with saline. The two pain medications tampered with were fentanyl and Dilaudid and are used frequently to manage cases of severe pain and to keep patients comfortable during surgery.
Ten lawsuits have been filed against the hospital, and many more patients have stated their intention to seek compensation in civil court as well. The lawsuit claims two cases of Hepatitis C may be the result of the technicians tampering with the medicines. Instead of receiving relief for pain, many patients were made to feel that their complaints of poor pain relief were just in effort to receive more medicine or was overreaction.
Hospitals have a responsibility to hire trustworthy and qualified employees for the protection and care of their patients. Negligent actions by any hospital employee can result in longer stays, additional illness and even death. Longer hospital stays or additional illness will create increased medical expenses and possible missed days at work, resulting in lost income. Medical malpractice attorneys in Louisiana are able to advise any patient that suspects they are the victim of hospital negligence about their options to seek compensation in civil court.
Source: kcci.com, "More than 100 clients file lawsuit in drug-switching case", Tommie Clark, Feb. 4, 2017