Author: Mark H. Sackstein, Esq.
All it takes is one small mistake for a disaster to occur. No matter how much research is done when choosing a hospital, it is impossible to predict a situation such as one that occurred last month in Oregon. Loretta Macpherson, a patient at a Bend, Oregon hospital, died after being administered wrongful medication. Ms. Macpherson, 65, had arrived at the hospital to receive an anti-seizure medication, fosphenytoin, following her brain surgery. Rather than being given the correct medication, Ms. Macpherson was administered a paralyzing agent, rocuronium—often reserved for surgical procedures.
Soon after Macpherson was given the wrong treatment, her breathing stopped and she soon fell into cardiac arrest. Macpherson had suffered permanent brain damage and was placed on life support. A few days later, she passed away.
There is no shortage of cautionary tales stemming from the negligence of hospital staff. The role of hospitals in our society is unique, in that it is one of the rare instances where a person gives their full trust and confidence of their lives to complete strangers. Fortunately, the law provides victims of medical malpractice and their families the right to seek remedies in courts. Because of the high stakes that is ancillary to the medical profession, medical staff must adhere to extremely high standards of professionalism and responsibility. When these standards are not met, hospitals may be held accountable for their negligence.
The three hospital staff members that were present during the incident have been placed on paid leave by the hospital while the investigation is still ongoing. The chief clinical officer for St. Charles Health System, is part of an investigation team that will determine the exact order of events that led to Ms. Macpherson’s unfortunate passing. The officer stated that was the first time the hospital has dealt with a situation like this. However, he went on to say, “[w]e do know there was a medication error. We acknowledge that. It’s our mistake.”
This Oregon hospital incident is an unfortunate example where a hospital successfully treated a medical issue for their patient but the ancillary treatment was provided negligently. The three staff members failed to provide care that fully met the high standards demanded by the medical profession and, as a result, the family of Ms. Macpherson have spent this past holiday season without their loved one.
The attorneys at Sackstein Sackstein & Lee, LLP will fight to protect your rights. If you or a loved one suffered a serious injury (or worse) as a result of medical negligence that occurred in a New York hospital, you should promptly consult with a New York medical malpractice attorney who may investigate your hospital malpractice claim.
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