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Oregon Woman Dies After Medication Mistake

Steve Wagner

A 65-year-old woman died after her medical providers in Portland, Oregon, made a critical error with her medications. Instead of receiving a life-saving dosage of her anti-seizure medication, Loretta Macpherson was given a paralyzing agent that is used for surgeries. The anti-seizure medication she was supposed to receive is called fosphenytoin, but the deadly treatment she was given was rocuronium, a drug typically only given when a patient is on a ventilator.

As a result of this error, Macpherson stopped breathing and suffered cardiac arrest, as well as brain damage.

Not only should this mistake have been avoided completely, but Macpherson only came to the ER with questions about her medication dosage after recovering from a recent brain surgery. The chief clinical officer for St. Charles Health System and the Bend hospital’s spokesperson, Michel Boileau released a public statement about the error made at the hospital, saying, “Tragically, there was a medication error made.”

Although this hospital is uncertain how the error was made, an investigation is underway to examine every step of the process, from the manufacturer, all the way to the hands of the doctors and nurses who may have administered the drug. Three hospital employees are currently on a paid administrative leave until the cause of the error can be determined and more appropriate actions taken.

Unfortunately, medication errors like these happen every day, all across our country. In fact, a landmark study by the Institute of Medicine reported that 1.5 million adverse drug events occur each year, costing the United States and estimated $4 billion annually according to the FDA.

If you are one of the thousands of people who has been injured by a doctor or medical staff this year, the medical malpractice and drug injury attorneys at Wagner Reese can assist you in recovering the compensation you deserve for the suffering you have endured. Give us a call today and let us help you get back on your feet. Contact us at (888) 204-8440 for a free consultation.


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