(CN) - A man and a woman, in separate lawsuits, accuse Kaiser of mishandling their oxycodone prescriptions.
Denesa Manis sued Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Colorado, SCL Health - Front Range Inc. dba St. Joseph Hospital and Terry L. De Aragon, R.N. in Denver District Court.
According to Denesa Manis' lawsuit, she was recovering normally after bariatric surgery at non-Kaiser St. Joseph Hospital when an on-site pharmacy owned by Kaiser changed her prescription for a one percent solution of oxycodone to a 20 percent solution because it did not have the right concentration on hand.
Denesa's sister Demi picked up the oxycodone from the Kaiser pharmacy while Denesa was about to be discharged, according to the lawsuit. The pharmacy told Demi about the substitution and gave her instructions for a much lower dose than the original prescription, according to the complaint.
"Given that that the oxycodone was a Schedule II narcotic, however, the pharmacy would have violated clearly defined government regulations and standards of care to have changed the prescription without a new order being written by the doctor. There is no indication in the record provided by the hospital that such occurred. Thus, the pharmacy was likely negligent in changing the prescription," the complaint states.
When Demi took the oxy back to Denesa's room and told nurse De Aragon about the new lower dosage required, De Aragon disagreed, and gave Denesa eight milliliters, "thereby administering to her a lethal dose of approximately 160 mg. of the active ingredient in oxycodone, a heroin derivative, or at least 16 times the maximum dose she was prescribed," the complaint states.
About 15 minutes later, Denesa went into respiratory arrest, followed by cardiac arrest, resulting in a hypoxic brain injury, according to the complaint.
Denesa Manis seeks damages for past and future loss of income, past and future medical care costs, necessary life expenses, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of time, emotional distress and personal disability. She is represented by Francis V. Cristiano in Denver.
James Irby also had oxycodone issues with Kaiser. He sued NW Permanente, P.C. and Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Northwest in Multnomah County (Ore.) Circuit Court for medical negligence, seeking $999,000.
Irby claims a Kaiser doctor overprescribed oxycodone after hernia surgery, although he was already using oxycodone for something else before the surgery. As a result, he became addicted, he says. Irby contends the doctor should have monitored his prescriptions better, done better assessment and follow-up, sent him to a pain management specialist and monitored the oxycodone levels in Irby's blood during the time he was using it.
"As a result of the opioid addiction of the plaintiff, plaintiff's wife suffered the pecuniary loss of society and companionship due to impotence caused by the high dose of oxycodone in the sum of $250,000," the complaint states. Irby also seeks $749,000 in non-economic damages for disability and pain and suffering, costs of suit and a jury trial. He is represented by Cedric R. Brown in Portland, Ore.
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