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$1.2M lawsuit claims man died after getting wrong meds at GGH

Allan Jenkins died in 2020, a day after after attending hospital due to worsening shortness of breath
20210413 Guelph General Hospital KA 02
Guelph General Hospital. Kenneth Armstrong/GuelphToday file photo

Guelph General Hospital is being sued for $1.2 million by the family of a 40-year-old man who they claim was twice given the wrong medication.

The lawsuit says Allan Ross Jenkins died soon after, alleges the suit filed in Guelph against the hospital as well physicians, nurses and other healthcare providers there.

The lawsuit was filed by the man’s common-law wife. It alleges negligence on the part of five individuals who provided treatment to Jenkins during a fateful 2020 hospital visit, as well as GGH for alleged record-keeping deficiencies, failure to follow policies and protocols, and to adequately monitor or train staff.

None of the allegations have been proven in court and no statements of defence have been filed.

“We are sorry for the family’s loss," said Marianne Walker, hospital president and CEO, in an emailed statement. "Since this matter is before the courts, we are not able to respond.”

A statement of claim, filed Sept. 28, says Jenkins went to GGH on Oct. 24, 2020, after experiencing worsening shortness of breath that started a few days earlier. 

An electrocardiogram, which checks for the rhythm of the heart as well as electrical signals, showed “abnormal” results, the claim states. A CT scan was then performed which “demonstrated extensive bilateral pulmonary emboli” and medication treatments were prescribed.

However, the lawsuit alleges, a nurse give Jenkins the wrong medicine, which led to him being monitored through the night for signs of bleeding. 

The next morning the same nurse requested a porter take Jenkins to diagnostic imaging for a lower limb study despite the alleged lack of a doctor’s order. Along the way, the patient developed “significant respiratory distress” and was taken to the intensive care unit where a vial of medicine was administered.

Following 45 minutes of “resuscitation efforts,” another full dose of that medicine was given to Jenkins, at which time it was realized the first dose hadn’t been properly mixed, the lawsuit says. Resuscitation efforts continued for another hour before being called off and Jenkins declared dead.

“As a direct result of … negligence and breach of contract … the defendants, individually or together, have caused or materially contributed to the injuries suffered by Allan Jenkins, causing his premature  death, horrific suffering, and the loss of damage … including loss of care, guidance and companionship, economic loss, and out of pocket expenses,” the statement of claim reads. “Furthermore the irrevocable loss and damage has caused severe emotional and mental anguish and a deteriorating physical and emotional state.”

The lawsuit seeks $1 million in special damages, along with $100,000 in general damages and $100,000 for damages under the Family Law Act.

An obituary for Jenkins states he was a tool and die maker for Blount Canada and played guitar for Friday Night Brotherhood Band.