Raleigh, NC: "The hurt never goes away, especially because my daughter's death from Tylenol poisoning could have been prevented," says Donna, who has custody of her daughter's four-year-old son. "The medical report says nothing was found in her system except Tylenol."
Donna (not her real name) says her daughter was in a car accident and their doctor told her to take Tylenol. When she died, her daughter was 23 years old and the mother of a nine-month-old boy.
"The Sunday before she died my daughter phoned, complaining of severe stomach pains, which was unusual because she was an athlete all her life and in perfect health," says Donna. "I told her to go to the hospital but no one could take care of the baby—she was a single mom and they lived in Virginia. On Wednesday, she phoned again and said, 'All I can do is get up and feed the baby,' so the pain was worsening. About 2 am her neighbor called: they had taken her to hospital and they had the baby. Two hours later a doctor called.
"'Her liver has given up and I'm not sure that she is going to make it,' he explained to me. Frantically, I booked the first plane out. He called again at 10 am. 'We don't think she will make it but we are trying to keep her alive to see if a donor becomes available [for a liver] and then we will fly her to another hospital.'
"I was going nuts. He called back and said, 'If you want to see her alive you had better come now.' I couldn't get a direct flight; I knew it would have been faster to drive there but I couldn't drive, I was a nervous wreck."
Donna got to the hospital at 9 pm—her daughter passed away one hour earlier.
"It's only now that I can talk about her death because I am on these antidepressants," Donna says, crying. "I am especially depressed when my grandson comes home from school and asks about his mum."
One of the doctors told Donna that she was the third person he had recently seen at that hospital with acute liver failure directly related to Tylenol. An autopsy wasn't done but Donna has a document stating her daughter died from acetaminophen overdose.
"I vaguely remember them telling me about Tylenol but I was overwhelmed and the baby needed me—I couldn't really do anything, least of all connect Tylenol to liver failure," says Donna. "It was after I had time to process everything that I realized…
"When I got home with the baby, I called the hospital and they told me to call a detective to rule out foul play. Then we retained a local lawyer. But he was one of the 'good old boys' and this case was out of his league; still, he led us on for some time. Eventually he said that going up against J&J was costly and he couldn't do it.
"Not too long afterward, I called another attorney—he is handling a Tylenol class-action suit. Although the Statute of Limitations is two years, the first lawyer put a stay on our claim so we are hopeful that a wrongful death suit will be filed against Johnson and Johnson. They must take responsibility for my daughter's senseless death. How will I explain it to my grandson?"
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Posted by Julie Nelson
I had breast reconstructive surgery one year after high dose chemo. I also have only one kidney. In the hospital I was not in that much pain (I expected it to hurt some) the group of doctors tending me we're giving me 4000 mg a day of acetaminophen, Percocet and 1000 mg naproxen. I do not usually take NSAIDs or acetaminophen as I know they can cause damage. I was having (after a couple of days) EVERY symptom of overdose. I felt good right after surgery but each day felt worse. When the pharmacist at Rite Aid told my husband that dosage may be too much for me I stopped taking all of it. Each day that went by symptoms subsided more and more. Yes there is some pain but not even close to when I was taking the pain Meds. Why are the nurses not trained to look for overdose symptoms? They just keep giving it to you. I hope they have not damaged my liver. I had avoided those drugs since my kidney removal 10 years earlier.
Posted by Monique Greene
My husband died September 8th from a Tylenol overdose given to him at the UPMC Presbyterian hospital in Pittsburgh. He was Only 45 years old. The hospital tried to cover it up by saying he tried to commit suicide, even after they knew that it was there fault and denied him a life saving liver. My faith in hospitals had been broken. My attorneys will make sure that they pay!
Posted by Teresa S
William, your comment above is based only on your own idiotic actions. You think you have all the answers, but I think you want to think all people are like you. I cannot take any Tylenol because it hurts my liver and I'm not an alcoholic and I don't take prescription painkillers or illicit drugs. I read the sad story above and What I got from that story was that not enough information was given to know how much Tylenol she took. And yes your response hits a nerve because I have kids and if something happened to my kids and someone responded the way you did I'd want to slap them but you can't fix Emotionally stupid can you?
Posted by Tracy
My Son also died the exact same way! 1/7/2010 25 years old and his boys were 5, 3, and 18 months old...
I just had a lawyer tell me the statute of limitations was 3 years 7 months too late :(
we JUST found out about this lawsuit he was sick with cold/flu like symptoms and took both tylenol pm and tylenol cold meds :(
How do we get this limitations removed there are SOOOOoooo many senseless deaths there shouldn't be a limit on the time :(
RIP my Joshua Michael Dague 9/10/84 - 1/7/10
Posted by ann
@ will earl..... very insensitive comment. Everybody's tolerance is different. Also I don't think the mom ever said that her daughter took more than is recommended. Ijs
Posted by Mary Soltero
My son was in a traffic accident with a train. He survived, although the truck was totalled, after being dragged over 50 yards, but questioned why. A few years later my husband died. My son made all the arrangements. Now his sister needs a new liver. I only have the two kids. I told him he survived because he has to bury us all. He is 38. His sister is 40. How do I get her a liver? She has a nineteen year old and a five year old. Her husband has Parkinsons. She has been on pain killers and now she is in constant pain. Can anyone help?
Posted by Roselyn
I agree, this story has a few holes in it, but understandable with the circumstances. How long was she on the Tylenol? Did she have follow up appointments for her accident - although I received terrible care after my car accident until I found a Chiropractor, and self medications like Tylenol aren't usually tracked. She may have already had undiagnosed liver issues making her liver unable to process the Tylenol - some people are just more sensitive to drugs - period. I'm one of those. I became concerned since Tylenol is in my medication, after news came out it does have a toxic level limits. Prior to that it was considered 'safe' ( another point, not all doctors keep up on drugs)- anyway, I get my liver tested for peace of mind. I also take a herbal Liver Support that contains Milk Thistle, a safe specific for detoxing the liver.
I found medical legal cases are nearly impossible to get a lawyer to take on - especially against a big entity like J & J. They have whole Dept. full of Lawyers and endless resources - and can wear down a personal lawyer. Not many want that stress. Take Care & Good Luck.
Posted by patrick lally
i too am very sick from taking levaquin made j and j too. i hate j and j. they make poson to kill people. the fda allows them to produce the drug in germany and sell it here. it is banned in germany. i too need a lawyer to sue them and to sue for liver damage as i took alot of tylenol last year.
Posted by Gail Neuman, RNC, BSN
This story makes little sense because an autopsy would always be done after an auto accident resulting in a death days later. She probably had internal injuries, like a liver injury, that were bleeding over days and not diagnosed by the hospital personnel. Bet their malpractice is being covered up by saying it was Tylenol related. She could have been taking generic acetominophen anyway.
Posted by William Earl
I have a really hard time understanding why you have a case when it is so well publicized that a daily maximum dosage of 4000mg. of Acetaminophen to avoid liver damage. Acetaminophen is used in everything from cold medicine to anything requiring additional pain reliever. Hydrocodone, generic name of Loratab, Oxycodone several narcotic, Norco, a lesser compound with only 325mg. Acetaminophen instead of 500mg. as in Loratab. Excedrin much like Tylenol have 500mg. Acetaminophen per dose. Why is it that the public is not accountible for their own actions and instead some large corporation that while it is true they like any other company are only interested in turning a buck but they are providing a product that is useful and not harmful as long as you do not exced their recommendation. How hard is it to read the warnings, I read and research everything I take prescription or over the counter. And by the way I have exceded 4000mg. of Acetaminophen in a given day so many times I can't even tell you how many times. I took a full bottle of Excedrin when I was twenty one although I was rushed to the hospital it was too late to pump my stomach or any other treatment. The doctor told my parents there wasn't anything they could do and I was suppose to die and recovered completely. I also drank two ounces of Anti-freeze too and have absolutely no liver problems at all. So all I can say is you can't fix stupid and you can't sue everybody to try and fix stupid. If people aren't immortal like me than they better watch how much Acedaminophen they consume in a day and if they don't then they have only themselves to blame not a large corporation.
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