A jury has ordered the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center to pay $5 million to a woman left brain-damaged after she was given too much sodium to correct a chemical imbalance.
UPMC officials say they’ll appeal Thursday’s Allegheny County court verdict in favor of 59-year-old Mary Ellen Pfeifer of White Oak.
Pfeifer was treated at UPMC McKeesport hospital in December 2006 for low sodium. She sued saying the hospital gave her a dose of sodium that was at least four times higher than necessary to correct her problem.
The jury cleared three doctors of wrongdoing, but says the hospital wrongfully administered a dose higher than prescribed.
Pfeifer is incontinent and needs help walking, eating, and bathing. Her attorney says the money will enable her to receive in-home care instead of living in a nursing home.
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