Ohio at the forefront of opioids like dilaudid overdose
If a loved one has died as a result of a prescription overdose, seek the expertise of a Dilaudid overdose lawyer in Cleveland, OH. We at Mishkind Kulwicki Law Co., L.P.A will help walk you through this distressing time by informing you of everything you need to know about Dilaudid overdose and if you have a case.
Ohio is unfortunately at the forefront of the painkiller overdose epidemic. In 2016, the number of unintentional overdoses rose 33% to 4,050 in Ohio. Out of those deaths, 13.9% of people died as a direct result of overdosing on prescription painkillers. An unprecedented amount of lives are lost each year due to this health crisis. When a loved one overdoses or wrongfully dies as a result of taking too many prescription painkillers, it is a tragic loss. You may not have even known that they had a problem with addiction. You’re thinking, “what happened,” and “how did I not know?”
What is Dilaudid?
Dilaudid (hydromorphone) is a popular painkiller. Hospitals give it to patients who are undergoing surgical procedures. Doctors prescribe it for people who live in chronic pain. It literally changes how your body responds to pain signals from the brain. In some ways, it is a miracle drug.
But it also has a very high rate of dependency, and can lead to a number of serious side effects, including fatal respiratory depression. When doctors fail to monitor their patients who have been given Dilaudid, or mistake Dilaudid for morphine – a common prescription error – they run the risk of their patients dying from an overdose that could have been avoided or “fixed” through proper care. And so Dilaudid becomes not a cure for pain, but a pathway to potential fatalities.
What are the statistics?
Much research has been done over the last few decades regarding the risks of an overdose. The Ohio Association of Justice claims, “of the studied opioid related adverse drug events, 47% were wrong dose errors and 29% were improper monitoring.” In most cases, these dosage errors are caused by confusing hydromorphone with morphine. According to one 2010 study by the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Advisory, “analysis of wrong drug medication errors mentioning Hydromorphone reveals that 70% involve mix-ups with morphine”.
While any mix-up is dangerous, this one is especially so. Dilaudid is about seven times stronger than morphine. If a doctor means to prescribe an initial dose of 10mg of morphine to a recovering surgical patient, and that patient receives 10mgs of hydromorphone instead, it is virtually guaranteed the patient will overdose on the drug. This overdose can lead to permanent brain damage, to respiratory depression or to death.
Guidelines for Prescribing Prescription Opioids Like Dilaudid
The state of Ohio does recognize the opioid crisis has escalated over recent years. Starting August 31, 2017 the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy set new limits on prescribing opioids for acute pain. These guidelines are effective throughout Ohio for prescribers to make sure their patients are safe. The new limit rules cover the following:
- Adults can’t be prescribed more than 7 days of taking prescription opioids.
- Minors are only allowed to have a 5-day prescription of opioids.
- Prescriptions can only be extended if there is a specific reasoning from the health care provider, which is included in the patient’s record.
- A prescription for acute pain cannot exceed 30 MED per day.
- These guidelines don’t apply to prescription opioids used for cancer, hospice, etc.
- These rules are intended for “the first opioid analgesic prescription for the treatment of an episode of acute pain.”
In addition to these guidelines, the Ohio Administrative Code sets forth an additional laundry list of rules doctors must follow when prescribing narcotic medication.
If a medical professional violates these guidelines, then they are being negligent and committing a prescription error.
Compensation for a Wrongful Death Prescription Drug Case
Mishkind Kulwicki Law Co., L.P.A. represents families who have tragically lost a loved one to a prescription dilaudid overdose as a result of physician negligence. One of the most important reasons to hire a dilaudid overdose lawyer in Cleveland, OH is because they can help you recover compensation for the loss of your loved one, in the form of monetary damages. These include:
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Funeral expenses
- Wrongful death damages
Any wrongful death is a tragedy, and a dilaudid overdose lawyer in Cleveland, Ohio, can help you get the justice you deserve for the untimely loss of a loved one.
If you’ve recently lost a loved one because of a dilaudid overdose, the lawyers at Mishkind Kulwicki Law Co., L.P.A. are here to help. Any death that could have been avoided should be scrutinized, and anyone responsible for the death of your family member should be held responsible. While it’s common to feel anger, grief, and confusion after the sudden loss of a family member, you shouldn’t let it control your next actions: Instead, you should contact a lawyer who can help you win financial damages.
No amount of money can ever make up for a wrongful death, but it can help you and your family heal, move on, and pay for any debts left behind from funerary expenses or medical care. Before seeking out a dilaudid overdose lawyer in Cleveland, OH, you should familiarize yourself with wrongful death so you understand the legal action you can take.
What is wrongful death?
While any kind of avoidable death may seem wrongful, the legal definition is a little more exacting. A wrongful death is an avoidable death that happened because of the action (or inaction) of another party. If you recently lost a loved one, you need to consider whether responsibility can be traced back to a person or entity, and if they can be held accountable.
In the event of a dilaudid overdose, you can trace responsibility back to the doctor that prescribed the medication for your loved one without considering the risks of overdose or addiction. As a medical professional, they had a responsibility to keep your family member safe and healthy, and they neglected that responsibility. Would you want that to happen to anyone else?
There are many causes of wrongful death, from negligence behind the wheel, improper or absent safety protocols, and defective products. Of course, medical malpractice can lead to wrongful death – as is the case with a dilaudid overdose. While you may still be grieving your loss, you should remember that the doctor or other medical professional who irresponsibly prescribed dilaudid to your loved one is still out there, and they should be held accountable for their actions.
How can a lawyer help?
If you’ve lost a loved one to a dilaudid overdose, you and your family may be entitled to financial compensation. Importantly, filing a wrongful death suit because of a dilaudid overdose may prevent the same doctor who negligently prescribed dilaudid to your deceased loved one from doing the same to anyone else: You might save a few lives in the process.
At Mishkind Kulwicki Law Co., L.P.A., we understand that it’s not about the money, it’s about getting justice and getting closure. The pain you may be feeling is unimaginable, and it’s up to you to prevent it from happening to anyone else.
A dilaudid overdose is a tragic and preventable death, and we’re committed to working closely with you to get you and your family the compensation and closure you deserve. Reach out to us today to see how a dilaudid overdose lawyer in Cleveland, OH can help.
It’s hard to know if a dilaudid prescription was an acceptable treatment and care plan for a patient, or if it was a form of medical malpractice. If you have questions concerning the overdose or death of a loved one who was taking prescription opioids like dilaudid, do not hesitate to contact Mishkind Kulwicki Law Co., L.P.A. Once we know the details of what happened, we may have a better idea if negligence occurred. We understand the tragic reality of the prescription opioid crisis that Ohio is experiencing. You shouldn’t have to go through this confusing time alone.