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Injury from an Allergic Reaction Can Be From Negligence

Many are injured and die each year from an allergic reaction resulting from food and drug allergies. Most people have no allergies. Common food allergies include:

  • Peanuts
  • Soy or soybeans
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Blueberries
  • Milk

Many can take antibiotics, pain relievers, and other medications without experiencing any adverse effects. For some people, certain medications cause results that are life-threatening or even deadly. Common drugs to cause allergic reactions include:

  • Allopurinol
  • IV contrast/radiocontrast
  • Antibiotics (Cephalosporin, Septra)
  • Non-Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs (NSAID)
  • Latex
  • Vicodin
  • Lidocaine

The different types of allergic reactions include:

  • Hives
  • Rash
  • Fever
  • Anaphylactic shock (swelling of lips/face/tongue/eyes or throat closing off)
  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS)
  • Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN)
  • Death

These are common allergic drug reactions.  Another name for these is hypersensitivity syndrome.  When your doctor prescribes a drug they are required to know all the listed allergic reactions that apply and watch out for them. 

The doctor who gives a drug or allows a patient to stay on a drug when it is known the patient is allergic is negligent

The patient and family need an attorney who has tried cases of allergic reaction or hypersensitivity.  Vinkler Law Offices has tried cases involving allergic reactions to drugs and obtained record money damage amounts by verdict and settlement.

When Treatment for an Allergic Reaction is Negligence

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Doctors Are Required to Know Drug Reactions

Allergic reactions are well-known.  The drug manufacturers are required to list them all on the packaging that comes with the drug. Doctors are required to read and know all those reactions.  Doctors are required to watch and observe closely a patient who gets a drug for the first time.  If there is a drug reaction the doctor must take the patent off the drug immediately and start proper treatment.

A doctor is negligent when a drug reaction occurs when there is:

  • Inadequate observation or evaluation after a drug is first given
  • Delay in or missing giving epinephrine as an antidote
  • Ignoring a history of an allergy or drug hypersensitivity
  • Prescription error

If an allergic reaction occurs the doctor is required to take the patient off the drug immediately to avoid injury or harm.  When a doctor does not take the patient off the drug that caused the allergic reaction, that doctor is responsible to the patient and family for all the harm that follows from the allergic drug reaction

Are Some At Greater Risk for An Allergic Reaction?

While anyone can develop allergies to a particular medication, certain factors increase the risk of an allergic reaction like a history of other allergies (like food allergies); a family history of drug allergies; repeated exposure to a particular drug; and certain illnesses, such as HIV or Epstein-Barr virus.

A person allergic to a drug who knows of the allergy must avoid the drug to avoid further allergic reactions. A doctor who also knows is responsible to their patient to avoid any further exposure by stopping the drug to make sure the patient is safe. The doctor with knowledge must also tell other doctors and medical professionals of the drug allergy so no one gives this drug to the patient again.

Even though there are times when drug allergic reactions may occur and no one is at fault for the adverse reaction, there are also instances when a medical provider may be held liable for negligently giving a patient a certain medication when the provider knew or should have known of the drug allergy.

For example, if a doctor prescribes penicillin to a patient and the patient begins to present with hives and a fever, the doctor should know those are symptoms of an allergic drug reaction and the doctor should discontinue giving penicillin to the patient immediately. If the doctor does not discontinue the penicillin or fails to appropriately address the possible allergic reaction and, as a result, the patient experiences worsening allergic reaction symptoms that cause permanent damage or even death, the doctor may be liable for negligence.

A more obvious example of negligence would be if a patient alerts medical professionals that he or she is allergic to a particular drug but the medical providers disregard the allergy or fail to acknowledge the allergy, and the patient experiences a severe allergic reaction as a result of being given the drug. In this instance, the treaters may also be liable for negligence.

Your Drug Allergy and Food Allergy Attorneys in Chicago

At Vinkler Law, we have extensive experience in evaluating medical cases to determine whether a medical provider was negligent. The drug and food allergy attorneys at Vinkler Law Offices will obtain expert witnesses to prove when a medical provider is negligent by demonstrating what the doctor knew or should have known and that such actions deviated from the standard of care. This issue can become complicated in drug allergic reaction cases. If you or a loved one experienced an allergic reaction after taking medication and a doctor or other healthcare professional failed to either appropriately acknowledge the allergy or treat the allergic reaction, you need experienced injury attorneys that will fight for you to achieve the justice you deserve, as well as obtain maximum compensation for your injuries and losses.

Contact us today for a free consultation and case evaluation at 630-655-9545.