Attorneys at Law

Killer Pain Killers: Part II

By Ryan Springer • April 6, 2012 • Filed in: Medical Malpractice, Personal Injury, Pharmaceuticals

I have previously written about the epidemic of prescription drug deaths that occur in the State of Utah.  Medical mistakes in prescribing painkillers are a leading cause of wrongful deaths.

Utah station KSL recently reported that many errors are due to opiate conversion charts.  Careless doctors rely on these charts when converting patients from one form of opiate to another, often without understanding the effects of the drugs or the consequence of their decision.  It can have catastrophic results for the patient.

According to the report:

Nationally, an estimated 15,000 people die each year from overdoses of opioid pain medicine. That includes such familiar painkillers as Oxycontin, oxycodone, Percocet, morphine, and methadone.

Adding to that number are the number of deaths in Utah.  According to the Deseret News, prescription drug abuse is “the leading cause of death in the state.”

Negligent health care providers who fail to properly prescribe and monitor patients on opiate painkillers are causing dozens, if not hundreds, of deaths each year due to prescription drug negligence.

I have done a lot of cases involving prescription drug negligence, and witnessed firsthand the loss and heartbreak of those that are left behind.  Unfortunately, insurance company lawyers literally add insult to injury by trying to place all the blame on the patient.  They are some of the most challenging and complex cases I handle, but ultimately, they are rewarding not only because I can help families deal with the loss of loved ones, but also because, by holding the negligent doctors accountable, they’ll be more cautious the next time so that this doesn’t happen to someone else.


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