GRETNA – A local hospital is being sued by a patient who claims that he was given the wrong medication at a local hospital when being treated for encephalitis related to West Nile virus.

Paul R. Falter Jr., and wife Pamela, filed suit against East Jefferson Hospital District No. 2 and East Jefferson General Hospital in the 24th Judicial District Court on May 23.

Falter alleges that on Aug. 6, 2012 he was admitted to the hospital for West Nile virus encephalitis after which he was intubated and sedated while he underwent an aggressive series of antibiotic treatments. The plaintiff asserts he was told he would gradually be removed from the ventilator and extubated and that when he was on the ventilator he was on insulin and Cardizem, a medication that increases blood flow to the lungs. However, Falter claims he then underwent a CT scan and a nurse found that Falter was actually receiving an IV drip of Versed, an anti-seizure relaxant that had not been prescribed to him, rather than Cardizem. Due to the mix-up of the drugs the plaintiff nearly underwent an overdose of Versed and the extubation was delayed until his mental status improved. On Aug. 21, 2012 the plaintiff alleges he was finally extubated after which he was discharged to a skilled nursing facility.

The defendant is accused of medical malpractice.

An unspecified amount in damages is sought for physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, medical expenses, emotional distress and loss of consortium.

Falter is represented by Scott A. Bickford of New Orleans-based Martzell & Bickford APC.

The case has been assigned to Division E Judge John J. Molaison Jr.

Case no. 738-788.

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