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Lawsuit claims medication errors in death of a former soldier

The parents of a former soldier have filed a lawsuit claiming that their son was prescribed an excessive amount of medication following surgery at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center. The suit was filed in a Salt Lake City federal court against the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

According to the lawsuit, despite the fact that the man's oxygen levels weren't stabilized and that he was suffering from sleep apnea, VA doctors disregarded these symptoms and discharged the former soldier. Prior to his death, the man believed he was released from the hospital to make room for more patients. Prescription medication was prescribed to alleviate his pain. While sleep apnea may have contributed to the former soldier's death, the lawsuit claims that medication errors related to the amount of painkillers prescribed by a VA physician were ultimately responsible for his death.

Following his discharge, the former soldier became ill and vomited a number of times. His roommate, an emergency medical technician, stayed near him to monitor his condition. On the night of his death, his roommate heard him snoring at night, but when she checked on him in the morning, he was dead.

When a medication error leads to the death of a loved one, the people left behind are faced with grief and an enormous sense of loss. Questions may arise about who was responsible for their loss, and people often discover that they want the person or persons responsible to be held accountable for their actions. An attorney can help to provide compassionate and legal advice in this time of grief.

Source: Deseret News, "VA hospital killed former soldier with excessive painkillers, lawsuit says," Dennis Romboy, Oct. 17, 2012

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