An 84-year-old patient developed pustular lesions on his face and died after a Veterans Affairs hospital in Kansas City treated him with a drug he was allergic to. The suit was litigated in federal court by and alleged that staff at the VA Medical Center on Linwood Boulevard caused the patient’s death by giving him Ceftriaxone, and the death could easily have been prevented.
“Their own records said he was allergic,” Dempsey said in a phone interview Thursday.
The patient’s allergy to cephalosporin medications, including Ceftriaxone, appeared in his VA medical records as far back as 2008. Yet the hospital still administered the drug to the William Chrisman High School graduate and U.S. Navy veteran who served in the Korean War. The patient went to the hospital April 6, 2016, suffering from shortness of breath and fatigue and was diagnosed with pneumonia.
Hospital staff administered Ceftriaxone, an antibiotic, and discharged him the same day. Two days later he came back to the hospital complaining of a “drug rash” and was admitted. He received more Ceftriaxone over the next two days and his condition worsened.
“By April 11, 2016, the patient’s drug rash progressed to pustular lesions that covered his face. These lesions were a “classic symptom” of Steven-Johnson Syndrome and Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis, skin conditions associated with allergic reactions to cephalosporin medications.
But the hospital didn’t diagnosis those conditions and instead continued treating the patient for pneumonia until April 26, when he was discharged into hospice care. He died three days later.
The case was settled for $500,000.00.