America is responsible for 99% of the global opiod sales of hydrocodone and for 81% of oxycodone sales. In 2013 alone, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that as many as 249 million painkiller prescriptions were written in the U.S. Patients want a magic cure for their pain, and their doctors want to give it to them.
But at what cost? Especially when the results may be permanent disabling injury or death.
Chronic pain claims are rising
Chronic pain malpractice claims are on the rise. According to Kelly Pollak, MD from the University of Washington and the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, malpractice claims associated with chronic pain cases have increased in number and severity for over 30 years. The number of pain specialists has also grown. And it’s these healthcare professionals who are using more potent analgesics and interventions.
Dr Pollak reported that besides the rapid growth of chronic pain malpractice claims, the numbers have also increased for pain anesthesiologists. Anesthesiologists are prescribing opioid medications, and those giving cervical spine (neck) injections must be aware of the increase in severe adverse outcomes that can lead to malpractice claims. For those who have suffered from chronic pain at the hands of their doctors and have nowhere to turn,medical malpractice lawyers in Chicago are on hand for patients to talk with.
Opiod treatments: The smoking gun
In analyzing chronic pain management malpractice claims, Dr Pollak found that death was the most common side effect of opiods and sedatives. Due to the serious nature of prescription drug injuries and deaths, patients and/or their families should consult medical malpractice lawyers in the Chicago area to assist them.
Health care providers are struggling with finding treatments for chronic pain. In doing so, strong medications are prescribed, drugs that can cause addictions. Patients may become addicted over an extended period of time due to drug tolerance. Their bodies have grown accustomed to the drug. As a result, dosages can increase.
When drugs like the opiod oxycodone or the benzodiazepine Xanax are prescribed, even patients with no prior addiction issues may become hooked. Patients with chronic pain are very often desperate for pain relief, so additional doses can happen in order for them to feel pain-free for a short time.
Chronic pain is a real pain to its sufferers. While chronic pain patients may have difficulty knowing where to turn regarding medical malpractice lawyers, Chicago has law professionals who can help.