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.