Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago agreed to pay $3.3 million in damages after a jury determined a pharmaceutical error led to the overdose and death of a 56-year-old man.
The 12-person jury determined that Michael Vandelinder died in 2010 from kidney failure after he was incorrectly given 10 times the ordered dosage of the antiviral drug Foscarnet. The physician ordered 2,400 milligrams but the pharmaceutical unit administered 24,000 milligrams.
Northwestern Memorial would not comment on the issue.
Vandelinder was being treated at Northwestern for an infection from a bone marrow transplant he received at the hospital. The drug Foscarnet was ordered to treat the infection. He was in remission from leukemia.
Northwestern admitted negligence in incorrectly dispensing and administering the drug but said the overdose did not cause Vandelinder's death, according to the patient's attorney, Sarah King, a partner at Chicago-based Clifford Law Offices. The patient died Aug. 19, 2010, 16 days after the drug was administered.
King said the dispensing error was caused by the pharmaceutical staff, not by an electronic health record. She said the lawsuit underscores the need for closer oversight.