Florida physician to pay $20M to patient's family in malpractice suit

A Florida osteopathic physician was ordered to pay $20 million to the family of a patient who died while being treated for acute pancreatitis, Palm Beach Post reported Sept. 14.

Joshua Glauser, DO, is a physician at Baptist Health Boca Raton (Fla.) Regional Hospital. On May 27, 2020, he diagnosed Joshua Hamby with inflammation of the pancreas and prescribed Dilaudid, an opioid painkiller. Dr. Glauser did not know that Mr. Hamby suffered from sleep apnea before prescribing and increasing the doses of Dilaudid and did not monitor his vital signs, according to the report. Experts testified that part of the standard of care for prescribing that medication included asking patients whether they have any form of sleep apnea, which Dr. Glauser allegedly did not do.

The next day, physicians found Mr. Hamby unresponsive. He was resuscitated, but brain damage left him in a coma for a week before life support was stopped. He died June 4.

A jury found Dr. Glauser guilty of medical malpractice and awarded the family $20 million in damages. Dr. Glauser's medical license remains active, according to the report.

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