The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that the time and symptoms of an overdose can vary widely based on the type of drug taken, whether other substances were ingested, and the weight and tolerance of the victim.
This means, in most cases, a call to emergency services can save the life of a drug overdose victim. If you suspect someone is suffering a drug overdose, your first call should always be to 911. Provide medical personnel with as much information as possible about what drugs the victim may have taken, the possible dosage, and how long ago the drugs were ingested.
Signs and Symptoms of a Drug Overdose
Many people have a mental image of who a drug addict is, and it often does not include their family and loved ones who seem to have it together. The truth is, drug addiction can impact people of all ages, job titles, and income levels.
In some cases, drug overdoses have nothing to do with addiction at all. For example, if a doctor prescribes the wrong dosage of a drug, a patient could overdose the first time he or she takes the medication.
The symptoms of an overdose differ depending on the drug in question. However, symptoms may include:
- Rapid heartbeat
- Dilated pupils
- Issues with breathing
- Violent or aggressive behavior
- Convulsions or seizure-like symptoms
Seeking medical care as soon as possible is critical to preventing death due to drug overdose. If you suspect someone may be suffering from a drug overdose, dial 911 as soon as possible.
Common Causes of Drug Overdoses
Many people equate drug overdoses with addiction and long-term drug abuse. In fact, drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S. according to the American Society of Addiction Medicine. Drug overdoses can occur the first time someone takes a drug, even if that drug was prescribed and taken as directed by their doctor.
Here are a few causes of drug overdose:
- Medical error due to doctor prescribing the wrong dosage
- Pharmacist error caused by dispensing the wrong medication or the wrong dosage
- Addiction resulting in a higher tolerance, causing the victim to take far more than the recommended amount
- Accidental overdosing
- Mixing medications with other substances, including alcohol
- A substance abuse clinic’s failure to properly monitor patients
Drug overdoses can occur for a variety of reasons and, in some cases, they occur due to medical malpractice or neglect. If you believe a family member suffered a fatal overdose due to neglect, you may be able to seek compensation.
Compensation Your Family May Recover After a Drug Overdose
Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional fails to provide a standard of care consistent with care most other professionals at their level would. When medical malpractice occurs, the victim and their family may be eligible to pursue their losses through medical malpractice or wrongful death claim.
Depending on the details of your situation, you may be eligible to recover:
- The cost of medical care up to the victim’s death
- The cost of medication before their death
- Pain and suffering the victim endured
- The loss of income for the victim’s family
- The loss of guidance or companionship
- Pain and suffering the family suffered due to the loss of a loved one
If you suspect your loved one suffered a drug overdose due to medical neglect, you have the right to pursue damages. A medical malpractice lawyer can review the details and determine if you have a viable case.
Contact the Medical Malpractice Attorneys at Pintas & Mullins Today
Drug overdose is a complex problem that impacts people of all ages and in all walks of life. If you suspect medical neglect contributed to the death of a loved one due to drug overdose, the at-fault party may be held liable for your losses.
While no amount of money can heal the wound left by the loss of a loved one, holding the negligent party responsible could protect other lives.
The team at Pintas & Mullins is dedicated to fighting for the rights of medical malpractice and product liability victims. We take a dedicated, hands-on approach to legal service and are committed to recovering the damages you deserve.
Even if you are unsure you have a case, our team can help. Call Pintas & Mullins today at 866-513-0846 to explore your legal options.