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Suit alleges medication error killed West Virginia woman

A widower has filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against a West Virginia medical facility after his wife suffered cardiac arrest and died. He asserts that her wrongful death was due to her physicians' errors. He specifically accuses her doctors of "negligence, carelessness and marked deviation from the standard of care."

According to the lawsuit, the woman had blood drawn at the facility in August 2011, and the tests indicated abnormalities. 

By September of that year, the woman was taking 150 mg of Flecainide two times a day.  In June 2012, Flecainide toxicity led to cardiac arrest and the woman died, according to the report.

The widower is now suing for compensatory damages for the loss of his wife's companionship as well as the pain and suffering both he and she endured as a result of negligence. 

According to the American Medical Association, between 40,000 and 80,000 hospital deaths can be attributed to hospital errors.  Problems with medication dosing are, unfortunately, not rare. 

Errors regarding prescribed medication continue to be a problem in West Virginia hospitals and health care facilities throughout the country.

It is only natural for patients to rely on doctors to prescribe and monitor safe medications at safe dosages; they are trained to do so. The vast majority of patients have no training to assess the drugs and dosages prescribed to them or their loved ones. Having to trust doctors, therefore, makes patients uniquely vulnerable in this regard. When horrible errors occur, it is also only natural for harmed patients and grieving family members to seek legal recourse for the trauma associated with such preventable errors.  

Source: The West Virginia Record, "Widower sues Ultimate Health Services for wife's death," Kyla Asbury, Aug. 15, 2013

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