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As more and more medications become available to the public without prescriptions and as drug companies advertise more of their products directly to consumers during prime time television, many people fail to treat prescribed medications with the respect they deserve. Unfortunately, many of our doctors do the same. Where there used to be only sulfa drugs or penicillin to treat infections, there is now a whole pharmacy at the disposal of a doctor to treat even the most minor of infections.
Anesthesia, like all medication, has also improved vastly over the years. Where a surgical candidate’s choice of anesthetic was not really a choice, but was limited to ether, today’s anesthesiologists have a wide-range of medications, in a number of forms, to choose from when putting a patient to sleep.
With more choices comes the need to understand more about the chemistry of the medications. Do the drugs have side effects? Does the patient have another condition or is he or she taking another drug and how will that condition or drug react to the medicine being prescribed? More elementary things are often overlooked: How much medicine should this patient take? How often should they take it? More and more, it is becoming important for any physician to ask a patient what over-the-counter medicines he or she regularly takes. These medicines may interfere with things like blood clotting, absorption of other drugs or the intensification of anesthetic.
In addition to being ineffective, improper dosing of medication can cause side effects that can lead to liver poisoning, brain damage and coma or death. This could be an example of medical malpractice.
If you or a loved one have been injured as the result of mis-prescribed medication or inappropriately administered anesthetic, contact our Pennsylvania medical malpractice lawyers for a free, no-obligation initial consultation. There is never an out of pocket cost to you. All consultations are free and confidential.