A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against a Belleville doctor for allegedly prescribing an improper pain medication that caused a patient’s death.
The lawsuit was filed on February 1 in St. Clair County Circuit Court by Nanette Stein, daughter of Lena Williams and special administrator of her estate.
The complaint alleges that Williams received treatment in March of 2012 at the Southern Illinois Brain and Spine Center and was prescribed Fentanyl transdermal, a pain medication in patch form that is designed to deliver 50 micrograms of the drug per hour. According to the lawsuit, Williams suffered a heart attack and died two days after beginning the medication. Stein alleges that an excessive dose of Fentanyl caused the heart attack.
The complaint alleges negligence and wrongful death and seeks damages in excess of $300,000 for medical expenses and other costs.
According to a report by the Institute of Medicine, errors regarding medication are among the most common mistakes made by medical personnel, resulting in injuries to at least 1.5 million people annually. Medical errors on the whole are estimated to cause between 44,000 and 98,000 preventable fatalities per year in the United States, with 7,000 of these deaths resulting from medication errors.