When a physician in Louisiana or elsewhere prescribes a drug, the patient assumes that the physician is aware of any allergies in his or her medical history and would not prescribe the drug if it was not safe for the patient. However, this is not always the case, and sometimes a drug is prescribed despite conditions that could cause it to be harmful to a particular patient. This may have been what happened when an 80-year-old man in another state died after being prescribed a medication that he was allergic to that may have caused a lung condition leading to his death. His family is now claiming hospital negligence and is suing the hospital group for more than $1 million.
According to the lawsuit, the incident leading to the man's death began when he went to a local hospital's emergency department for help with a heart condition. An emergency physician diagnosed him with ventricular arrhythmia, which is an abnormal heartbeat that can lead to cardiac arrest. He was admitted to the hospital, and although two physicians noted his allergy to a drug typically used to treat his condition, he was nevertheless prescribed that drug. A potentially fatal lung condition is one of the more serious potential side effects of the medication. The suit states that several physicians throughout his hospital stay also noted the allergy, but they continued to approve the medication.
During his hospital stay, which included heart surgery, the patient developed shortness of breath, at which point a nurse apparently questioned whether it was linked to the medication. Over the next several weeks, the man returned to the emergency department several times, and eventually a physician suspected lung disease and took him off the drug. He died five days later. According to the suit, his death was likely caused by continued use of the drug, and it claims the hospital was negligent as it did not inform the family of potential complications or offer alternative treatments.
This family is now facing not only the loss of their loved one, but also the knowledge that the death may have been prevented had the medical professionals involved paid closer attention to detail and considered options. Families who find themselves in situations involving hospital negligence may be entitled to compensation. Louisiana residents who wish to explore legal options can contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney.