Medication Prescribing

Legal Pearls: Physician Faulted for Failing to Monitor Patient’s Medications


  • An older woman tripped on a rug in her house and toppled down her stairs. The patient was diagnosed with a kidney laceration, broken ribs, and fractured vertebrae. She was admitted to the hospital and her Coumadin, which she had been taking for years, was stopped by the hospital physician. 

    The patient remained in the hospital for several days. It was decided that she would be transferred to a nursing facility for a few weeks until she was able to return home. A physician checked in with the facility when she was first moved there and went over the list of medications transferred from the hospital with the facility nurse and pharmacist. The list from the hospital did not include Coumadin, since that had been halted upon her admission, and the physician failed to notice its absence. 

    Two weeks after her move to the rehabilitation facility, the patient had a major stroke, resulting in her death. 

    Was The Physician Negligent?

    (Discussion on next page)