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Wrong dosage of meningitis medication leaves baby on life support

The discovery of modern medicines and vaccinations has helped to save and prolong life, as well as to cure and, in some cases, even eradicate the occurrence of some diseases. Yet prescription-strength medications are a double-edged sword in that just as they can prove beneficial in treating ailments, they can also be instrumental in causing others. Doctors, PAs, and nurses should all be aware of this fact, as they should be of the potential consequences a patient in Providence faces in the event that they are incorrectly medicated.

A six-day-old baby boy in California currently faces such consequences after being given the wrong dosage of the medication being used to treat his meningitis. Hospital officials have admitted to the fact that the boy was given nearly 10 times the prescribed amount in a single dose. Just hours after the drug administration, his condition began to deteriorate badly, eventually causing him to be placed on life support. His parents now face the grim reality that there's little doctors can do to reverse his current condition.

Proving and assigning liability for these kinds of medication errors is rarely easy, especially given the fact that such an argument usually consists of non-clinical people basing their assumptions on outcomes being pitted against clinical staff basing their assumptions on pathology. In this case, the hospital claims that it was not the medication that caused the boy's condition to worsen, saying that such a dosage would only adversely affect his kidneys and that his current state is due to the meningitis. His parents, on the other hand, want some responsibility assumed for this huge mistake.

When forced to square off against a medical professional over an issue of malpractice, one may not be able to present an adequate argument on his or her own. As such, he or she may benefit from the assistance of an attorney who understands how to handle the legal workings of cases such as these.

Source: NBC Southern California "Weeks-Old Baby Overdosed During Meningitis Treatment: Parents" Vikki Vargas, Jan. 02, 2014

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