Allergies are the odd part of human anatomy and biology. It is a substance that other human beings can have, but for some reason to a specific person the allergy does not work for him or her. There are some common allergies, like peanuts, and some uncommon allergies, like water—yes, water can be an allergy. Whatever the allergy, it will cause at the very least discomfort, and at the very most death.
Healthcare providers must know your allergies. This is not only important to have in your regular healthcare chart, but also in the event you require emergency treatment. In the case of a surgery, it is absolutely necessary to tell your healthcare team what the allergy is—even if you think it is something irrelevant like a peanut allergy—after all, peanuts aren’t used in surgery, right?
Right—but not necessarily. If you end up having an allergic reaction during a surgery for no reason, the healthcare team still needs to know what it possible could be to perform a check.
But other allergies are much more important for surgeons to be aware of because they will likely be used during or after a surgery. This includes latex and adhesive allergies, but also antibiotics like penicillin. These allergies will get marked all over the patient’s chart and even on the patient in the form of a bracelet. Sometimes very important allergies are written on the patient’s forehead or near the surgical site in an erasable marker to ensure the allergy warning is visible all of the healthcare providers.
So when a healthcare provider fails to protect a patient from a disclosed allergy, this is New York medical malpractice. These mistakes can result in very serious injuries, including the following:
- Nerve damage;
- Permanent scarring or disfigurement;
- Organ damage;
- Brain damage;
- Anaphylactic shock; and
- Wrongful death.
When healthcare provider makes this mistake, it is New York medical malpractice and the patient can recover for his or her damages by proving the healthcare provider had a duty, breached that duty, and such breach caused damages. Since it is clear there is a duty to protect patients from their allergies, and exposing a patient to his or her allergies during a surgery is a breach of that duty, the patient will likely be able to recover all damages caused by the allergy exposure.
But what do you think? I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at [email protected] You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.