Belleville woman claims drug toxicity caused heart attack

Ann Knef Dec. 12, 2005, 10:13am

Claiming she suffered a heart attack because of drug toxicity, Dolores Beckwith of Belleville has filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against Kevin Pritchett, M.D., Michele Neblock Lehr, M.D. and Memorial Hospital.

In the three-count suit filed in St. Clair County Dec. 1, Beckwith claims the doctors and hospital did not monitor her for signs of Digoxin toxicity, even though the amount prescribed was doubled while she was a patient at Memorial.

She was admitted to the hospital on Dec. 3, 2003, for treatment of a fractured hip. One of the "numerous" medications she received was Digoxin, a drug to treat congestive heart failure.

Beckwith was recovering from the hip injury at Memorial Convalescent Center when she suffered a heart attack.

"On January 7, 2004, plaintiff suffered cardiac arrest due to Digoxin toxicity," the complaint states.

"She was defibrillated, intubated and admitted to the intensive care unit at Belleville Memorial Hospital where she remained before being transferred to Barnes Hospital on January 14, 2004, for further treatment."

Seeking in excess of $50,000 per count, Beckwith is represented by Joseph R. Hillebrand of Kassly, Bone, English & Hillebrand of Belleville.

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