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Failure to Identify a Drug Interaction

Baltimore Lawyers Representing People in Medical Malpractice Claims

Many acute and chronic conditions are treated with medication. If a person is prescribed multiple drugs for one or more illnesses, their care providers must ensure that they can take such medications safely. If a doctor or pharmacist neglects to determine if any drugs are contraindicated, it can lead to severe symptoms. If you sustained injuries due to a healthcare provider’s failure to identify a drug interaction, you might be able to recover damages via a medical malpractice lawsuit, and you should talk to an attorney about your potential claims. The assertive Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys of Arfaa Law Group are well-versed in what it takes to prove liability for medical incompetence, and if you engage our services, we will work tirelessly to help you seek a favorable outcome.

Harm Caused by the Failure to Identify a Drug Interaction

Drug interactions can lead to a decrease or increase in either the intended or side effects of a given medication. For example, if a patient who is taking medication to regulate hypertension is then prescribed a medication that negates the effect of the first drug, their blood pressure may remain high, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Similarly, some drugs have a sedative effect and decrease a person’s heart and respiratory rates. If such drugs are combined, it can lead to loss of consciousness, impaired breathing, and cardiac arrest. Thus, it is critical that anyone involved in the prescribing and distribution of drugs to a patient identify any possible interactions.

Liability for the Failure to Identify a Drug Interaction

Doctors and pharmacists undergo extensive training that should allow them to recognize and avoid potential drug interactions. Healthcare providers do not always provide treatment commensurate with their experience and education, however, and patients often suffer harm as a result. Thus, if a patient sustains harm due to a medical provider’s failure to identify a drug interaction, it may constitute medical malpractice.

In most medical malpractice lawsuits, the plaintiff will assert a negligence claim against the defendant. In Maryland, to establish the negligence of a medical professional, a plaintiff must show that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty to render treatment that met or exceeded the applicable standard of care, which is the care that a professional practicing in the same specialty and community would provide in the same situation.

The plaintiff must also show that the defendant breached the duty by failing to meet the standard of care and that the breach directly caused the plaintiff to suffer quantifiable harm. For example, if a doctor or pharmacist failed to identify a drug interaction and the plaintiff suffered a heart attack due to the oversight, the plaintiff must show that a competent doctor or pharmacist would have assessed the situation and prescribed a different medication regimen, thus preventing the plaintiff from suffering harm. In most cases, the plaintiff will need to establish both the standard of care and the manner in which the defendant breached the standard through expert testimony.

If a plaintiff successfully establishes the defendant’s liability, they may be awarded compensation for the economic and noneconomic harm caused by the defendant. Damages recoverable may include the cost of any medical treatment needed for any injuries sustained, as well as the cost of any treatment that will be needed in the future, lost earnings, and out-of-pocket costs. Additionally, the plaintiff may be awarded compensation for the pain and suffering caused by their injuries.

Meet With a Seasoned Baltimore Attorney

While most medications have side effects, people rarely anticipate that they will suffer harm due to drug interactions, and doctors and pharmacists that fail to prevent such adverse consequences should be held responsible for their carelessness. If you were harmed by a healthcare provider’s failure to identify a drug interaction, it is advisable to meet with an attorney to discuss what claims you may be able to pursue. The seasoned medical malpractice attorneys of Arfaa Law Group take pride in helping people harmed by inadequate medical care seek redress for their injuries, and if you hire us, we will zealously advocate in your favor. We have an office in Baltimore, where we frequently assist parties with medical malpractice claims. You can reach us by calling 410-889-1850 or using our online form to set up a confidential and free consultation.