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Drug warnings and medical malpractice

When a person in Ohio is in intense pain, he or she expects to go to a doctor and be given relief. A person should also expect that he or she will be informed of any warnings associated with a medication. Failure to inform a patient could constitute medical malpractice.

A patient was suffering from intense pain caused by complications from prior surgeries. The patient consulted a pain specialist who tried many options before ultimately prescribing the fentanyl patch, a drug far stronger than most other opioid or narcotic medications. While the doctor did inform his patient of all the instructions he needed to follow while on the medication, the doctor did not warn him of the dangers of the medication.

The fentanyl patch is a long-acting pain relief medication that is designed to be released via the patch over 72 hours. In this case the patient's body heat caused it to be released much faster, in as little as one or two days. This caused the patient to go into withdrawal, which resulted in multiple emergency room visits where neither the emergency room physicians nor his pain specialist realized what was happening.

When someone is in pain, the goal is to relieve the pain. In a situation where pain treatment is being administered and there is little relief but increased suffering, a person in Ohio may benefit from having a confidential conversation with an experienced medical malpractice attorney. The attorney may be able to offer guidance and help to determine if a case for medical malpractice exists.

Source:, "Opioids, Fentanyl and Medical Malpractice", Jennifer Kilgore, March 4, 2018

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