It is not very often that a hospital is put in the position of having to admit the staff administered the drug that killed the patient. But that is exactly what happened in this case. Instead of administering an anti-seizure medication the patient was given a paralyzing agent used during surgeries. I have to wonder what caused the critical error. It could be any number of things which is why lawyers have to examine all the evidence to know if this was an accident and if so who is responsible. Causes could include the following:
- An intentional act with the motive to take the patient’s life
- An incorrect charting entry
- An incorrect bottling or labeling of the drug
- An incorrect filling of the bottle by a pharmacy tech
- An incorrect filling of the bottle by the pharmacist
- Administering the drug to the wrong patient
- The lab work may be faulty and the result leads us to an erroneous conclusion about the cause of death
Who really is responsible? Is it possible more than one person is responsible? That is possible, and if so we know the wrong person shouldn't be blamed because it could ruin their career and their life.
You might wonder why it is necessary to have answers to these questions. It mostly goes back to the patients and their safety. A hospital staff person could be under the influence of drugs or alcohol and in need of treatment. There could be a psychopath in the hospital either on or not on the staff. A physician, nurse or other employee may be incompetent or have some other problem. We want to know the answer so we can make sure this doesn’t happen again.
After all we owe it to each other.