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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    3

    Default Administration of a Contraindicated Drug

    My question involves medical malpractice in the state of: Delaware

    Hi, I was recently rushed to the hospital due to a defect in my heart called Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome (WPW) which can cause an array of heart arythmias. When the ambulance arrived my hear rate was around 275 bpm and I was experiencing atrial fibrillation. The medics admistered 3 doses of a drug called Adensonine. After ariving at the hospital I was immediately cardioverted (put to sleep and shocked to reset the heart). After speaking with the cardiologist he told me I was lucky to be alive because the EMT's should have NEVER given me that drug because it aides the auxillary nerve in patients with WPW and can escalate the problem and cause ventrical Fibrillation and death. ( I certainly felt like I was going to die when the drug was administered each time). Is this a case for malpractice? I have been told yes and also told no because of the "No harm No Foul" idea. Here is a link with further medical info very similart to mine if it helps.

    http://www.anzca.edu.au/jficm/resour...une/Case2a.pdf

    Any guidance is appreciated.

    thank you

    I can provide additional info if needed. I just wanted to summarize the situation.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    27,093

    Default Re: Would This Constitute Malpractice

    well, the first question to you would be:

    did you have a medical ID bracelet or necklace on. How were the EMT's told you have WPW?


    You stated you were already presenting with A-fib and a pulse of 275. Since that is near the lethal threshold, I would suggest that no adenosine could have been just as deadly. They had to so something and an EMT does not adminster meds without medical authorization so what did the doctor that prescribed the adenosine have to say about it?

    and unless you can quantify some sort of damages, you were told correctly:

    no harm, no foul.

    btw: there is treatment for WPW. Check into it if you have been symptomatic.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Would This Constitute Malpractice

    To answer your first question. I clearly stated to the EMT's as well as the people I was with stated to the EMT's that I had WPW. I never spoke with the Dr. who authorized the Adenosine. The cardiologist/Electrophsyiolgist said there was 0 reward and all risk from the Adenosine, since it blocks the AV node and I have WPW it would redirect the electrical impulses down the auxillary complicating the problem. I dont know if the feeling 10x worse after the drug is administered contsitutes damages. As for the treatment. I underwent a catheter ablation about 1 week after the ER visit because of the high possibility of sudden death due to the arythmias I was experiencing. Would you say this is a "no harm no foul" case?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    27,093

    Default Re: Would This Constitute Malpractice

    the medication did not complicate your WPW. The fact you were already in A-fib and it is a known concern that WPW can allow A-fib to convert to V-fib, it was simply the prudent treatment for your WPW regardless of this incident.

    WPW causes tachycardia. It does not cause a-fib. It allows a-fib to convert to v-fib. The treatment you recieved on the ambo did not cause your WPW to become worse.

    I suspect you already felt pretty bad considering your vitals so any change is going to be scary and possibly uncomfortable.

    I dont know if the feeling 10x worse after the drug is administered contsitutes damages.
    No, it doesn't.

    What I would do though, since apparently something did go wrong in the communication or treatment, would be to file (for lack of a better term) a complaint with the ambulance company and the hospital that oversaw the transport. I cannot speak to the value or danger of adenosine but if the cardiologist says it is inappropriate, I would do what I could to see that it did not happen to somebody else with WPW.

    Would you say this is a "no harm no foul" case?
    regarding malpractice: yes

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Key West, FL
    Posts
    2,350

    Default Re: Would This Constitute Malpractice

    You have no damages to speak of or that could be proven. No medical malpractice attorney will take your case, as there is no case.

    You are not guaranteed perfect health care and perfect outcomes or health care free of every mistake. And that assumes there was a mistake.

    Only gross violations of medical procedure will rise to the level of a tort, and there has to be real damages. Without physical injury there can't be any pain and suffering.

    Sorry, this is not your payday.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Would This Constitute Malpractice

    Thank you for your quick responses.

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