Jay West, 59, cut the fingertip of his left thumb while using a table saw. He went to Springhill Medical Center where he was advised that a fingertip amputation was medically necessary.
After the surgery, his treating surgeon wrote an order authorizing up to 4 mg of IV Dilaudid every three hours.
West was moved to the orthopedic floor, where a nurse administered 8 mg of IV Dilaudid in a course of two hours. Almost four hours later, West was found unresponsive. Resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful. West had been a carpenter. He was survived by his wife and two adult children.
West’s wife and his estate sued the hospital, alleging it chose not to properly monitor him for respiratory depression and cardiopulmonary arrest despite his high risk for opioid-induced respiratory depression from his sleep apnea and obesity.
The lawsuit claimed that the hospital chose not to provide any training to its nursing staff on how to protect patients from known failures of IV opioids.
The jury returned and signed a verdict for $35 million for this tragic loss of life.
The attorneys representing the West family were J. Brian Duncan Jr., Robert Mitchell and David Wirtes Jr.
West v. Springhill Hospitals, Inc., No. 02-CV-2016-901045.00 (Ala. Cir. Ct. Mobile County).
Kreisman Law Offices has been handling medical malpractice lawsuits, hospital negligence cases, wrongful death lawsuits, surgical negligence cases and nursing negligence lawsuits for individuals, families and loved ones who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of a medical provider for more than 45 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Arlington Heights, South Barrington, West Dundee, Elgin, Carol Stream, Wheaton, Batavia, Oak Park, Cicero, Joliet, Bolingbrook, Naperville, Chicago (Ashburn, Chrysler Village, South Shore, Little Italy, Belmont Central, Lakeview, Wrigleyville, Hyde Park, Albany Park, North Park, Uptown, Rogers Park), Skokie, Evanston, Wilmette and New Lenox, Ill.
Robert D. Kreisman has been an active member of the Illinois and Missouri bars since 1976.
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