Medication error leads to $5.1 million award for patient

Patient Safety Monitor Insider

July 29, 2015

A Pennsylvania jury awarded $5.1 million to a woman left brain damaged after what was supposed to be routine nasal surgery at a surgical center, according to a report in Outpatient Surgery Magazine. The damage was the result of incorrect medication being administered during surgery.
The nurse was asked to prepare an injection of lidocaine as well as soak cotton balls in a nasal decongestant to help control bleeding during surgery, according to the report. After the nurse poured the nasal decongestant into an unlabeled container, a second nurse thought the contents of the container was lidocaine and prepared the syringe with the nasal decongestant.
The error was discovered after the patient remarked that she still had feeling in her nose after the injection, according to Outpatient Surgery. The physician continued with the surgery and injected lidocaine into the patient’s septum. The patient’s heart rate and blood pressure elevated and she went into cardiac arrest. The patient was transported to the hospital where she was resuscitated. She has suffered brain damage, difficulty with sight and hearing, and short-term memory loss as a result of the cardiac arrest.
Read the full story here.