Medford Asante Hospital Faces $11.475 Million Claim for Wrongful Death of Patient – Nurse Named in Lawsuit

MEDFORD, Ore. — A lawsuit seeking $11,475,000 for the wrongful death of 65-year-old Horace Earl Wilson of Jacksonville has been filed against the Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center (RRMC) in Medford. It is alleged that a nurse exchanged fentanyl IV drips with contaminated tap water.

The civil lawsuit has been filed in Jackson County Circuit Court and names the RRMC and nurse Dani Marie Schofield as defendants. Idiart Law Group is seeking a settlement for the wrongful death and personal injuries suffered by Wilson while a patient in the hospital.

 

Patient Blood Tested Positive for Bacterial Infection

In its 33-point claim, Idiart states that Wilson was admitted to the hospital on 27 January 2022 after falling from a ladder. He was suffering from abdominal and shoulder pain on the left side of his body. A scan revealed that Wilson had a bleeding spleen and broken ribs.

Wilson showed signs of improvement from 29 January to 2 February and was extubated. He continued to receive multiple medications via a central venous catheter. On 3 February Wilson was again intubated and transferred to the intensive care unit. Wilson’s blood tested positive for bacterial infection.

The law firm claims that while in the ICU, Nurse Schofield administered fentanyl intravenously and that she replaced a quarter of a liter of fentanyl with non-sterile tap water.

Wilson’s condition deteriorated. He suffered from multi-organ failure and developed a “sepsis-induced” brain dysfunction. He underwent a tracheostomy. When he was weaned from sedation, Wilson regained sufficient coherency to tell ICU staff that he no longer wished to live. Wilson died in the Medford hospital on 25 February 2022.

Related: Medford Cardio-Thoracic Surgeon And Asante Health System Pay $430,000 To Settle Fraud Allegations

 

Asante Bloodstream Infections Rose from 3 in 2021 to 15 in 2022

The lawsuit asserts that in 2021, the Asante Medford hospital recorded three bloodstream infections that spiked to 15 cases the following year. On 14 April 2022 the hospital acknowledged that the central-line bloodstream infections were all linked to bacteria. However, the hospital stated that there was no water contamination on its premises.

In November last year, Nurse Schofield agreed to stop practicing and to have her license suspended until the Oregon State Board of Nursing completes its investigation.

Related: Investigations Heat Up Into Alleged Drug Misuse At Asante Hospital

The Idiart law group is representing Patti Wilson, the wife of the deceased, in the civil complaint.

The Medford Police Department (MPD) has confirmed that Asante officials contacted them last December regarding a former employee who they thought could be involved in the fentanyl diversion. MPD also confirmed that Asante began contacting relatives and patients who could have been affected by the fentanyl-tap water swap.

 

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