Author sues New Mexico hospital for violating 'do not resuscitate' order

Author Jamie Sams filed a lawsuit against Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center in Santa Fe, N.M., alleging the hospital and one of its physicians violated her "do not resuscitate" directive during a 2016 visit, among other complaints, according to the Albuquerque Journal.

Here are three things to know:

1. Ms. Sams was previously diagnosed with Dercum's disease, a condition that produces painful tumors all over the body. She went to Christus St. Vincent on Feb. 5, 2016, for pain control and was prescribed Dilaudid through an IV "despite the fact that [Ms. Sams] had advised emergency room staff that she was allergic to this medication," according to the lawsuit, obtained by the Albuquerque Journal.

2. While she was in the hospital, Ms. Sams experienced an allergic reaction to the medication, which caused her to go into cardiac arrest. She was later revived by ER staff despite signing a "double DNR" form, the report states.

"As a result of being revived, [Ms. Sams] continues to experience severe pain, disability and limitations and further, will incur extensive expenses throughout the remainder of her life," the lawsuit states. "Defendants had notice ... that [Ms. Sams] had signed the DNR. Plaintiff Sams was wearing a purple bracelet issued by the hospital and labeled 'DNR.'"

3. A Christus spokesperson told the Albuquerque Journal the physician in charge of Ms. Sams' care works for a provider service contracted to work in the hospital's ER. The spokesperson told the publication he could not comment on the pending lawsuit.

To access the full report, click here.

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