Saint Thomas Sued In Death Of Teen Who Took Prozac, Other Meds — (The Tennessean)

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The Tennessean

May 22, 2013   |

Written by  Bobby Allyn

A Macon County family is suing Saint Thomas Health and one of the hospital’s neurologists following the death of their 13-year-old son, who died from a lethal combination of Prozac and other prescription medications.

Lucas Bilbrey, 13, was taking several medications, including Prozac, Kerlone and Pamelor, before he died of toxicity last April, according to the suit filed in Davidson County Circuit Court.

Though the suit never describes his exact condition, it charges that the doctor acted negligently in prescribing the meds.

A spokeswoman for Saint Thomas declined to comment on the allegations.

Starting around November 2011, according to the suit, Bilbrey began seeing neurologist Jan Brandes for migraine headaches. Brandes instructed the family to give him Pamelor, in addition to the medications he was already taking, Prozac and Kerlone. Kerlone is a beta-blocker usually prescribed to treat high blood pressure; Pamelor and Prozac are antidepressants.

Two months later, the lawsuit states, Bilbrey told the family to increase Bilbrey’s Prozac dosage. Not long after, the family reported that the boy was experiencing “bad tremors,” low blood pressure and shaky hands.

The symptoms worsened. In one instance, they caused Bilbrey to fall over near his locker at school, according to the suit.

That’s when, according to the suit, Brandes told the family to increase his Prozac dosage and discontinue Kerlone.

The family said that he was running without breaking a sweat and having problems with balance. The tremors, too, never stopped.

While playing basketball last April, Lucas collapsed and was transported to the Macon County General Hospital. He was pronounced dead due to drug toxicity.

Brandes was negligent by not understanding the risks associated with mixing several medications, according to the suit. “Brandes negligently deviated from the accepted standards of professional practice,” the suit says.

In addition, according to the suit, Brandes never requested lab tests for Bilbrey while he was taken off and put on various medications.

Terry and Julie Bilbrey, the parents, are seeking damages for funeral bills, medical expenses, pain and suffering and other injuries. The suit says the total recovery should be at least $25,000.

John Day, the parents’ attorney, would not elaborate on the lawsuit and did not make the family available for interviews. They did talk last year to the Macon County Chronicle, which described Bilbrey as a “sweet little boy who loved books, sports, animals and the Tennessee Titans.”

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