Donald A. Compretta
My husbands story by Sandra Seuzeneau Compretta My husband was prescribed amiodarone for Atrial fibrilation after his heart surgery in 2001.He died of sudden pulmonary fibrosis on June 8, 2003, after a hospitalization of three weeks. (from the end of May to June 8 2003.) He entered the hospital as a precautionary measure since he was running a low fever of 100.3. He felt fine, but they thought he might have pneumonia, and decided to keep him. T…he next two days were uneventful and on the third day he started developing breathing problems. It was five days later that they figured it might be caused from the Pacerone he was taking and took him off this drug. He got progressively worse, nothing helped, and he spent his last days in ICU, sedated with morphine and a paralytic drug to keep him from pulling out his intubation tube. He fought hard to stay alive, but his heart had now become enlarged from struggling to breathe and he died. We never got to say good-bye, and this haunts me to this day. I looked for answers for two years about why this happened to my husband, because none of his doctors were forthcoming about what happened to him. I’m absolutely sure they knew they messed up, because they avoided me like the plague in the hospital. They never consulted with me or kept me informed of my husband’s condition. They had no sympathetic words to offer after he died, in fact there was no doctor present when he died.They never told me he died from amiodarone. Through an attorney who hired a forensic pathologist to investigate his medical records, it was his opinion that he did indeed die from the toxic effects of amiodarone. I reported this to Medicare and they investigated and found my husband was not properly monitored while taking this drug. Had he been monitored,the doctor would have known the drug was causing severe side effects and the drug should have been discontinued. I believe if the cardiologist had done his job, he might still be with us today. NOTHING was done to the cardiologist, no sanctions, nothing… and he is still practicing today, although he is not with the same group he was with when he treated my husband. Of course, I warn everybody I can about this drug and this doctor. He never got in touch with me to defend his actions nor has he tried to apologize in any way. That made him even more guilty of negligence in my eyes. So much more happened over the course of his hospitalization that would take pages and pages to tell you about, and I have given you only the “short story” of his experience with this drug. On a happier note: after being widowed for seven years, I met and married a wonderful man who believes I should write a book about my husband’s death. I have started that book and one day, I will finish it. Thanks for the support and for reading my post.