Doctor gave me medicine for my allergies and I ended up in the ER...

by Clarence
(Atlanta, Georgia)

A nurse's assistant in my doctor's office administered medicine to me based on an allergy test I had months earlier. She gave me the medicine and sent me home. Within ten minutes of me leaving my doctor, my tongue was swollen and I couldn't breathe. They called 911 and didn't have a epipen in the office.

The ambulance came and took me to the hospital where they flushed me out and gave me about ten epipens just in case. I then received a bill from the ambulance for $2000. is there anything I can do about this? Shouldn't my doctor be responsible for this bill since they gave me the medicine that caused my reaction?

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Doctor gave me medicine for my allergies and I ended up in the ER...":

Clarence (Atlanta, Georgia):

The facts you present imply a form of medical malpractice. When malpractice occurs, a physician may be liable for his or her patient’s “Damages.” Damages are normally defined as medical bills, out of pocket expenses for medications, ambulance fees, bandages, crutches, and other costs directly resulting from the malpractice. Pain and suffering are also included in a patient’s damages.

Physicians are responsible for the acts of those who work for them. In your case, the nurse’s actions may be "imputed" to the physician.

The next issue is whether or not there exists proof of malpractice. Medical malpractice is normally defined as injuries occurring to a patient as a direct and proximate result of a physician’s failure to administer care in accordance with the standards of the medical community where he or she practices medicine.

In your case a determination must be made as to whether the nurse’s actions in giving you the medicine constituted malpractice. The simple answer to that questions is to determine if the medication you were provided was appropriate under the circumstances. In other words, with your health, would other physicians (or their nurses) in the community have given you the same medication? If so, then your claim for medical malpractice may fail.

It’s important to know whether your reaction was an aberration, or if your physician should have known administering the medication was dangerous.

Your facts present the basis for an investigation. Your interests would be best served by seeking the advice and counsel of a medical malpractice attorney in your area. Most do not charge legal fees for initial office consultations, and only charge a fee if your case is successfully settled or won at trial. Bring along copies of your medical bills.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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