Thursday, June 10, 2010

UPMC Passavant sued over patient's death

Thursday, June 10, 2010
By Anthony Fenech, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The family of an 82-year-old woman has filed a lawsuit claiming negligence by UPMC Passavant hospital and three physicians contributed to her death.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Allegheny County Common Pleas court, states that Eileen Funston of McCandless died after a mistake in recording her medical history, leading to the intake of a drug seven times higher than initially prescribed.

UPMC could not be reached this afternoon for comment.

According to the lawsuit, brought by her daughter, Cynthia McLafferty of Baden, Ms. Funston suffered fatal internal bleeding as the result of an overdose of the drug methotrexate.

The complaint alleges that she was prescribed 12.5 milligrams per week to treat rheumatoid arthritis, but during an October 2009 stay at Passavant, a physician incorrectly recorded a dosage of 12.5 milligrams per day.

The family is charging that the mistake was not found, and was repeated after Ms. Funston was transferred to St. John Specialty Care Center in Mars, which led to hemorrhaging, aspirating blood, and ultimately her death at Passavant on Oct. 29.

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