San Diego County Medical Examiner issues a report on prescription drug overdoses
Unintentional overdoses of prescription drugs are the leading cause of non-natural death in San Diego, outnumbering car accidents, suicides, and homicides, according to a recent article released by KPBS, San Diego.
Commonly a celebrity-related cause of death (more recent victims include Michael Jackson, Anna Nicole Smith, and Heath Ledger), no longer are drug-related deaths a Hollywood staple. Tragically, accidental overdose of prescription painkillers are the chief cause of non-natural death in San Diego County.
Pharmaceutical malpractice: Faulty or poorly-prescribed prescriptions may not always result in wrongful death
Dr. Jonathan Lucas, deputy medical examiner of the San Diego County Medical Examiner office, said the number of fatalities resulting from drug overdoses doesn’t fully paint the picture of prescription misuse.
Pharmaceutical mistakes resulting in long-term medical care are all too common in San Diego County as well, resulting in catastrophic injuries for the patient. Doctors can often prescribe the wrong medicines in poorly-dosed prescriptions that lead to medical mistakes. In serious situations such as these, victims can suffer from lifelong medical issues, resulting in countless medical bills, pain and suffering, and additional medical treatments.
“We’re only seeing the population that dies, and for every single death, how many others are out in the community, that are doing the same thing, but just haven’t passed away?” asks Dr. Lucas.
Over the last decade, drug-related deaths occurring in San Diego have increased by a whopping 85 percent, according to Dr. Lucas.
How is drug overdose possible in today’s world? What are the doctor’s responsibilities?
How is a prescription overdose possible? After all, medicines are clearly labeled with instructions on proper dosage, and pharmacists are required to give patients necessary drug-related information upon filling the prescription. Why do so many San Diegans fall victim to wrongful death as a result of prescription drug overdose?
Unfortunately, easy access to painkillers such as Percocet, Vicodin, and Oxycontin—and the doctors who prescribe these medicines like candy—are all too common nationally, and especially in San Diego county. Since these medicines are easily accessible, patients often get prescriptions for them without actually being in need.
Isn’t it a doctor’s responsibility to assess a patient’s needs for proper medical care? When doctors are careless in prescribing these powerful medicines to their patients, the outcome can result in pharmaceutical malpractice, product liability and even wrongful death.
What to do if you’ve been affected by pharmaceutical malpractice
If you’ve been a seriously hurt due to pharmaceutical malpractice, or if a loved one has fallen victim to wrongful death as a result, contact our San Diego law offices today. We’ll make sure your case is handled properly, and most importantly, we will help you recover the maximum financial compensation for your personal injury. You shouldn’t have to worry about fighting insurance companies, so leave that to our experienced personal injury attorneys. Read about our case results to find out more, or contact us to get started on your case today.