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Chicago-area family awarded $7M in medication error lawsuit

Illinois residents who have ever been sick or hospitalized know the benefits of both over-the-counter and prescription medications. When administered correctly, these medications can be extremely beneficial and life-saving. There are cases, however, were errors related to the type of or dosage of medication can occur that adversely impact an individual’s health and wellbeing.

The family of a 10-year-old girl who lives near Chicago was recently awarded a $7 million medical malpractice settlement. The lawsuit stemmed from a medication error that occurred in the hospital shortly after the girl’s birth which resulted in the girl suffering permanent brain damage.

According to court records, the infant girl was placed in the neonatal unit shortly after her delivery. At this time, an IV was started which was to supply 4.5 cc of fluid per hour. At some point, a nurse replaced an empty bag of solution and programmed the IV pump to administer 405 cc per hour. The egregious medication error was not detected for roughly 45 minutes at which time it was determined that the infant girl had suffered permanent brain damage.

Today, the 10-year-old has developmental delays that have and will continue to adversely impact her quality of life. The suburban Chicago hospital took responsibility for the medical error and was recently ordered to pay the girl’s family a $7 million settlement. The compensation awarded will help provide for the girl’s current and future care and medical needs.

Medication errors are 100 percent preventable. Today, most hospitals have instituted safety protocols and procedures to help prevent these types of errors. In cases where a medication error does occur, a patient may suffer permanent and painful injuries.

Source: ABC7 Chicago, “Edward Hospital settles baby overdose suit for $7 million,” Dec. 16, 2013

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