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The hospital made a medication error, what rights do I have?

Purcell, OK |

My 94yr grandmother was taken to the ER with Glu over 500, when the hospital admitted her they mistakenly filled Pred 100mg instead of Primdone. Over the week her Glu remained high the Dr's couldn't explain why, 5 days later she had a stroke, at this time they found the medication error. 1 week later she passed away, no one at the hospital will discuss what happened with me. I am her only immediate family, do I have any rights? After the stroke her doctor took a leave of absence. I have the hospitals medical records showing the mistake and the death certificate show probable cause of death to be Diabetes. It also states under other significant medical conditions medication error. My grandmother had a history of UTI, Renal Failure and Diabetes.

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Attorney answers 6


Hmm, with her age and pre-existing medical conditions, it may be hard to prove that her death was a result of a medication error. The first thing you need to do is let an attorney review the medical records and they will determine whether or not there is merit to a malpractice case against the hospital and/or physician.

This answer is offered as a public service for general information only and may not be relied upon as legal advice.


It sounds like there may be a decent case of liability, but I don't know who is entitled to sue for wrongful death in OK since you are a grandchild and not child. An attorney licensed in OK can answer that. Damages are an issue, only because of your grandmothers advance age. If an OK licensed attorney is willing to help you, they can get the medical records and assess for you.


Given her age, it will be hard to make a case connecting her death to the medication error. However, I do agree that it sounds like a clear case of pharmacy error.

All states have their own "wrongful death statute." It defines who within the family may have standing to make a legal claim. It usually includes the decedent's parents (if any), spouse (if any), and children (if any). Grandchildren -- like you -- are usually not included on this list. However, I am not familiar with OK law so talk to a local attorney for the best advice.


A local lawyer would need to order her medical records to review.


I am very sorry about your loss. My colleagues have offered you the best suggestion. Find a local med mal attorney who can review the records. The consultation should be free. If the attorney agrees you have a case, you would be filing it on behalf of the estate of your grandmother.

For a free consultation related to medical malpractice, personal injury, workers' compensation, social security disability or nursing home abuse, please contact Lowenthal & Abrams, PC at 1-800-876-5299. I am licensed in Pennsylvania, but members of my firm are licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York. This post is not legal advice, but instead contains general educational information. Please do not act or refrain from acting based upon what you read in this post. Also please remember that this post does not form an attorney/client relationship between you and me. If you have specific legal questions, you should contact an attorney in your state for assistance. I am licensed to practice law in the state of Pennsylvania.


You do need to consult a local medical malpractice lawyer and as "her only immediate family" you do have certain rights as should be explained to you by the lawyer you consult. Look up primidone on the web and compare it to the drug she should have been given. From your short note it appears that your grandmother was deprived of the medication she presumably needed (Pred 100mg) for 5 days and instead, for 5 days was ingesting an anticonvulsant medication used to treat seizures.
As a general rule of thumb, when there is a clear error in medication AND a hospital or physician refuses to discuss why someone (who was on the wrong medication) died to an immediate family member, you should promptly consult an attorney who routinely sues hospitals and doctors for medical malpractice.

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