Nearly all types of prescription drugs can cause overdose deaths. However, the most common prescription drug class associated with overdose death is opioids. In 2018, 47,600 people died as a result of an opioid overdose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Overdose deaths occur due to a variety of factors. Out of all prescription overdose deaths, 74.3% were considered unintentional, while 17.1% of all deaths were considered intentional (suicides). The remaining 8.4% of deaths were of “undetermined intent,” according to a 2010 study published in JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association.
Overdose deaths caused by prescription drugs included the following medications:
- 2% of deaths occurred due to opioids, such as Vicodin and Oxycodone
- 4% of deaths occurred due to benzodiazepines, including Diazepam and Xanax
- 6% of overdose deaths occurred due to antidepressant usage
- 8% of overdose deaths were due to drugs used in treating epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease
If you believe a loved one passed away from a drug overdose due to medical negligence, you may be eligible to seek compensation.
Call Newsome | Melton at 866-513-0846 to learn more about your legal options.
Common Symptoms of Prescription Drug Overdose
Drug overdose can result in debilitating medical complications such as liver or heart failure, neurological symptoms, and even death. However, seeking medical care can reduce or eliminate the long-term effects of a drug overdose. There is a very limited amount of time to get someone’s help if he or she is having an overdose.
For this reason, everyone must understand the most common signs and symptoms of a drug overdose. These may include:
- Confusion or disorientation
- Dilated pupils that do not react to light
- Chest pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Slow or weak pulse
- Blue lips or fingertips
- Abnormally high body temperature
The symptoms of a drug overdose can vary based on the type of drug ingested, the amount, the tolerance of the victim, and whether other substances were also ingested. If you suspect a drug overdose, contact emergency services as soon as possible. In many cases, medical intervention can prevent drug overdose death.
Seek Compensation for a Drug Overdose Caused by Medical Malpractice
Prescription drugs can cause overdose deaths in the case of an accident, but medical malpractice may also contribute in some cases. For example, a doctor may prescribe an incorrect dosage, or he or she may fail to notice a new prescription will interfere with medication the patient is already taking. In some cases, a pharmacist may fill a prescription incorrectly. These situations may all be considered medical malpractice.
In cases where medical malpractice causes a prescription overdose death, the doctor, hospital, or other medical professional may be held liable for the death through a medical malpractice claim.
We recommend working with a medical malpractice attorney to better understand your legal rights.
Damages Available in Overdose Malpractice Cases
When a family member or loved one passes away, it can impact their family emotionally and financially. When their death was the result of medical malpractice, the family may be able to file a wrongful death or medical malpractice claim.
Depending on your situation, you may be entitled to recover the following:
- Medical Costs: Including treatments, medication, hospitalization, and emergency transportation.
- Funeral Costs: Including the cost of a burial plot, cremation, and other costs related to the service.
- Loss of Income: Including loss of future pay and employment benefits such as health insurance and retirement savings.
- Pain and Suffering: Including the emotional distress of the family and the pain and suffering the victim experienced before their death.
A medical malpractice lawyer can review the details of your situation and assist you in filing a legal claim if appropriate.
Get Legal Help for a Drug Overdose by Calling Newsome | Melton Today
Prescription drug overdose is a growing problem in the United States. If your loved one passed away due to an overdose caused by medical malpractice, our sympathies are with you and your family. We know holding the medical professional liable may be the last thing on your mind, but you may be eligible to seek compensation on their behalf.
The team at Newsome | Melton is committed to fighting for the rights of medical malpractice victims. Our team handles complex civil litigation cases on a regular basis and can help your family pursue the compensation you deserve.
Contact our team today for a free case evaluation. Even if you are unsure if your case qualifies, we can help. Call Newsome | Melton today at 866-513-0846.