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Ignoring warnings on prescription medication can be fatal

When the Food and Drug Administration places safety warnings on medication boxes, they do so to alert users in Washington, D.C., and across the country of potential side effects and hazards. If these warnings are ignored, the results could be not just harmful but fatal. Take, for example, a recent wrongful death suit involving three doctors who allegedly administered a prescription medication despite the warning on the label, and, in doing so, may have caused a woman's death.

The suit was filed by a man after his wife allegedly died as a result of the medication Haldol she received from the three physicians, now named as defendants. The complaint also names the hospital, McKay Dee, where the three were employed, as well as its parent company, IHC Health Services. According to the complaint, the doctors there administered Haldol to the woman despite warnings on the box that seemingly would have counterindicated its use in a patient of her description and health history.

The 72-year-old woman suffered a history of memory issues and persistent confusion and had sought treatment for dementia-related psychosis in the past, according to the complaint. The label for the medication Haldol apparently carries a black-box safety warning issued by the FDA cautioning about its links to an increased mortality rate in elderly patients who suffer from dementia-related psychosis. Despite this, the suit complains, the woman was given Haldol to treat her confusion and agitation.

In fact, prior to receiving Haldol, the patient's health had been improving. She was even scheduled to be discharged. But after the repeatedly administered excessive doses of the prescription medication, the woman began suffering heart rhythm disturbances and her mental health deteriorated until, according to the suit, she was eventually discovered catatonic prior to her death. For his loss at the hands of the allegedly negligent physicians, the grieving husband decided to speak with a lawyer to explore his options for justice, as is the right of anyone in Washington, D.C., who has suffered similarly.

Source: standard.net, "McKay Dee Hospital, 3 doctors face wrongful-death lawsuit", Mark Shenefelt, July 4, 2017

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