Most people in Pennsylvania have likely heard about the challenges facing the nation these days due to opioid addictions and other problems related to these serious medications. Even when opioids are used by medical staff for approved medical purposes, great care must be taken as they are highly powerful drugs. Pennsylvania has laws in place that outline specific protocol for medical professionals to follow when administering these drugs to patients. The steps also detail how frequently patients should be monitored once given these medications.

In at least one case involving an elderly woman recovering from surgery for cancer, a hospital in Muhlenberg failed to follow the procedures outlined after giving the woman an opioid for pain control and management. As a result, the patient required Narcan and cardiopulmonary resuscitation in order to be revived and to avoid her dying. An investigation indicates that the same hospital has been found negligent in other errors by the State Health Department.

Overall, the number of medical errors in Pennsylvania rose between 2015 and 2016. In the latter year, over 250,000 mistakes were recorded. That is more than seven percent more than the prior year. Mistakes involving medications comprise roughly 18 percent of all mistakes.

People who experience a medical mistake might find talking with a lawyer a good way of learning about their options for compensation and how they may keep themselves and their family members safe.

Source: The Morning Call, “Cancer patient says she was revived with Narcan after opioids administered at LVH-Muhlenberg,” Binghui Huang, March 28, 2018