Everyone makes mistakes. However, mistakes made by medical care professionals can have serious consequences for the lives of their patients. While there are many safeguards in place to prevent doctor errors in Texas, for example, they still occur. The estate of one out-of-state woman has recently been awarded damages after family members alleged that their loved one could have been saved.
The case involves the death of a 32-year-old woman. She reportedly had a history of cocaine and heroin use. In 2008, emergency responders administered Narcan, the drug that works as an antidote for overdoses of opiates. She was transported to an emergency room, but was awake and appeared to be stable when she arrived.
The doctor named in the suit released her from the hospital five hours later. Just six hours after her release, she was dead. Her family claims that although nurses noted and drug tests confirmed that the woman was a methadone user, the doctor failed to recognize the presence of the drug in her system. Methadone can cause respiratory issues much longer after consumption than heroin. The family claims, its use should have resulted in admission to the hospital which may have prevented her death.
A jury has recently agreed that the doctor errors were medical malpractice and has awarded the woman's estate over $500,000. This award could help with medical and funeral expenses. In addition to resulting in damages, those who file a medical malpractice lawsuit in Texas can also help others by bringing attention to situations that could also be harmful to future patients.
Source: theday.com, "Jury awards $500,000 in methadone overdose malpractice case", Karen Florin, July 14, 2015