Do I have a legitimate case?
UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022
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Do I have a legitimate case?
My mother was taking medicine for high blood pressure. Then, 2 years ago, for some reason she stopped taking it. She decided to go to the doctor and have a checkup and her doctor prescribed blood pressure medicine. While taking the medicine, she lost her sight and starting forgetting how to perform simple tasks. About a week later, she was admitted into the hospital because her condition seemed to worsen. While under their care, she had 4 strokes and lost function of the left side of her body. The doctors spent more than 3 weeks trying to get her blood pressure stabilized. She’s been discharged to a rehab facility with hopes of her regaining mobility of her left side. Yet, we don’t know if she will or regain her sight. When she was first admitted into the hospital, we were told that she was being administered 5 different blood pressure medicines which we believe caused the strokes. They eventually dropped the dosages after my sister jumped on their case about it and her blood pressure seemed to improve. We believe that the doctors were negligent in caring my mother and this led to her current state. After being discharged, her blood pressure is still bouncing all over the place.
Asked on January 22, 2019 under Malpractice Law, South Carolina
SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 4 years ago | Contributor
The first issue is whether the blood pressure medicine, or some other aspect of her treatment, actually caused the strokes: there must be provable (i.e. with medical testimony or evidence) causation between the treatment and the injury or consequences.
The second issue is whether the doctor(s) did anything wrong or not. The law accepts that medicine is an art, not a science: good outcomes are not guaranteed. Rather, the responsibility imposed on doctors is to provide medical care in keeping with current standards and best practices. So if doctors prescribed the wrong medication, or too much medication, or did not take into account the other medications she was actively taking and their interaction (if they knew of the other medication; see below), that would likely be malpractice and would result, assuming causation (see above) in a viable claim or case.
But say that your mother failed to tell doctors that she already taking other blood pressure medicines so they prescibed additional medicines for her, thinking she was not then taking any, or that she discontinued one, was prescribed another, but then started taking the earlier medicine simultaneously swith the later-prescribed one, leading to an overdoes or bad interaction, or did not follow the dosing regime and took a different amount than she was told...in any of these cases, the doctors did nothing wrong and it was your mother's own behavior causing the problem. In this instance, there would be no case.
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