Medical Malpractice, Toxicity, and Brain Damage
Posted in Medical Malpractice on October 18, 2021
When a doctor administers or prescribes too much medication to a patient, the consequences can be devastating. Medication can over-accumulate in the bloodstream, leading to a condition known as drug toxicity. Drug toxicity can result in serious, life-threatening complications, including brain damage. If you experienced brain damage due to drug toxicity, you may be able to hold the at-fault physician accountable through a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Signs and Symptoms of Drug Toxicity
Drug toxicity occurs when prescription medication builds up in the blood stream. Patients who experience this condition may suffer symptoms like disorientation, dizziness, blurred vision, and memory loss. Fainting and falls are also common when suffering from drug toxicity.
Drug toxicity often goes unnoticed until symptoms begin to appear. However, some medical professionals may fail to recognize these signs and misdiagnose the condition. Without prompt medical attention, drug toxicity can lead to a potentially fatal overdose, oxygen loss, and permanent brain damage.
Some of the most common symptoms of a drug overdose include the following.
- Abnormal breathing
- A fast, slow, or irregular pulse
- Abnormally high or low body temperatures
- Changes in skin color
- Loss of consciousness
Common Causes of Drug Toxicity
Medical providers have a duty to ensure that they are prescribing the right medication at the right dosage for patients. However, some healthcare professionals commit errors in administering drugs, leading to severe injury to patients. If you experience drug toxicity due to a healthcare provider’s negligent actions, you could hold him or her liable in a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Common errors that lead to drug toxicity include the following.
- Pharmaceutical errors: A pharmacist may provide a patient with the wrong medication or the wrong dosage instructions. As a result, the medication may build up in the bloodstream and lead to toxicity. In this situation, the pharmacist would be liable medical malpractice.
- Doctor errors: Physicians prescribe different medications for different patients every day. If a doctor prescribes the wrong medication, the wrong dosage, or keeps a patient on a medication for too long, drug toxicity can occur as medication builds in the patient’s bloodstream. Doctors must also continuously account for other factors, like changes in patient weight, to avoid drug toxicity and provide the correct medication. In this situation, the physician would be liable for any injuries caused by drug toxicity.
- Nursing home errors: When an elderly person lives in a nursing home, it is the facility’s responsibility to make sure that he or she receives the right medication and dosage. If a staff member gives too much medication or accidentally administers a dose twice, drug toxicity may occur. The facility and its employees could be liable in this situation.
- Anesthesia errors: Anesthesia may also cause drug toxicity. If an anesthesiologist administers the anesthesia correctly or fails to properly monitor a patient who is under anesthesia, adverse reactions can occur, leading to brain damage and death. The anesthesiologist would be liable in this situation.
Speak to a Missouri Medical Malpractice Lawyer
If you developed brain damage due to drug toxicity, you may be eligible for financial compensation. Healthcare providers could be held accountable for any damages you sustain due to their negligent medication errors, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
In these situations, it is important to speak with a Kansas City medical malpractice lawyer. Your attorney can represent your claim and hold the provider accountable for your losses. Contact ana attorney as soon as possible following your injury to discuss your legal options.