Enterprise, AL, November 11, 2017 — Sawyer Law Firm, LLC has filed a wrongful death case in Russell County, Alabama on behalf of the family of an Alabama woman who received an overdose of insulin at a nursing home. The 74-year old woman was admitted to a Phenix City nursing home for rehabilitation following a hospital stay. The lawsuit alleges that the nursing home staff transcribed the insulin order incorrectly, which resulted in the woman receiving 40 units of fast-acting insulin. The insulin was administered around 8:00 p.m., and the woman was not checked again until 5:00 a.m. the next morning when she was found unresponsive with a blood sugar of 30. She was transferred to a hospital where she died shortly thereafter. The lawsuit alleges that not only did the nursing home transcribe the order incorrectly, but that the pharmacy consultant for the nursing home failed to identify the error.
“This is one of the most egregious medication errors I have ever seen”, said attorney J.P. Sawyer. “Any first-year nursing student should know that 40 units of fast-acting insulin are an outrageous amount of insulin to give someone. The nurses transcribed the order incorrectly, the pharmacy company failed to identify the error, and the nurse administered an obviously incorrect dose which resulted in this lady receiving 14 times the ordered dose of insulin. This conduct was grossly negligent, and the medical providers failed this lady on multiple levels.”
An adverse drug event (ADE), as defined by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, is any harm experienced by a patient as a result of exposure to a medication. According to the Agency, ADEs account for nearly 100,000 hospitalizations and 700,000 ER visits each year. With nearly 5% of hospitalized patients experiencing an ADE, they are one of the most common types of inpatient errors.