The issue of medication errors in hospitals is huge. Statistically, a hospital patient will suffer a medication error once every ten days. Unfortunately, oversedation with narcotics is common and a written protocol for managing that is required of each hospital. Narcan is the medication of choice for countering oversedation with narcotics and is a necessary part of such a protocol. Failure to properly and timely use Narcan can result in death of the patient. Having handled a number of similar cases, it sounds to me like there is more than enough information to investigate this situation thoroughly. You stated that the nurse called the physician to ask for a drug screen suspecting pain meds overdose. This suggests 1) a failure to understand the urgency of the situation, and 2) a waste of valuable time. When a patient is symptomatic from suspected narcotic oversedation, Narcan is used immediately as other resuscitation measures are being taken such as increased oxygenation, supportive therapy for blood pressure and heart rate, addressing blood gas abnormalities, etc. I suggest the family consult a firm specializing in medical malpractice cases, especially one with an MD on staff, to get all of the answers they need for this unfortunate event.
licensed in OK, AR, and TX
Consult a medmal attorney in your area ASAP.
You want to preserve as much evidence as
possible. Funny things happen to records
when hospitals and police departments
get sued. Sorry for your loss. Good luck.
THIS ANSWER IS PURELY FOR ACADEMIC DISCUSSION ONLY AND DOES NOT CONSTITUTE ANY TYPE OF LEGAL ADVICE OR LEGAL REPRESENTATION.