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Family Awarded $10 Million by Jury Against University of Maryland Medical System for Unintended Side Effects of Drug

In the United States, medical professionals and health care providers look to medications and drugs to alleviate symptoms of injured, sick, and dying patients. When a patient is sick, it may be in part because his or her body, a well-oiled machine, is no longer running in the way that it should. Our bodies are built in a way that they run more or less automatically, unless through an illness, disease, or old-age, the body no longer is as efficient as it once was. That is where a medical professional can be crucial to not only keeping a person alive, but also maintaining good health throughout the lifetime of a chronic illness.

Medications and their Known and Unknown Side Effects

However, medical professionals, even with extensive education, are not without their own faults and lack of knowledge regarding the human body and some of the drugs that are now hospital staples. Sometimes a drug, which may have years and years of dedicated use, may actually be disrupting the function of another body function, and only after years of studies, does this information come to light. Unfortunately, it may take a body count before this information is well-known and there is an adjusted standard of care, that no longer uses the drug, or limits drug use to safer levels.

Constant Review of Medical Literature May Help to Curb Medical Malpractice

This is why it is important that doctors and other medical professionals and prescribers keep up on the constant rotation of medical information and knowledge that is published in journals and accepted as the new norm of treatment. Though one can not be omniscient, we have created venues of knowledge, whereby as we learn more and more about the effects of the drugs and treatments that we use, we can alter our standard of care and maintain our vigilant duty of care to patients.

The Case of Kayexalate in Baltimore

In a recent Baltimore case finalized in September of 2016, a family received roughly $10 million after it was found that the University of Maryland Medical System gave their family member a drug that ravaged the patient’s colon and led to the patient’s demise. Though accidents happen, the drug in question, known as Kayexalate, has serious side-effects that can lead to significant complications to the colon. The drug itself was manufactured to help patients with too much potassium in their body, by pulling the potassium into the colon that is oversaturating the blood. The doctor who prescribed the fatal dose of Kayexalate was unaware of the complications from the drug, and also refrained from a safer course of treatment, dialysis, that would have removed the potassium from the blood. Additionally, according to court documents, after the administration of the drug to the patient, the medical professionals were slow to react to signs that the drug was killing the patient, and it took the doctors hours before conducting the appropriate tests and determining that the patient’s colon was malfunctioning.

Though the medical professionals at the University of Maryland Medical System felt that the care that they gave the patient was of the highest quality and that they followed treatment protocol, the known complications of Kayexalate has been well documented, in particular in 2009, with a study published in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine detailing the “colonic necrosis” (or cell death) as a side effect of Kayexalate.

Charles County, MD Personal Injury Lawyers that Fight for You

Medications and drugs prescribed have been put through trials and are generally safe when used properly. However, it is important to know that not every drug will work the same in every single person and knowledge of any unusual side effects should be published and medical professionals should be made aware of this knowledge prior to prescribing. If you or a loved one has been harmed as a result of medical malpractice, it is important to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. Please call the Law Office of Robert R. Castro at (301) 804-2312 for a confidential consultation.

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