Childbirth, particularly by C-section, can be painful and uncomfortable, which is why doctors will often prescribe painkillers to treat the pain. Unfortunately, some doctors overprescribe highly addictive medication and end up injuring new mothers. If you or someone close to you was prescribed opioids after giving birth and have questions or concerns, do not hesitate to reach out to a skilled Baltimore prescription error attorney who can help. At Arfaa Law Group, we understand the stakes are high in these cases, which is why we will make every effort to get you the compensation you need to move on with your life.
A study, led by Brigham and Women’s Hospital along with the Harvard Medical School, found that about 85 percent of women who are prescribed opioids fill their scripts after leaving the hospital. On average, each new mother had about 15 pills remaining in her prescription after she took as many as needed for pain. With 1.3 million C-sections taking place a year in the United States, that’s 20 million opioids that could be misused. The research also found that the more pills the women were prescribed, the more likely they were to take them, irrespective of their pain levels. In addition, more than three-quarters of the patients who had leftover pills kept them in an unlocked cabinet as opposed to throwing them away.
Doctors owe their patients a certain duty of care, which includes the duty not to overprescribe medication. When opioids lead to addiction or overdose, it may be malpractice. In Maryland, medical malpractice occurs when a doctor causes an injury or death by failing to use the level of care that a reasonably prudent doctor in the same situation would have used. In order to establish malpractice, the plaintiff must prove the following by a preponderance of the evidence: the doctor owed the patient a duty of care; the doctor breached this duty of care owed to the patient; and the patient sustained an injury as a direct consequence of the doctor’s breach.