July 8, 2011 – A Fort Meyers, Florida family has recently won a medical negligence lawsuit against a local medical center that caused their infant daughter to receive a dangerous drug overdose, and will now have to pay nearly $20 million for their carelessness.
According to WorldNow, Lee Memorial Health System is paying out $19.2 million to the family of Jeffrey and Melissa Smith after a medical negligence trial in Lee Circuit Court ruled that doctors at the center mistakenly gave their daughter Kiarra a near-fatal overdose.
Born on July 11, 2007 three months premature and only weighing only 1.5 pounds, Kiarra was quickly given a formula by doctors meant to replicate neonatal nutrition. The dosage she was given was measured by her weight.
However, when she was only 15 days old, a physician order sheet regarding Kiarra’s medication was updated by the pharmacy based on an error. As a result, the next dose she received was measured for a person who weighs 160 pounds – almost 100 times higher a dosage than she should have received – and caused her to go into cardiac arrest and develop a brain hemorrhage.
While doctors were able to save Kiarra with cardiopulmonary resuscitation and a transfusion of almost all the blood in her system, the ordeal left her suffering from a type of cerebral palsy that caused near blindness the loss of full control of her limbs, which left her wheelchair bound.
While the hospital admitted to making the error, they maintained during – and even following – the trial that they were not responsible for her lasting condition. However, following a two-week trial the court ruled that they had been responsible for the lifelong medical problems that Kiarra will now have to deal with.
Florida may be home to cutting edge medicine, yet every year doctors, nurses and hospitals in the state are responsible for providing substandard healthcare to their patients, including newborns. Cases of medical negligence can oftentimes result in lifelong medical issues that families must live with. If you believe your child’s condition was due to a medical mistake, contact us for a free legal consultation with one of our Florida birth injury attorneys to find out how we may be able to help.