Lawsuit alleges that hospital ignored patient’s lithium overdose

The guardian of the child filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the hospital, alleging that the hospital was administrating lethal doses of lithium. According to the plaintiff’s petition, the minor plaintiff was hospitalized for behavioral mental health problems. During the admissions process, the admitting nurse allegedly reported in error that the child was taking lithium carbonate 600 mg per day – twice the amount of the recommended dosage. Because of this medical malpractice, the child began receiving 1200 mg of lithium carbonate each day, continuing until his emergency transfer six days later.

By the child’s second day at the facility, the blood lab had flagged the child’s blood lithium level as abnormally high. However, no doctor initialed the lab report to indicate that it had been reviewed nor was any other corrective action taken. Six days later, a social worker brought the child to a hearing room. The child could hardly walk or hold his head up, was slurring his words, drooling, and covered with sweat. Nurses could not find the child’s pulse and he collapsed into a coma. The medical malpractice lawsuit alleges that the hospital breached the standard of care and was negligent in its treatment of the child.

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