Family Sues Kaiser Hospital After Mother Dies From Overdoes Of Opioid Medication, Part 2 of 3

The following blog is provided as an example of a Kaiser medical malpractice lawsuit to aid potential clients in how a lawsuit is examined and conduced. It is worth noting that situations similar to those described in this medical malpractice case could just as easily occur at any of the healthcare facilities in the area, such as UC Davis Medical Center, Mercy, Methodist, or Sutter.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this personal injury lawsuit and its proceedings.)

Plaintiffs’ experts testified that it was a violation of the standard of care for Dr. Devlin to continue to increase decedent’s opioid medications when she could not attend pain management. The dramatic increase on November 10, 2009 was not only too much and too fast, the prescription was written in a confusing and ambiguous manner, contrary to the Black Box Label Warning. Dr. Devlin prescribed the slow release Oxycodone/Oxycontin as follows: “80 mg SR 1 tab. Twice daily as needed for pain.” The standard of care and the Black Box Warning require that it never be prescribed on an as needed basis and that it be prescribed in precise 12-hour intervals to achieve the continuous release purpose of the medication. When it is prescribed twice a day as needed for pain, the patient can be compliant and take two doses in less than 12 hours and the phenomenon of “stacking” occurs, whereby the patient has too much in her system at a given time.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

On November 12, 2009, decedent retired at approximately 11:00 p.m. At 2:00 a.m., on November 13th, her husband got up to go to the bathroom and found that decedent was not breathing. He attempted to resuscitate her without success. The coroner determined that she died from Oxycodone toxicity. There was no dispute in the expert testimony as to causation, that the “stacking” caused by the ambiguously written Oxycodone prescription resulted in Oxycodone toxicity, which, in combination with the morphine, caused decedent’s heart to suddenly stop. The amount of Oxycodone found in decedent’s system on autopsy demonstrated that she had taken the doses 6-8 hours apart. The single neutral arbitrator determined that Dr. Devlin was held to the standard of care of a Pain Management expert in continuing to prescribe opiates to decedent after she did not keep her Pain Management referral.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

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