Settlement reached in medication-error death at St. Charles
A settlement has been reached between the family of Loretta Macpherson, 65, and St. Charles in Bend after a medication error at the hospital led to the death of the Sisters resident in late 2014, an attorney and hospital officials confirmed Tuesday.
The family’s attorney, Jennifer Coughlin said Tuesday she cannot disclose the amount of the monetary settlement, which was reached last Thursday.
Macpherson died at the hospital in December 2014 after a St. Charles employee put the wrong medication into her IV bag.
Instead of an anti-seizure medication, Macpherson the Sisters resident was given a paralyzing agent, causing irreversible brain damage and cardiac arrest. Two days later she was taken off life support.
Coughlin said Macpherson’s two sons, 28-year-old Mark Macpherson and 33-year-old Pete Macpherson, didn’t want to prolong the process any further and opted for a settlement.
The lawyer added that the settlement brings closure for her sons, but won’t undo the loss they suffered.
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This was a tragic case where a physician ordered an anti-seizure medicine for his patient, the order was received correctly at the pharmacy, but instead of the prescribed medication, a paralyzing agent was inadvertently placed in the patient’s IV bag. While the content of the IV bag was wrong, because the labeling of the medication was correct, no one had any way of knowing that the drug was not the one that had been ordered. It was an error that cost a woman her life.
Without the proper safe-guards in place, pharmacy errors like this one happen in hospitals all over the country every day. Mistakes such as putting the wrong drug or wrong dose into the patient’s prescription bottle, giving one patient a different patient’s medication, or failing to prevent multiple drugs being prescribed that are contraindicated are just some of the errors that can result in tragedies like this one.
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