Morphine Overdose Causes Death of Hospital Patient

A 65-year-old woman, we’ll call her Ms. Doe, underwent a successful elective surgery at a California hospital and was later transferred to a private room. The woman was stable by midnight that day, but three hours later nurses found her unresponsive. A code blue was called and despite resuscitation efforts, Doe’s condition deteriorated. She died of cardiopulmonary arrest. Doe had been retired and was survived by her husband and two adult children.

The family of Doe sued the hospital and several nurses claiming that a malfunctioning medication pump had caused Doe to receive an overdose of morphine. In addition, the lawsuit claimed that an inadequate pulse oximetry alarms prevented the nurses from timely responding to Doe before she became unresponsive. The defendants denied that they had chosen not to attend to Doe’s hypoxia state in a timely fashion. Before trial, the parties settled for $375,000.

In some cases, morphine, which is an extremely potent pain drug, can give rise to severe and often deadly side effects for patients who have an intolerance to this drug.  There are many effective pain medication alternatives to the use of morphine for patients who have a history of harmful side effects.

The attorney representing the Doe family was Jeffrey A. Milman.

Doe v. Roe, Confidential Dkt. No. Cal., Orange Co. Super. March 11, 2014.

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling hospital negligence cases, nursing negligence cases, medical malpractice cases and nursing home abuse cases for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of a medical provider for more than 38 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including South Holland, East Hazelcrest, Homewood, Glenwood, Lynwood, Lansing, Chicago Heights, Olympia Fields, Matteson, Country Club Hills, Oak Forest, Orland Hills, Tinley Park, Orland Park, Palos Park, Chicago Ridge, Oak Lawn, Evergreen Park, Hinsdale, LaGrange, Brookfield, Chicago (East Chicago, Calumet Heights, South Shore, Greek Town, West Town, Lakeview, Wicker Park, Logan Square, Austin, Woodlawn, Chatham), Burbank and Blue Island, Ill.

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