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Hospital negligence caused woman's death, according to jury

In June 2011, a woman was admitted to a facility for two weeks of rehabilitation. By Oct. 2011, she was dead. It might not surprise Oregon readers to know that her surviving family members filed a complaint alleging that hospital negligence led to her death, and a jury recently agreed with them to the tune of $20 million.

She was admitted on June 23, 2011 to begin her rehabilitation. On June 30, 2011, she appeared to be in an altered mental state and was sent to an area hospital. She was sent back to the rehabilitation hospital on July 2, 2011 after being treated for dehydration.

Just three days later (on July 5, 2011) at approximately 4:40 a.m., she was found with an oxygen saturation of only 70 percent and was unresponsive. By the time she was once again taken to the emergency room at Gadsden Regional Medical Center in Alabama, she was in a coma. It was then discovered that the woman had opiates in her system and was given intravenous Narcan, which is given to patients experiencing a drug overdose.

Even though her condition improved, she suffered brain damage due to an extended lack of oxygen to her brain. She suffered a cerebrovascular incident in October and died on Oct. 22, 2011. It was claimed that the rehabilitation hospital negligently gave the woman opiates, which she had not been prescribed.

This and other kinds of hospital negligence lead to hundreds of thousands of deaths every year. Families here in Oregon and around the country lose their loved ones because they do not receive the appropriate standard of care. Those families also retain the right to file claims seeking damages for the permanent, serious or fatal injuries suffered at the hands of medical professionals.

Source: gadsentimes.com, "Etowah jury returns $20 million verdict in medical malpractice case", Donna Thornton, May 19, 2016

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