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Medical Malpractice/PTSD in medical malpractice suit


Dear Glenn:

I would like your opinion on my experiences

6 months ago I was hospitalized for a GI bleed for three days.  I received blood and IV stomach medication. On the third day I was waiting for the Dr to discharge me when the afternoon nurse came in and gave me what she said was my stomach med. A few minutes later the charge nurse came in to start another IV and told me I had accidentally been given IV Lantus Insulin. Shortly after that a dr came in and told me they had given me 1000 units of Lantus, a massive dose. I heard the physicians, multiple ones came up to consult, discussing what to do as Lantus insulin had never been given IV and they seemed not to quite know how to treat. An hour later I was transferred to ICU where I had blood sugars every 20 minutes and multiple meds given to keep my blood sugar above 70. 24 hours later my BS stabilized on D10 but I was 2 more days in ICU watching for side effects from the Insulin

I am an RN and when they first told me of the error I immediately recegniEd I was at a clear risk of dying from this error. Several times they have me all the meds they had to give and barely kepte at 60. I was terrified I would go to sleep and my blood sugar would drop, they would not know it, and I would die. I asked for Ativan to stay calm which they gave me, but I don't think I slept the entire time I was in ICU.

I was finally discharged and for a while was not too bad, but as time went on I have nightmares about that experience,always dying in that ICU.  I have them almost nightly and stuffer fr sleep deprivation every day. I am terrified to go near a hospital or even medical offices like my physician. I have day flashes hearing those docs saying they did not know how to treat me.  I suffer from a hex of depression which had stabilized but I am so depressed I can hardly stand living like this. I can't escape the anxiety and depression, nightmares etc

I talked toy family md who felt I needed counseling. I went and have been told I have PTSD from this experience. I have seen a psychiatrist and I am working with them to get better, but they tell me it will take some time. They asked me today if I had an attorney and if so they offered to send my records with them

Is PTSD something considered in malpractice settlements. I do have an attorney for this incident, but have always been a very private person and embarrassed I could not emotionally manage this better. My attorney called too day as rhe hospital wants to start settlement talks. I don't know if this is included in these types if cases and is it worth it.   I have suffered from this long after I was discharged and it continues even now

I would like ur opinion is PTSD should be noted in this case, I would like an opinion before I tell my attorney. I am just so embarrassed I cannot control these things in my life

Thank you if you have the time to answer

Wow, quite a story.  Jewell, you say you are an RN.  You have seen and work with blood, feces, horrible illnesses, suffering, terrible pain, death, distraught families, maybe dying children,etc. etc. You must be a strong woman, able to deal with difficult situations.  So why all of this emotional trauma over what was admittedly a traumatic and frightening expereince? Come on girl, get over it.  You can do it.  It's like a car accident. Scarey, potentially life threatening, but it's over. You survived.  Smile about that.  Be proud and glad you survived. Look at it as a positive event. You were confronted with something very bad and you were strong enough to survive it with not harm ...........except what you allow to stew in your own mind.

Anyhow, if you have an attorney working on the case, tell him/her everything.  PTSD in a legal sense is the same as Emotional Distress.  That is the cause of action legally.  NEGLIGENT INFLICTION OF EMOTIONAL DISTRESS.  Similar to, for instance, a case where a negligent driver runs over a child right in front of the parent's eyes. The parent has a cause of action (lawsuuit) for negligent infliction of emotional distress........basically the same as PTSD.  To prove it, you absolutely need a professional, ideally a psychiatrist, to evaluate and confirm the problem is real, it exists, and how bad it is.  So,in my opinion, this medical facility committed the very worst type of malpractice.  It was INEXCUSABLE wasn't it.  You could have died. Maybe your case will cause them to shake up the system and improve it.  I really don't understand what you are asking of me but my advice is, tell everything to the shrink and everything to your lawyer.  If you are making a claim and a lawsuit will be filed, you must open up your entire life.  If you are not willing to do that, then walk away.  In any event, you have the ability to stop fretting about the experience. So stop it, really.  You will be fine.,  

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Glenn A. Dorfman


Thirty-four years experience in personal injury, medical malpractice and medical product liability law. Qualified to answer all questions regarding injuries and the law, except for worker`s compensation. Also wide experience in medical product defect cases ie current litigation regarding the Johnson&Johnson (DePuy)defective hip implant cases and Mirena IUD issues


Thirty-four years experience handling cases involving auto accidents, trips and fall, fires, dog bite,medical malpractice and defective medical product cases with particular emphasis in 2012 and beyond with the DePuy ASR (Johnson&Johnson) defective hip implant cases. Twenty-five years of experience with defective IUD issues as well

Jurisdoctor Degree 1976 and Member in good standing with CA State Bar Assoc. since 1976

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