A registered nurse is currently sitting in a Butler County Pennsylvania jail cell. The judge overseeing her case has denied bail. The nurse is facing multiple criminal charges, include homicide, attempted murder and assault. The central focus of the investigation was an issue often mentioned in medical malpractice claims: medication errors and drug overdose. If your family has felt the effects of similar issues, it’s important to know where to seek support.
The defendant in this case faces accusations of giving several patients an overdose of insulin. Sadly, two of the patients — one, an 83-year-old man, the other, a 55-year-old man — died of insulin overdose. Another patient, also an elderly man, ended up in an emergency room and survived the overdose.
Is it medical malpractice to give insulin to patients who don’t have diabetes?
One of the questions investigators want to answer in this case is why two of the three patients who overdosed had received insulin. Insulin is for people who have diabetes, which neither of the two patients had received a diagnosis for before receiving the drug. If you receive an incorrect diagnosis or someone gives you the wrong drug to treat your condition, this may be grounds for filing a medical malpractice claim if a medical professional’s negligence was a causal factor in injuries that occurred.
In addition to medication errors, numerous other issues are relevant to medical malpractice in Pennsylvania, such as surgical errors, patient neglect and failure to take appropriate action as needed, such as an obstetrician failing to order a C-section when the average OB would recognize the need. When you entrust your health to medical professionals, they must act in accordance with state laws and accepted industry standards for safety.
The court is seeking the public’s help in this case
The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office has alerted the public regarding the fatalities and severe injuries that allegedly occurred under the care of the nurse currently in jail. Anyone with concerns about care they received or a loved one received from her may call the number the AG provided as a tipline.
When you undergo surgery or receive medical care, there’s always a risk involved. Some issues are out of your doctor’s, nurse’s or hospital administrator’s control. However, many medical injuries are easily preventable and are the result of negligence. State law allows a recovering victim or immediate family member of a decedent to file a medical malpractice claim against any medical professional whose negligence resulted in injury or death.