TWIN FALLS, Idaho — An Idaho family is suing a nurse and the health care company he works for after their 7-month-old baby died when given the wrong medication at a Twin Falls hospital.

Chance and Tiffany Elliott filed the wrongful death lawsuit in August, reported KTVB-TV (http://bit.ly/2bCkGb0 ).

Their son, August Elliott, was brought to Saint Luke’s Magic Valley Medical Center in September 2015 with an elevated heart rate, according to the complaint. The baby’s condition was rarely life-threatening and can be treated with medication.

A doctor at St. Luke’s ordered the baby be given heart medication and IV saline solution, but Jeffrey Smith, a traveling nurse, mistakenly gave him an adult dose of potassium intended for another patient.

High doses of potassium can be deadly to infants.

“A short time later, while in his father’s arms, August began arching his back and his eyes rolled back in his head. He was struggling and all his muscles became rigid,” lawyers for the Elliott family wrote in the complaint.

Medical personnel tried to resuscitate the baby, but within hours he was pronounced dead from a potassium overdose.

The lawyers argued that Smith was negligent and that his employer, San Diego-based Aya Healthcare Inc, did not give nurses adequate training or supervision.

The Twin Falls County Prosecutor’s Office said in January that it will not seek criminal charges against Smith. St. Luke’s has said it made changes to its procedures to minimize the risk of a similar incident.

The Elliots are seeking more than $75,000 in damages, according to court documents.

Attorneys for the Elliots, Smith and Aya Healthcare could not be reached Tuesday.


Information from: KTVB-TV, http://www.ktvb.com/

VIAThe Associated Press
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