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Indianapolis Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Research suggests that FDA was aware of doctors' abuse of opioids

Doctors are required to undergo rigorous educational training to prepare them for the responsibilities they will take on in helping treat people who need medical attention. One of the aspects of their job training revolves around prescription use. They have to be well-versed in the use and benefit of hundreds of prescriptions and have an awareness to determine which are the most effective at treating specific symptoms. However, there are times in Indiana when even the finest doctors may make a bad decision out of haste, misunderstanding or deliberate ignorance. 

According to a recent research study released to the public, results suggest that members of the Food and Drug Administration were aware of incidents in which doctors were misusing opioids. It was reported that only 77 percent of the health care experts who were contacted actually understood the correct use of prescription opioids. The danger arises for patients who are prescribed opioids to help manage pain, but are intolerant to the potency of the drugs. Tolerance is acquired over time and with consistent exposure to controlled dosages, but some doctors are recklessly prescribing opioids and falsifying reports that discuss their usage of such drugs in treating their patients. 

Asking the right questions can protect your safety

When the time comes for you to go visit your doctor, chances are you have done some research to find a health care provider that you trust to give you thorough and effective care. What you may not know, is that doctor errors are far more common than many people realize. Despite efforts by health care facilities to better protocols designed to keep patients safer, there are things that you can do as well to facilitate your protection. At Garau Germano PC, we have helped many people in Indiana to work through challenging cases where they have been the victims of medical malpractice. 

One of the wisest things you can do to keep yourself safe when visiting your doctor is to ask questions. Do not be timid about voicing your concerns and expect nothing less than a thorough answer. If you have to ask for clarification a few times, make sure you do so to assure that you walk away with a clear understanding of your symptoms, treatment options and potential side effects of any medications that were prescribed. 

Why is bed rest prescribed during pregnancy?

If you are pregnant, one of the things you may dread hearing from your Indiana doctor is that you have to go on bed rest. Bed rest is a commonly prescribed solution during pregnancy, and doctors require it for many reasons. According to the Mayo Clinic, bed rest is typically prescribed when there are issues with the placenta or are at risk of going into labor early. However, bed rest is no longer a standard of care used by most doctors.

The reason for this is that bed rest can do more harm than good. Plus, there has not been conclusive evidence that it actually helps to prevent problems in pregnancy, such as preventing early labor. In fact, lying in bed and not moving can increase your risks for blood clots, increase stress levels, lead to weight loss or gain and affect your overall health.

Childbirth injuries in Indiana hospitals: What causes them?

You may recall exactly what you were doing when you went into labor. Whether you were about to give birth to your first child or already had several kids at home who were eager to greet their newest sibling, you were likely excited, a bit anxious and more than ready to navigate the final stage of your pregnancy, working toward your final goal of holding your newborn baby in your arms.

Sadly, childbirth in Indiana hospitals doesn't always go so smoothly. In fact, some mothers face dire circumstances when their babies suffer injuries during or after the birthing process. What's worse is that many of these injuries are direct results of doctor errors, mistakes that were entirely preventable. Some children never fully recover from their birth injuries. If you're a mom in a similar situation, you'll want to know where to turn for support.

Is dirty air a problem in hospitals?

Many people fear going to the hospital because they believe they might catch an illness just from being in the hospital itself. The fact that so many people visit the hospital each year makes it important that hospital staff keep the facilities clean so that infections do not spread. However, sometimes an Indianapolis hospital staff may overlook their own ventilation system as a possible avenue for pathogens to spread.  

Hughes Environmental points out that many hospitals do not clean their duct systems on a consistent basis. Ductwork ventilates air throughout a building. Additionally, air ducts are responsible for maintaining the air at a comfortable temperature. However, ducts can also gather dust, pathogens and other contaminants if the ducts are not kept clean. Those contaminants can be carried throughout a building and may be especially harmful if transmitted through a hospital.

What special care is needed for Alzheimer's patients?

Alzheimer's is a serious disease that eats away at a person's mind until they become a shell of the person they once were. It is very painful to watch a loved one slip away due to the disease. Because there is no cure and treatments can only delay symptoms at best, it is imperative that doctors and other care givers in Indiana learn how to properly care for a patient.

The Alzheimer's Association explains that the needs of the patient change as he or she progresses through the stages of the disease. You need to talk with the person's doctor and make sure you both understand the care needs during each stage.

What factors lead to incorrect drug prescriptions?

When you receive a prescription from your Indiana doctor after a hospital stay or examination, you should be confident that the prescribed medication is what you need to treat your condition or help you recover without causing you any additional health problems. But sometimes patients can be prescribed the wrong drug. This should not happen, but it does, thanks to a number of factors that can make a health care provider confuse one drug for another.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) points out that similarities in drug names contribute to drug confusion. The name of a prescription medication may look very much like the name of another drug. This can cause a doctor to give a patient the wrong prescription name, or a pharmacy to provide a patient the incorrect drug.  

You didn't go to the hospital to get sepsis, but it happened

A lengthy stay in a hospital puts you at risk for contracting serious and even deadly infections. It may seem counterintuitive, but it can happen. As a matter of fact, it happens so often that there is a name for it: healthcare-acquired infection. You may be one of many Indiana residents who joke that you don't like to go to hospitals because there are sick people there.

The problem is that it's no joke. Infections happen in medical facilities all the time. Hospitals and nursing homes receive most of the press for this, but it could even happen in your doctor's office. The longer you stay in a hospital, the more likely the possibility is that you may contract an infection, which could turn into sepsis.

What are the dangers of overusing antibiotics?

Antibiotics have been an amazing medical breakthrough. They've saved countless lives and stopped many diseases. However, as increased use of these medications becomes prevalent, there is now an issue with antibiotic use. As much good as they can do, they can also become harmful.

According to the Mayo Clinic, antibiotic resistance is a huge issue in medical care today. This occurs when antibiotics are overused and the bacteria causing an illness becomes resistant to the antibiotic. Essentially, the medication no longer is effective against the illness. You can take an antibiotic, but it may not do any good.