There are certain professions in which you are responsible for the lives of others on a regular basis. Men and women in the military, law enforcement and various medical fields, just to name a few, must make and communicate their decisions carefully. One wrong move or order or command and someone could end up hurt or dead. Some of these circumstances are beyond human control, of course, and death must come to be accepted as part of the job to an extent. However, when an individual makes a devastating error that could have been prevented, there will be consequences.
Dr. Flavio Alvarez, a kidney specialist based in San Antonio, received a judgment of $380,000 against him by a civil court this week after his handwriting on a prescription pad contributed to a woman's death.
Seventy-two-year-old Dalia Hernandez was first given a prescription for 10 millamoles of potassium by Dr. Alvarez, who then decided to increase the dosage to 20 millamoles after Hernandez suffered further complications. However, the writing now looked like 120 millamoles and was filled by the hospital pharmacy as such. Ms. Hernandez died hours later.
The settlement money will be used to compensate Ms. Hernandez's daughters for their mental anguish and funeral expenses, as well as to offer some level of restitution for the pain and suffering endured by their mother. For his part, Dr. Alvarez admits the sloppy penmanship on his part, but his attorneys also place a lot of the blame with the hospital. They contend that an obviously fatal dosage should have been recognized as wrong and never filled.
Doctors, dentists and other medical professionals face these challenges regularly. Sometimes the complaints brought against them are valid and those affected deserve compensation, as appears to be the case in this instance. Other times, the attack on one's professional reputation may not be justified. If you are facing a threat to the good standing of your medical license, you need to seek quality legal assistance. Please contact a medical license defense attorney at our Austin, Houston or San Antonio office today.