Med Mal Lawsuit Alleges Hospital Failed to Monitor Patient After Painkiller Use

Failure to take timely and quick action in response to a medical complication is one of the single most common forms of negligent medical care. Frequently, a Chicago medical malpractice attorney at our firm will sit down with a new client who will explain that they experienced a variety of conditions which were not properly taken into consideration by their nurses, nurses’s assistants, doctors, and other medical care givers. Usually, the client will explain that the true extent of the harm was only discovered by those individuals until much later, and significant pain was experienced and complications developed. Time is a key factor is all medical actions, and failure to act at the right time or quickly enough is often the basis of an Illinois medical malpractice lawsuit.

A new story in the Santa Fe New Mexican examines a new medical malpractice lawsuit where the same basic issues were involved. The case in that story is one of a woman and her husband who are suing their medical providers. At the center of the lawsuit is a claim that the medical providers failed to properly monitor the woman while she was taking painkillers. The victim was first taken to the emergency room a year and a half ago because she was suffering severe abdominal pain. Emergency room professionals soon admitted the woman to the hospital and gave her an intravenous dose of the painkiller Dilaudid.

Unfortunately, the situation would only get worse for the victim. The following day saw an increase in her pain. She also began to vomit. Of course, all of this was told to the nurse, but the nurse did not think anything was wrong. In the middle of that day that woman’s husband and daughter went to the cafeteria in the hospital. When they arrived back to the room they found the woman in a fragile state. Her arms were twitching, her face was purple, her eyes were rolled back in her head, and foam was coming out of her mouth. The family called for nursing help. Fortunately, the medical team realized the seriousness of the situation at that time, and they were able to perform emergency maneuvers to save her. They admitted that had the woman been in that condition for even two more minutes she likely would have died.

It was only later learned that the woman’s problems were caused by her sleep apnea, a condition that reduces blood-oxygen levels during sleep. The victim in this case was morbidly obsese and the apnea is a common factor in those with significant obesity. The oxygen reducing complications of sleep apnea are aggravated by painkiller use, including Dilaudid. In the subsequent medical malpractice lawsuit that was filed by the family after the incident, the complaint noted that the doctors who described the painkillers failed to warn the nurses to monitor the woman’s respiratory and neurological conditions. The hospitals had a duty to insure that the personnel who were providing care were properly trained to identify conditions that they should monitor. As the result of their negligence the woman had the near death experience which has left her with a variety of long-term emotional problems.

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