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Narcotics abuse by medical staff can lead to medical malpractice

A recent study has revealed over 100,000 medical have problems with prescription drug abuse. The problem with any doctor, nurse, pharmacist or technician abusing such medications is quite obviously that it can lead to patient injury or medical malpractice.

Medical professional negligence and narcotic abuse in hospitals is becoming a major cause for concern today. One hospital tested 8,000 patients for hepatitis after staff found a technician injecting himself with syringes filled with pain medication. He then refilled those same used syringes with saline and administered it to patients. The total number of affected patients is unknown; however, 46 patients have so far been diagnosed with hepatitis. These patients depended on the hospital to ensure their safety. Instead, a negligent technician left them worse off.

A fatal medical error is possible when any medical professional is trusted with a patient’s life and they are not functioning to their full capacity. If any member of a health care team is not fully focused on the patient, they may misdiagnose the patient or create a worsened medical condition.

Drug diversion is when medical professionals steal narcotics prescribed for patients. This can lead to prescription drug addiction and a possibility of a series of medical mistakes. A health care worker can have access to narcotics and may know how to mask the abuse, however, it is a hospital’s responsibility to ensure that its staff members are caring for patients appropriately.

While these cases are being investigated and states are trying to combat these negligent health care professionals, victims are still suffering. Medical malpractice attorneys have the resources and time to investigate claims and can assist victims of medical malpractice with understanding their rights.

Source: USA Today, “Doctors, medical staff on drugs put patients at risk,” Peter Eisler, April 17, 2014

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