Can I Sue a Hospital or Doctor for Giving Me Medicine I Am Allergic To?
Hives, rashes, and fevers are common side effects of an allergic reaction to medication, but in the worst cases, such allergic reactions can send patients into potentially fatal anaphylactic shock. During anaphylactic shock, a patient’s airways often constrict, making it difficult or impossible to breathe. Dizziness, low blood pressure, vomiting, seizures, and loss of consciousness can occur. These reactions can cause substantial health problems, leading to large medical bills and prolonged health consequences.
It is consequently very important for medical professionals to never administer medication to which a patient is allergic. Unfortunately, sometimes healthcare staff behave negligently and make prescription drug errors that can cause serious damage to a patient’s health. The damage this can cause is sometimes sufficient to warrant a lawsuit for medical malpractice.
Was My Doctor Negligent?
Doctors have a duty of care to their patients, meaning they must treat them in a way that provides the greatest benefit while doing the least potential harm. Doctors should consider a patient’s medical history whenever possible. If a new patient is in an emergency room and requires urgent treatment, doctors may administer drugs to which the patient is allergic without knowing the patient has allergies. This is not likely a cause for a lawsuit. But if the doctor had access to a patient’s medical records and could ascertain whether the patient had allergies, and gave a patient an allergy-inducing medication anyway, that could constitute negligence.
Claims of medical negligence must be supported by evidence. This could include medical records, prescriptions to the drugs given despite an allergy, and any documentation showing an allergic reaction occurred and what the symptoms were, especially if they were serious. Time taken off work and any resulting loss in income can be evidence as well.
Are There Other Forms of Prescription-Related Medical Negligence?
Failing to make allowances for a patient’s allergies is not the only kind of prescription drug-related harm a doctor can be held liable for. If a patient is given an excessive dose of a particular drug, this can sometimes cause a dangerous reaction even if a normal dose would have been safe. Likewise, physicians must be very careful not to give patients drugs that would react dangerously with drugs they are already taking.
Speak with a Glen Ellyn Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Allergic reactions to medication can be serious and even life-threatening. If you have been administered medicines to which you are allergic, despite your healthcare providers knowing you had an allergy, you may be able to pursue a case for damages. One of our experienced Cook County personal injury attorneys can help you understand your options and advocate tirelessly for your rights. Call our offices today at 708-226-9000 to schedule your free initial consultation.