Patient Story

Your Name: Ria Small

Patient's Name/Relationship: self

City/State: Davie, FL

When did event occur (what year)? 2009

Where did event occur? Acute Care General Hospital

What type of medical harm did you experience or witness? Medication Error

Please describe what happened. During the pre-op meeting with the hospital's anesthesiologist prior to going in for a mastectomy, I told the doctor that I was allergic to morphine. He made note of it and put a red sticker on my folder. During preparation for the surgery in the hospital, I mentioned again my allergy to morphine. However, after waking up in my room after the surgery, I asked what painkiller I was being given intravenously. I was told it was morphine. I was very upset because morphine causes me to vomit over and over for hours on end. They called the surgeon in and he had it removed but I had already started to vomit and it continued for 24 hrs. I was only supposed to be in the hospital overnight but they had to keep me another night because I could not stop vomiting and I could not eat. They gave me every anti-nausea medication they had but nothing helped. This kind of vomiting with stitches all over hurt me and made me very sore. I guess I was lucky that my reaction was not worse.

What was the outcome of the medical harm issue? Extended length of hospital stay