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Family says medication error caused 16-year-old daughter's death


Posted by Thomas Pettinicchi of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on Jul 19, 2012 in Doctor Errors

Medical errors that cause great harm to patients can take many forms. Some mistakes cause only minor injuries, but other errors result in permanent disability and even death. With these dire issues in mind, Connecticut residents may take interest in a recent wrongful death claim filed against a juvenile detention center and a hospital. The family who filed the lawsuit lost their daughter after doctors apparently made a medication error that gave the 16-year-old girl a fatal blood clot.

According to the lawsuit, the daughter's death was caused by the Ortho Evra birth control patch that the hospital prescribed. The drug is already known to have dangerous side effects such as an increased risk of blood clots, but the drug is nonetheless approved by the Food and Drug Administration for sale in Connecticut and throughout the country.

Before her admission to the hospital, the daughter had reportedly taken her mother's car without permission and crashed it, so the girl had been placed in a child detention facility. Months later, while she was still under authorities' supervision, the girl was taken to the hospital and prescribed the Ortho Evra patch. Soon after, she complained of foot pain and palpitations. She also began experiencing shortness of breath and had difficulty walking. For her pain, the detention center administered only ibuprofen.

The family's lawsuit indicates that the girl also began to experience chest pain, and she even collapsed. Staff members at the detention facility placed the girl in a segregation cell and apparently made attempts to contact the in-house nurse who was on call at the time. However, the nurse failed to respond until after emergency medical responders were called. According to the lawsuit, the child even tried screaming for help. Nearly an hour later, it was discovered that she wasn't breathing. Soon afterward, she was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Connecticut's medical malpractice laws allow for family members of deceased victims to seek some form compensation, even though no form of compensation can bring back a deceased loved one. But medical malpractice or wrongful death claims can bring families some measure of solace. Victims of medical malpractice also face financial burdens, and Connecticut residents who have these concerns should be aware of their rights under our state's medical malpractice laws. Contact our experienced Watertown medical malpractice attorneys to learn more about your rights.

Source: The Kansas City Star, "Family files lawsuit after girl's death in Jackson County detention facility," Tony Rizzo, July 2, 2012