In This Article
- Prescription for Minoxidil Misfilled with Methotrexate
- Failure to Properly Diagnose and Treat a Child with H1N1 Flu
- Woman Claims Flu Vaccine Caused Guillain-Barré Syndrome
- Stakeholder Perspective: Ensuring Patient Safety
Prescription for Minoxidil Misfilled with Methotrexate
The plaintiff, age 24, had undergone a failed kidney transplant and was on dialysis and immunosuppressive therapy. The plaintiff was also hypertensive. In March 2011, the plaintiff picked up his routine medications from Penny Wise Drug. The plaintiff’s prescription for minoxidil 2.5 mg was misfilled with methotrexate 2.5 mg.
The plaintiff began to experience throat pain the following day. After a week, the plaintiff went to the emergency department with a sore throat, left cheek swelling, and pain rated as 7 out of 10. The plaintiff’s oropharynx had a white coating of the buccal mucosa and posterior oropharynx consistent with thrush, and an abscess in the left cheek. The plaintiff was discharged with medication and was instructed to follow-up with the nephrologist.
Four days later, the plaintiff was scheduled for his routine dialysis. The plaintiff was evaluated at St Luke’s because of mouth lesions and worsening clinical condition related to recent antibiotic therapy. The plaintiff was then admitted to St Luke’s, where it was confirmed that there had been a prescription misfill.
The plaintiff had ingested the methotrexate for 10 days. He suffered kidney injury from nephrotoxicity, and required intravenous (IV) administration of antibiotics. The plaintiff also suffered the loss of all of his hair. In addition, the plaintiff required 17 packed red blood cell or platelet transfusions, as well as placement of a central IV catheter to facilitate the IV administration of his medications.
A confidential settlement was reached.
Eric P. Rangel v. Penny Wise Drug Stores, Inc. Canyon County, ID, District Court, Case No. 13-2166.
Failure to Properly Diagnose and Treat a Child with H1N1 Flu
The plaintiff’s child, age 8, became ill in August 2009. The child was diagnosed as having the H1N1 strain of flu, and there was an influenza pandemic in the New Orleans area. Two days later, the child was seen by pediatrician Louis Bevrotte, who misdiagnosed the child and prescribed antibiotics. The child was taken to the emergency department of Children’s Hospital the next day, and seen by the on-call pediatrician, Neel Shah. Dr Shah diagnosed flu, but did not prescribe Tamiflu or any other anti-viral medication. The child’s condition continued to worsen, and she was seen 3 days later by her long-time pediatrician, Floyd Buras. Dr Buras did not prescribe any anti-viral medications. Dr Buras saw the child again 3 days after that and sent her to Children’s Hospital; anti-viral medications were started the next day. The child did not respond and was admitted to the intensive care unit. The girl died 13 days after she initially became ill.
The plaintiff alleged negligence in the failure to make a proper, timely diagnosis, and in failing to prescribe anti-viral medications. The plaintiff claimed that the girl was at “high risk” for complications from flu because of a history of pulmonary conditions. The defendants denied any negligence and also claimed that use of anti-viral medication would not have changed the outcome.
An $8 million verdict was returned for the plaintiff against Bevrotte and Buras; Shah received a defense verdict; the state caps on recovery reduced the verdict to $500,000.
Butler v. Bevrotte, et al. Orleans (LA) Parish Court, Case No. 11-3534.
Woman Claims Flu Vaccine Caused Guillain-Barré Syndrome
The plaintiff, age 56, received a mandatory flu vaccination through her hospital employer in October 2011. About 2 weeks later, the plaintiff began experiencing numbness, tingling, and weakness in her lower legs, which eventually progressed to her arms. She was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome. The plaintiff was hospitalized, and received intravenous treatment to improve her immune system, which included plasma, red blood cells, and other blood products. The plaintiff required treatment at a rehabilitation facility to regain her strength and relearn how to walk.
The plaintiff now relies on a cane, walker, and wheelchair for ambulation. The plaintiff also required treatment from a neurologist for debilitating pain in her arms and legs. The plaintiff claimed that she will continue to require therapy, medication, and physician visits. She sought compensation through the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. The plaintiff presented expert opinion that the flu vaccine caused the Guillain-Barré syndrome, while the government argued that flu vaccines do not cause Guillain-Barré syndrome.
A $1.5 million settlement was reached prior to the trial.
Wendy Lister v. Secretary of Health and Human Services, US Court of Federal Claims, Case No. 13-492V.
Reprinted with permission from Medical Malpractice Verdicts, Settlements and Experts, Lewis Laska, Editor, Nashville, Tennessee, 800-298-6288.