When you are struggling with health issues, you place your life and trust in the medical professionals caring for you. Whether it’s an ongoing illness or a sudden emergency issue, like a stroke, you expect your doctors and nurses to help, not hurt you even worse.
Sadly, for a number of American patients every day, medical intervention causes serious issues. Sometimes, it’s due to an honest mistake or clerical error. Other times, the issue stems from a medical professional failing to note the risk of a drug interaction when prescribing a new medication. Whatever the cause, you shouldn’t have to suffer.
Studies have shown the more medications people are prescribed, the more likely they are to suffer from a drug-drug interaction (DDI). As many as 62 percent of older adults on multiple prescription medications could experience at least one DDI as a result. In many cases, these interactions are minor. However, in some cases, drug interactions can have catastrophic consequences, including medical emergencies and even death.
Drug interactions vary widely based on many factors
Drug interactions can take a number of different forms. Sometimes, one drug increases the effect of another drug, called synergism. Other times, a drug could interfere with the function of another drug, making it less effective. In the case of critical medications, that reduction in effectiveness could have disastrous effects on the patient’s health. In some cases, two drugs interact with one another to create a completely new compound, which could have a variety of health impacts and side effects. There are supposed to be systems in place to prevent these kinds of serious drug interactions.
One of the preventative measures is having your doctor review your medical chart. However, it’s very easy for a doctor who is rushed and tired to overlook a medication. There is also critical communication between your doctor and the pharmacy, which should help your pharmacist notice potential interactions before dispensing medication to you. Sadly, these systems are not perfect, and a number of issues could arise that result in you, the patient, receiving two medications which are known to cause serious interactions with one another.
Your attorney can help you after a medical mistake
If your doctor or pharmacist failed to catch a drug interaction before it caused serious medical issues, an attorney may be able to help. While it is difficult to process medical malpractice claims and lawsuits, it is possible to do so successfully with an experienced Pennsylvania attorney. You shouldn’t have to live with the consequences of someone else’s mistake. Seek legal advice about your situation after a drug interaction impacts your health or quality of life.