The family of a Fort Worth, Texas, woman who died after she was given a drug against doctor's orders reached a pre-trial financial settlement with Harris Methodist HEB Hospital.
Monetary terms were not disclosed according to an agreement between the family of Carla Jeanette Gann and the hospital, said the Gann family's attorney, Steven Laird.
"This settlement will ensure that the Ganns' three young children will be cared for, for the rest of their lives," Mr. Laird said in a statement. "Although there's no way it can make up for the loss of a mother and wife, the family is glad that this case has resulted in the hospital focusing more training on policies and procedures in order to prevent a similar tragedy," he said.
On Nov. 30, 2002, Ms. Gann, 23, was admitted to Harris Methodist for kidney stone pain. She was given several narcotics for pain and scheduled for kidney stone surgery within two days.
Testimony showed that, despite doctor's orders, hospital nurses administered a central nervous system depressant almost immediately after she had received other heavy narcotics. This resulted in her central nervous system shutting down and a loss of her ability to protect her airway when she became nauseous.
When her family came to visit Mrs. Gann prior to surgery, they found her pale, non-responsive and not breathing. After alerting hospital staff, Mrs. Gann's husband, mother and stepfather were ordered into the hallway while hospital staff tried to save Mrs. Gann with mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
Doctors told the family that Mrs. Gann had suffocated on her own vomit and showed no neurological function due to swelling of the brain. The family reluctantly agreed to take Mrs. Gann off life support and she died that evening.