Intravenous news: A jury has awarded $5 million in a Pennsylvania malpractice lawsuit filed over a hospital medication error where a woman developed permanent brain damage after being given eight times the amount of sodium that her doctor prescribed to treat an electrolyte deficiency.
The lawsuit was filed by Mary Ellen Pfeifer againt University of Pittsburgh Medical Centers (UPMC) McKeesport Hospital in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Pfeifer was admitted to the emergency room on December 21, 2006, and blood test revealed that she was suffering from confusion and difficulty walking caused by critically low sodium. The treatment plan called for her low sodium to be corrected at a rate of 125 cc per hour. However, due to a medication error by the hospital staff, she received 1000 cc in one hour.