The Law Offices of Charles Dunn
Lubbock County Medical Malpractice Attorney
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Opioid and anticoagulant use can be vulnerable to error

Some of the most popular classes of drugs prescribed to Texas patients can also be some of those most frequently involved in liability claims related to medication errors or dangerous prescription combinations. Opioid painkillers and anticoagulants, which discourage blood clots, are the two drug types most frequently involved in claims related to medication.

Together, the two types of drugs are involved in up to 40 percent of nationwide claims related to medication errors or problems caused by prescription drugs. Opioid painkillers are the single type of drug more likely than any other to be involved in liability claims at 24 percent of overall claim volume. Most of those claims focused on primary care providers while 22 percent were related to opioids prescribed in emergency facilities.

Another 16 percent of medication-related liability claims in the study were associated with anticoagulants. As the usage of these sometimes-powerful medications grows, complications may also become more prevalent and risks more apparent. The overall number of claims related to medication was the fourth highest; diagnostic claims, surgery-related claims and medical management claims were still more common than those related to medication errors or improper dosage.

Medication safety can be enhanced by stronger communication between doctors and patients, recommend insurers and health care experts. A higher level of vigilance can help to avoid prescribing errors and ensure proper dosing. In addition, the risks of medication errors are highest when dealing with the most vulnerable patients. Those with other illnesses and conditions, very young and elderly patients may have special needs, as may patients who are either very small or very large.

Patients who have experienced a medication error may be severely impacted as a result. Whether a drug has a dangerous interaction with another prescription medicine or the dosage prescribed was inappropriate for treatment, medication errors can delay effective treatment or cause even more serious problems. A medical malpractice attorney can review a patient's case to determine whether there is a possibility to seek compensation for the harms caused by improper medication.

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