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  1. #1
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    Default When is a Doctor Liable for Over-Prescribing Drugs

    My question involves medical malpractice in the state of: OR

    Approximately 4 years ago I went to my doctor about a number of health issues. Prior to this I hadn't been to the doctor in years and never took anything stronger than tylenol. My doctor prescribed me, all at once in the first appointment, something like 8 different drugs. Not knowing any better I stupidly followed his advice.

    A couple days later I wake up on the floor with a headache. I blacked out multiple times, and in the process injured both of my knees. I went to the ER and they all quickly agreed that it was probably due to all the medications I was taking.

    I know patients can have adverse reactions to some drugs, that's not the doctor's fault. The problem I have is that he put me on so many medications so quickly. Everybody at the hospital seemed stunned when I gave them my list of meds, saying things like "ONE doctor prescribed all this?!".

    Here's my problem:
    4 years later I still have extreme pain in both of my knees, from blacking out and hitting the floor. I've seen plenty of doctors and had physical therapy, but they can't seem to do much for me. I'm only 25, it shouldn't hurt to walk. I don't know what else to do and I don't have health insurance, so any further doctor visits would be very expensive.

    Can the doctor be held liable for being careless in putting me on too many drugs at one time? Has it possibly been too long to do anything? I never thought this knee injury would last so long, or I would have done something sooner.

    Not long after this the doctor left his practice, I'm not sure why.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: When is a Doctor Liable for Over-Prescribing Drugs

    Look up your doctor here - is he still licensed?

    It sounds like you've waited well past the running of the statute of limitations, but you can check with a lawyer in your state to verify that and to see if you can identify any exceptions that might apply.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: When is a Doctor Liable for Over-Prescribing Drugs

    It also depends on the actual drugs.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: When is a Doctor Liable for Over-Prescribing Drugs

    ... and diagnosis underlying the prescriptions. And whether the medications were taken as prescribed. But I think all of those issues are peripheral to the looming statute of limitations problem.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: When is a Doctor Liable for Over-Prescribing Drugs

    Absolutely!

    And OP did mention several health issues...

  6. #6
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    Default Re: When is a Doctor Liable for Over-Prescribing Drugs

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
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    Look up your doctor here - is he still licensed?

    It sounds like you've waited well past the running of the statute of limitations, but you can check with a lawyer in your state to verify that and to see if you can identify any exceptions that might apply.
    Yes, he is still liscensed. I found this website that says:
    http://www.medicalmalpractice.com/st...e-Statutes.htm
    In the state of Oregon, an individual has two years from the time the additional injury or death has occurred. Even if malpractice is discovered some time after the act or the omission of care, a person cannot file suit, if it has been more than five years.
    It has been more than 2 years, less than 5.

    I took the drugs exactly as prescribed, I wish I hadn't. I think I need to consult with another doctor about the list of drugs I was on and see what their opinion is. Looking back on it, I think I was stupid to take that many pills at once. Everybody at the hospital just seemed so surprised that I had gotten all this from a single doctor. But I was just following the doc's advice....

    Additionally, the first thing I did was physical therapy for the knees. This was at the same doctor's office. After several weeks of this not helping, I went and saw another knee specialist. In his opinion, the exercises they had me doing in physical therapy possibly made the injury worse.

    Like I said above, I would have never waited this long in the first place, but I thought this would go away. It's not like I was in a major accident, I just fell on the floor...

  7. #7
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    Default Re: When is a Doctor Liable for Over-Prescribing Drugs

    Quote Quoting BigBlock
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    Yes, he is still liscensed. I found this website that says:
    http://www.medicalmalpractice.com/st...e-Statutes.htm


    It has been more than 2 years, less than 5.

    I took the drugs exactly as prescribed, I wish I hadn't. I think I need to consult with another doctor about the list of drugs I was on and see what their opinion is. Looking back on it, I think I was stupid to take that many pills at once. Everybody at the hospital just seemed so surprised that I had gotten all this from a single doctor. But I was just following the doc's advice....

    Additionally, the first thing I did was physical therapy for the knees. This was at the same doctor's office. After several weeks of this not helping, I went and saw another knee specialist. In his opinion, the exercises they had me doing in physical therapy possibly made the injury worse.

    Like I said above, I would have never waited this long in the first place, but I thought this would go away. It's not like I was in a major accident, I just fell on the floor...

    Is there a reason why you haven't told us which drugs are in play here? Or the actual diagnosi/es?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: When is a Doctor Liable for Over-Prescribing Drugs

    Everybody at the hospital just seemed so surprised that I had gotten all this from a single doctor...
    It is not unusual for one Physician to prescribe several different medications to one patient, especially is the patient presents with " a number of health issues".

    Everybody at the hospital seemed stunned when I gave them my list of meds, saying things like "ONE doctor prescribed all this?!".
    That was extremely unprofessional. Any questions should have gone directly and immediately to the prescribing Physician, not the patient.


    You already stated you hadn't been to a Doctor in years but had several health issues. Listing your health issues and medication prescribed would help us to advise you. I would also like to know whether you kept any follow up appointments or called the prescribing Physician to report any side effects/adverse reactions to the medications before going to the ER.

    ETA:

    Additionally, the first thing I did was physical therapy for the knees. This was at the same doctor's office.
    The actual Physician's office or the same building that happens to house the Physician's office? There's a difference.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: When is a Doctor Liable for Over-Prescribing Drugs

    If you have waited more than two years from the date you fell, the statute of limitations has probably run. Have your case reviewed by a local malpractice lawyer to see if it remains potentially viable. You can discuss with your lawyer all of the facts and issues you don't want to disclose here.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: When is a Doctor Liable for Over-Prescribing Drugs

    Quote Quoting Dogmatique
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    Is there a reason why you haven't told us which drugs are in play here? Or the actual diagnosi/es?
    No offense, but I'm not talking to doctors here. I can't even remember all the meds, but of course this is all recorded in my medical history.

    Quote Quoting lealea1005
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    That was extremely unprofessional. Any questions should have gone directly and immediately to the prescribing Physician, not the patient.
    That was simply the reaction of more than one doctor/nurse at the hospital when they saw my giant bag of pills. Their concern was that maybe I had been seeing multiple doctors and not communicating my drugs between them.

    Quote Quoting lealea1005
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    I would also like to know whether you kept any follow up appointments or called the prescribing Physician to report any side effects/adverse reactions to the medications before going to the ER.
    No, I didn't call the doctor at 2AM after blacking out before going to the ER. It was an emergency at the time. Yes, I did go back and see the same doctor many more times and immediately after I got out of the hospital. (and he took me back off about half the drugs)

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
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    If you have waited more than two years from the date you fell, the statute of limitations has probably run. Have your case reviewed by a local malpractice lawyer to see if it remains potentially viable. You can discuss with your lawyer all of the facts and issues you don't want to disclose here.
    Here's the thing - this doctor, and the physical therapy people (same company, same building, different people) both told me this would be very slow to heal - possibly up to a year or more. It is now more apparent that it just isn't going away. But then again maybe they told me that so the statute of limitations would run out first?! As of yet no professional has been able to diagnose exactly what is wrong, x-rays and MRIs show up fine.

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