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The ER Prescribed Me a Medication I'm Allergic To
If you visit an emergency room for an injury or illness, the immediate duty of the doctors, nurses, and other staff is to provide you with the care necessary to stabilize you before your release. However, if an ER doctor prescribes you a medication you are allergic to, the fault may not lie with the doctor at all.
Is It Malpractice?
As an example, assume that you are allergic to penicillin, which is one of the most common drug allergies in the United States. Next, assume that you visit the ER with back pain and your diagnosis is a moderate to severe kidney infection. Your doctor knows that antibiotics are required to treat the infection, and because this specific type of infection responds well to penicillin-based medications, this is what she prescribes. Can you sue for malpractice? The answer is usually no since your medication must be filled by a licensed pharmacist before you can ingest it.
Who Is at Fault?
If your medical chart states that you are allergic to penicillin, or if you told the staff that you are allergic to penicillin but still received an injection, IV drip, or pill containing penicillin while in the ER, your doctor is at fault. If you arrive at an ER unconscious and there is no indication that you have the allergy after the doctor has made reasonable attempts to review your medical records and reach your emergency contact (when available), the doctor is not at fault if penicillin is administered while in the ER. If an ER doctor prescribes you a medication that contains penicillin despite indications on your medical chart and your verbal statement to staff about your allergy, and if the pharmacist fills it despite your records indicating an allergy, then the pharmacist may be at fault even though the doctor was negligent. Pharmacies are legally required to ask you about allergies when you create your account, and they are often required to ask you about your allergies each time you bring in a new prescription.
In a situation like this one, the right course of action can often be difficult to detect. If you have suffered an injury or illness because you received a medication to which you have an allergy, it is best to seek legal advice to learn about your options. Call 703-370-8088 or contact us online today .