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Majority of medication liability claims involve opioids

According to one medial insurer, opioids are involved in 24 percent of all medication-related liability claims. While about 46 percent of those claims involved primary care physicians, another 22 percent involved emergency room doctors. This information could be important to patients in Pennsylvania.

The data came from the Boston-based insurer Coverys from the years 2012 to 2016. More than 10,000 closed medical liability claims were analyzed. Overall, medication-related liability claims were the fourth most common cause for liability claims. When the types of medications were analyzed, opioids were found to be the leading cause. However, the liability insurer found that a combination of opioids and anticoagulants accounted for 16 percent of the claims. Additionally, it was found that physicians behaved in an appropriate way toward patients who were seeking these medications in 15 percent of the liability cases.

There were five takeaways that could help physicians avoid medicine-related claims. First and foremost, the analysis showed that many mistakes originated from ordering and managing the medication. Furthermore, there were additional medication risks when patients were particularly young, old, smaller or heavy. Finally, the analysis showed that patients who need anticoagulants and opioids require special care and monitoring to prevent potential adverse events.

Even if a medical error does not lead to death, it can cause a patient to suffer permanent injuries, develop disabilities and suffer from a worsened condition. Some patients may even lose mobility and be in pain for the rest of their lives. A medical malpractice attorney may gather evidence that shows that the standard practice of care was not followed or that medication-related policies were not properly followed.

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