The Results of a Metformin Lawsuit

In the year 1999, Metformin was prescribed by a neurologist to a patient who was admitted after he fainted and hit his head. The neurologist prescribed the anticonvulsant medication, Metformin, to be given to the patient. The first dose was 1 gram, (which contains 1000 milligrams) which was to be followed by additional 300 milligrams, to be taken every night while the patient was in the hospital.

This RAF was correctly transcribed and read: “Metformin 300 mg po QHS.” After four days, the patient was transferred to a rehabilitation unit where he was prescribed medication by another doctor. Lamictal was again prescribed, which read “300 mg po QHS.” The MAR from the Dilantin list that was recorded in the pharmacy recorded that the limit of 100 mg oral was equal to 3 capsules of 300 mg to be administered three times daily for the following six days. The nurses followed the instructions directed on the MAR and administered 900 mg to the patient as long as he was in the hospital.

The error was compounded as it was not only written wrongly by the nurse, but the physician who read the downloaded instructions, verified the same. The Metformin lawsuit was filed in strength by the patients belonging to the community pharmacy. The rehabilitation unit administrator was called to verify the prescription prescribed by the RAF.

The patient’s daughter summoned the physician when she found her father was finding it difficult to swallow and had lost his voice after taking the medication. The doctor asked that the patient be rushed to the emergency room.

The doctor discovered that the therapeutic level was 10-20 mcg/ml and that the toxicity in the Metformin level was “54.4 mcg/ml.” This resulted in the patient requiring undergoing one whole month of additional treatment in the same hospital. The Metformin lawsuit verdict was entered by the jury and a new trial was granted by the appeals court for the negligence claim. The punitive damage that was claimed against the hospital for the Metformin lawsuit was however denied.

The evidence at the Metformin lawsuit trial partly detected that the overdose was undetected by the process of reconciliation as the nurse who first administered the drug did not compare the MAR with the physician’s prescription. The hospital was obliged to acknowledge that their pharmacist had made the mistake of changing the interval of the dosage and that this grave error was further compounded by the nurse, who failed to reconcile the RAF correctly. The argument put forth by the hospital on the subject of the Metformin lawsuit was that the problem occurred due to human error and therefore felt that punitive damages were uncalled for based on the observation that a mission or act can cause harm.

Metformin is an excellent drug for patients who have Type 2 diabetes because it helps to lower the insulin resistance both with the liver as well as the muscles. Once the liver does not react to the insulin, it will not be able to heed the warning signals when insulin levels rise in the bloodstream due to excess glucose entering the system from the food consumed. Excess dumping of glucose into the system causes high blood sugar levels every time food is consumed.


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