Use of tainted heparin is negligence not medical malpractice
Florida court holds suit for hospital’s failure to remove recalled medication from its supply is not governed by medical malpractice rules. A patient was given tainted heparin during cardiac surgery, even though the drug company had issued a recall for the heparin months earlier. After losing two limbs from the resulting infection, the plaintiff sued the hospital where the surgery took place, alleging that the hospital had negligently failed to have the proper policies and procedures in place to ensure that the recall was handled properly and the tainted heparin was removed from the hospital’s supply. There was no alleged negligence on the part of any doctors or nurses. The trial court denied the hospital’s motion to dismiss based on the plaintiff’s failure to comply with malpractice presuit procedures under Chapter 766, Florida Statutes, and the hospital filed a petition for writ of certiorari. The Fifth District Court of Appeals denied the petition, agreeing with the trial court that the complaint was not one for medical malpractice, but instead was a case of ordinary negligence.
Holmes Regional Medical Center, Inc. v. Dumigan, __ So. 3d __, 39 Fla. L. Weekly D 2570 (5th DCA 12-12-14).