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Opioids and anticoagulants cause many drug-related claims

In recent years, an aging senior population and the increased availability of healthcare options for younger people has resulted in a growing number of Iowa residents receiving medical treatment. However, with more people visiting doctors and receiving prescription medication, the number of medication-related liability claims will likely rise as well.

According to a report from the Boston-based medical liability insurer Coverys, between 2012 and 2016, nearly a quarter of all medical malpractice suits involving prescription medications were related to opioid drugs. The report goes on to describe how anticoagulants are responsible for 16 percent of liability claims, making opioids and anticoagulants a "dangerous duo" accounting for approximately 40 percent of drug-related malpractice suits by themselves. Among the more than 10,000 closed medical malpractice claims that were analyzed, drug-related liability claims were the fourth most common reason for litigation. The three leading causes of liability claims in the report were listed as diagnostic-related claims, surgery-related claims and claims related to medical management.

The report also states that 46 percent of claims were for medical malpractice by a primary care physician. Claims connected to hospital emergency rooms and operating rooms made up 22 percent of those analyzed in the study. Furthermore, the report noted that physicians were accused of behaving inappropriately towards a patient requesting medication in approximately 15 percent of all cases.

Providing medication safely to different people with diverse medical needs poses many significant challenges that physicians must be able to identify and manage. When physicians fail to prescribe medications correctly or safely, patients have the option to obtain the assistance of an attorney in filing a medical malpractice suit. By filing a medical malpractice suit, the attorney may be able to assist the patient in receiving compensation for a worsened medical condition or hospital expenses.

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