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Dangers of medication overdose in Hawaii and elsewhere

At times, medical treatment falls below prescribed standards and results in the injury, illness or death of a patient due to the negligence or other professional error of medical staff. When someone entrusts his or care physical health to a doctor, nurse or other medical professional, there is always some risk involved. Hawaii patients will want to be aware and alert with regard to receiving medication in a hospital or nursing environment in an effort to prevent overdose. The Department of Public Health recently issued a penalty of $50,000 against a hospital in another state.

In 2012, a hospital patient was given methadone 10 times over the prescribed amount. The department that handed down the penalty stated that the tragedy occurred because the hospital staff failed to follow the safety procedures for dispensing medications. It was reported that 10 other hospitals sustained similar penalties recently.

In addition to the incorrect dosage of methadone, the state found that the same patient was also over-medicated with another drug and was not given the appropriate medication to reverse the affects of the error. Reports indicate that the nurse who allegedly made the mistake has been terminated from her position. Federal authorities have also issued warrants to the hospital for alleged violations in the record keeping department of the California hospital.

Overdose of medication can cause severe illness, injury or even death. Anyone in Hawaii who believes that a medical error has caused him or her  to suffer from injury or illness might wish to consult a legal professional who has experience dealing with personal injury claims in court. State law allows the injured party to pursue litigation in order to seek compensation for damages which have resulted due to medical malpractice.

Source: appeal-democrat.com, "Rideout hit with $50K penalty", Eric Vodden, Feb. 12, 2015

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