Negligent Medication Administration Leads To Seizure
Lawsuit Against Edwards-Elmhurst Healthcare | April 13, 2020
On April 13, 2020, WVFK&N attorneys Jim Rollins filed a medical malpractice claim on behalf of a woman who suffered a seizure and persistent neurological deficits as a result of the improper administration of saline.
The complaint alleges that the patient presented to the emergency department at Edwards-Elmhurst Healthcare on May 5, 2016 with a history of vomiting for two weeks and diarrhea over the prior 24 hours. A normal saline bolus of 100 cc was ordered. Laboratory findings revealed a sodium level of 114, consistent with severe hyponatremia, and a potassium level of 2.0, consistent with severe hypokalemia. The treatment plan to correct the hyponatremia was to administer a normal saline with the goal of a sodium level greater than 120 by morning. Another healthcare provider ordered potassium chloride of 250 cc and normal saline again to run over 4 hours. Fluids were maintained at 100 cc per hour. The patient’s laboratory results, taken 16 hours after her admission, showed a sodium level of 129 and a potassium level of 3.1. Additional saline was ordered and after it was administered, the patient was discharged. On May 20, 2016, the patient presented to a different hospital after having a seizure at home. An MRI of the patient’s brain revealed central pontine myelinolysis. Doctors at the hospital obtained the records from Edwards-Elmhurst Healthcare and noted that the rapid correction of the sodium level from 114 to 129 was the cause of the central pontine myelinolysis. The patient now has significant problems with her memory and ability to focus.
The lawsuit alleges, among other things, that the defendants negligently administered an inappropriate dose of saline, and that this negligence ultimately caused the patient’s injuries.
The action is pending in the Circuit Court for Cook County, Illinois.