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Fri Dec 14, 2012, 09:39 PM

Ala. hospital must pay $140M in ex-patient's death

Source: Associated Press

BAY MINETTE, Ala. (AP) -- The family of a 59-year-old diabetic woman who was mistakenly given a lethal dose of insulin at an Alabama hospital has been awarded a $140 million judgment.

AL.com (http://bit.ly/Y3h1tT) reports that a Baldwin County Circuit Court judge ordered Thomas Hospital and three other firms to pay the family of Sharron Juno, of Daphne, who died in 2008.

The website reports when Juno was discharged from Thomas, her doctor dictated prescription information by phone that was then computerized and relayed to India. The orders were incorrectly copied and the woman died after being given 10 times the amount of insulin she needed at another hospital.

A Thomas Hospital administrator expressed condolences toward the family, but says the verdict was excessive and the hospital plans to file an appeal.



Read more: http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/ala-hospital-pay-140m-patients-death-17979811





23 replies, 3266 views

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Arrow 23 replies Author Time Post
Reply Ala. hospital must pay $140M in ex-patient's death (Original post)
jsr Dec 2012 OP
lbrtbell Dec 2012 #1
dixiegrrrrl Dec 2012 #2
Dreamer Tatum Dec 2012 #3
phylny Dec 2012 #4
Dreamer Tatum Dec 2012 #16
phylny Dec 2012 #23
SemperEadem Dec 2012 #6
Occulus Dec 2012 #9
marble falls Dec 2012 #11
Dreamer Tatum Dec 2012 #17
The Stranger Dec 2012 #12
Dreamer Tatum Dec 2012 #18
The Stranger Dec 2012 #22
valerief Dec 2012 #5
juajen Dec 2012 #8
struggle4progress Dec 2012 #7
marble falls Dec 2012 #10
The Stranger Dec 2012 #13
marble falls Dec 2012 #19
The Stranger Dec 2012 #21
zellie Dec 2012 #14
arikara Dec 2012 #15
du_grad Dec 2012 #20

Response to jsr (Original post)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 09:40 PM

1. How dare that hospital appeal?

They murdered that patient through inexcusable negligence. They should shut up and pay up.

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Response to jsr (Original post)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 10:04 PM

2. Guess that transcription by Indian workers was not as cheap as expected.

The thing is, the Dr. is supposed to read and sign off on all completed transcriptions in a patient's chart, thus hopefully insuring mistakes are caught, so I can't figure out how that did not happen.

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Response to jsr (Original post)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 02:23 AM

3. Pretty much a nutshell of why healthcare costs are stupid high

Because a judge decides that one 59-year-old life is worth $140M. That is insane.

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Response to Dreamer Tatum (Reply #3)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 08:47 AM

4. Not so much.

The judgment is also a warning to this and other hospitals that being careless and negligent is costly.

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Response to phylny (Reply #4)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 01:07 PM

16. No, it's a bill for malpractice insurance

which finds its way into salaries and hospital bills.

Sorry - deal with it.

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Response to Dreamer Tatum (Reply #16)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 08:02 PM

23. Deal with it?

I'm not really sure I understand that response.

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Response to Dreamer Tatum (Reply #3)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 09:45 AM

6. that's not insane

your life might not be worth that, but clearly others think differently about this woman.

$140m is the punishment to the hospital whose choice to outsource a job across the globe as a cost cutting measure caused the unforeseen death in a woman who should not have died as a result of seeking care through their facility. If they can afford to pay an company in India to get scripts wrong, they can afford this judgment.

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Response to Dreamer Tatum (Reply #3)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 10:59 AM

9. So, yours is worth less than that.

I'll start the bidding at $1.

going once.... twice....

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Response to Occulus (Reply #9)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 11:15 AM

11. $1 is as goofy as $140M.

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Response to Occulus (Reply #9)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 01:09 PM

17. Mine is absolutely worth less than $140M.


In fact, mine is worth the mortality-weighted average of my life insurance and my expected future earnings plus an amount
for the pain and suffering of my loved ones.

Which makes my life worth roughly $6mm, or a small fraction of that $140m.

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Response to Dreamer Tatum (Reply #3)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 11:21 AM

12. You're absolutely and completely wrong.

Look at the peer reviewed journals and studies on this.

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Response to The Stranger (Reply #12)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 01:10 PM

18. Oh brother.

Proof by vague citation.

So may logical fallacies in one sentence...sad.

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Response to Dreamer Tatum (Reply #18)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 06:30 PM

22. "Logical fallacies?" Just try Google.

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Response to jsr (Original post)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 09:35 AM

5. Buying a few judges will be cheaper than 140 million. It's clear the hospital

has no regard for doing what is right or for the benefit of their patients. It's just another money machine.

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Response to valerief (Reply #5)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 10:57 AM

8. It's probably the decision of the attorney for the insurance company unless the

hospital is self insured. Appeals on that amount of money are automatic mostly. I actually know quite a bit about hospital malpractice.

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Response to jsr (Original post)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 09:50 AM

7. It seems her Rx was 8 units of Levemir and the hospital injected 80

Last edited Sat Dec 15, 2012, 11:26 AM - Edit history (1)

People have survived much more massive overdoses, so she probably could have survived that if anyone had been monitoring her regularly and had caught the error in time

... staffers gave Juno 80 units of Levemir insulin 10 times the dosage prescribed ...
Fatal outsourcing? Thomas Hospital hit with $140 million verdict in death of Daphne woman
Brendan Kirby
on December 14, 2012 at 4:42 PM
updated December 14, 2012 at 10:47 PM
http://blog.al.com/live/2012/12/fatal_outsourcing_thomas_hospi.html

... A 52-year-old insulin-dependant diabetic man presented to the Emergency Department 2 hours after a deliberate massive overdose of 2100 units of long-acting Levemir insulin and a large quantity of whisky ... He experienced his last hypoglycaemic episode 41 hours after taking the overdose and dextrose infusions were continued for 62 hours in total. Metformin was restarted 10 hours after stopping the dextrose infusion ... Von Mach et al. have shown that half of cases of overdose present within the first six hours after the overdose. 2.7% of insulin overdose patients will have long-term cerebral defects whilst mortality is 2.7%. Prognosis is poorer in patients who are admitted unconscious 12 hours after overdose ... Levemir is a long-acting insulin which delivers a constant level of insulin between meals. The long duration of action of Levemir and concurrent alcohol usage may have contributed to the persistent hypoglycaemic episodes ...
Case Reports in Medicine
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 904841, 3 pages
doi:10.1155/2012/904841Case ReportMassive Levemir (Long-Acting) Insulin Overdose: Case Report
Mamatha Oduru and Mahmood Ahmad
http://www.hindawi.com/crim/medicine/2012/904841/

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Response to jsr (Original post)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 11:11 AM

10. $1.4 million is rediculous.

ridiculous

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Response to marble falls (Reply #10)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 11:26 AM

13. The policy behind punitive damages is to create an economic disincentive to an organization that is

(apparently) grossly negligent. For decades, automobile companies manufactured vehicles known to be defective. However, until the economic costs of settling the deaths and maimings from the defect became more than the cost of re-outfitting the vehicles, the automobile companies deemed it was financially feasible (if not advisable, from that very narrow standpoint) to continue manufacturing defective vehicles that were killing people.

This is the reason why courts must be able to issue damages awards like this.

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Response to The Stranger (Reply #13)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 01:17 PM

19. That's the concept as faulty as it is. Ford building exploding Pintos because it was cheaper to ....

settle wrongful death than to pay $50 a car to fix the flaw is not the same as the case above, a very rare circumstance. People are given insulin 1000's of time a day in hospitals.

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Response to marble falls (Reply #19)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 06:28 PM

21. All the more reason this person shouldn't have died from something so (apparently) routine.

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Response to jsr (Original post)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 11:39 AM

14. When dealing with human beings, terrible mistakes do happen.

 

doctors
cops
firemen
hairdressers
chimney sweeps

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Response to jsr (Original post)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 12:00 PM

15. The Mr has diabetes

and we are very aware of the insulin dose he takes. Any medical person - doctor or nurse - who administers the drug on a regular basis to patients should likewise be aware of dosages. Sure the orders were wrong, which is bad enough but I can't understand why the person who administered it didn't question the dose. Unless of course staff has been cut back and are stressed to the max trying to cope with the workload and don't have a chance to think. That's my guess since the bastards are farming out what they can to India to maximize profit.

This shit makes me so angry.

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Response to arikara (Reply #15)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 03:15 PM

20. My thoughts exactly.

I am not a nurse, but I am a medical technologist in a clinical laboratory and my mother has a history of diabetes controlled by insulin. A dose of 80 units is pretty high. Somebody should have checked on the previous dosage. Of course, if they are hiring agency nurses who don't know the patient's history this could be part of the problem. The other part is that nobody monitored this patient.

It makes me angry too, arikara.

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