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Prescription error determined to be cause of patient's death

Maryland patients expect that they will receive the best of care when they report to medical centers from all medical professionals -- both nurses and doctors. When patients feel like the care they receive caused additional harm, there are options available in order to hold the medical facility or professionals legally responsible. Unfortunately for one patient and her surviving family members, state health officials have determined that a nurse's prescription error led to the patient's death.

The deceased patient had been a resident of an assisted living facility for approximately two years. In January 2013, she had just returned to the facility after a case of pneumonia necessitated a hospital stay. In order to treat pain and difficulty breathing, the patient was given a prescription for a powerful pain medicine.

A week after her return, a nurse determined the pain medicine was needed because the patient was not eating and was having difficulty breathing. Unfortunately, according to state investigators, the nurse administered the incorrect amount of medicine due to her miscalculations. According to reports, the patient was given two doses of medicine; each does was 20 times the prescribed amount. The patient died later the same day.

The state's investigation claims that the nurse's neglect led to the prescription error that caused the woman's death. The surviving members likely have a good case for a case for in a civil court. Such action is a way to hold medical personnel in Maryland accountable for any mistakes that may lead to a patient's death or decreased quality of life. Such a case can provide compensation for burial costs in this specific example and other expenses.

Source:, "State cites nurse's neglect in overdose death of patient," Aug. 6, 2013

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