In this malpractice trial, a septic patient had passed away from appendicitis after being prescribed large doses of Depakote, Dilaudid, and Ativan. The heavily medicated woman died suddenly after the onset of appendicitis, leaving her family members to allege that a negligent prescription of multiple drugs had contributed to her death. The practicing doctors were sued for malpractice, and an expert in sepsis, appendicitis, and emergency care was required to assess the potential effect of each drug on the patient’s death.
Expert Witness Response E-008736
I believe large or a significant doses of any medication always warrant a scientific and pharmacological review. As a practicing pharmacist in the intensive care units I routinely see patients with sepsis and those patients without sepsis that require sedation and analgesia. I have been working – and most importantly, still do – in the intensive care unit where patients are treated for sepsis. I also teach physicians and anesthesia providers in the Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists Program on drugs and their side effects so I am intimately aware of the balance needed for the effects and risks in patient care.
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