Earlier this month, a Seminole County, Florida medical malpractice jury returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiff in the amount of $1,017,000 that included $517,000 in economic damages, $500,000 for mental anguish, and attorneys’ fees. The Florida medical malpractice lawsuit alleged that the plaintiff’s husband was allergic to codeine but was nonetheless given morphine by an anesthesiologist, which is a drug in the same class as codeine, thereby causing the man’s death. The medical malpractice defendant denied that he was negligent and alleged that the man had died from a heart attack as opposed to the codeine that he was given.
Source Case Number 11-CA 242 -09-W, Circuit Court of the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit, In and For Seminole County, Florida.
What Is Drug Allergy?
The American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology (“AAAAI”) provides the following information on its website regarding drug allergy:
Adverse reactions to medications are common, yet everyone responds differently. One person may develop a rash or other reactions when taking a certain medication, while another person on the same drug may have no adverse reaction at all. Only about 5% to 10% of these reactions are due to an allergy to the medication.
An allergic reaction occurs when the immune system overreacts to a harmless substance, in this case a medication, which triggers an allergic reaction. Sensitivities to drugs may produce similar symptoms, but do not involve the immune system.
Certain medications are more likely to produce allergic reactions than others. The most common are:
• Antibiotics, such as penicillin
• Aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen
• Monoclonal antibody therapy
The chances of developing an allergy are higher when you take the medication frequently or when it is rubbed on the skin or given by injection, rather than taken by mouth.
Symptoms Of Drug Allergy
The most frequent types of allergic symptoms to medications are:
• Skin rashes, particularly hives
• Respiratory problems
• Swelling, such as in the face
Anaphylaxis is a serious allergic response that often involves swelling, hives, lowered blood pressure, and in severe cases, shock. If anaphylactic shock isn’t treated immediately, it can be fatal. A major difference between anaphylaxis and other allergic reactions is that anaphylaxis typically involves more than one system of the body. Anaphylaxis requires immediate medical attention because the result can be fatal.
Symptoms Of Anaphylaxis
Symptoms of anaphylaxis include:
- Abdominal pain or cramping
- Difficulty breathing with wheeze or hoarse voice
- Fainting, light-headedness
- Hives over different parts of the body
- Nausea, vomiting
- Rapid pulse
- Sensation of feeling the heart beat (palpitations)
If you or a loved one suffered serious injuries (or worse) due to an allergic reaction to medication, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses and harms. A prompt consultation with a local medical malpractice attorney may assist you in determining if you have the basis for filing a medical malpractice claim.
Click here to visit our website to be connected with medical malpractice lawyers in your state who may be willing to investigate your drug allergy/drug reaction claim for you and represent you in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate, or call us toll-free at 800-295-3959.
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