Allergies are a reaction your body has to a substance it is exposed to. That substance is known as an allergen. The allergic reaction itself is due to the an inappropriately large immune system response to the contact with that allergen. Allergic reactions range from nothing detectable to mere redness, or to life-threatening shock or anaphylaxis which can kill a person rather quickly.
This is why it is very important to tell any and all of your healthcare providers of an allergy that you have. And this is also why it is important for all of your healthcare providers to make note of your allergies and not forget them! A patient’s health and a patient’s life are at sake.
Healthcare providers must mark the allergy on all medical records and set up alerts and notices that show the allergy to anyone looking at the patient’s medical records. They also need to have the allergy on any surgical blackboard or whiteboard so all know. If the allergy is particularly dangerous, the patient should wear a bracelet or a ribbon/sticker where the allergy could come into play. For instance, an allergy to a drug could be a wristband or a sticker on the IV where a drug would be connected with and inserted into the IV line. This is so all people administering the drug to an IV would see it.
More serious and common allergies pertinent in a hospital or healthcare office such as to drugs or medications, latex, or adhesive allergies. This types of allergies are usually dangerous and provoke serious reactions.
Failing to guard against a patient’s allergies is medical malpractice. A healthcare professional has a duty of care to protect patients from unnecessary harm, such as exposure to a known allergy. When a healthcare professional breaches that duty, a healthcare provider will be liable if that breach causes harm to the patient.
Common injuries from negligent allergy exposure include the following:
- Severe reactions;
- Closing of airways;
- Heart attack;
- Massive swelling;
- Brain swelling or brain injury;
- Serious skin outbreaks;
- Oozing and leaking of blisters; and
- Wrongful death.
Allergies are no joke and are very dangerous. They need to be guarded by medical professionals of victims will die. This is medical malpractice. Shouldn’t negligent healthcare providers be liable for these mistakes? Of course!
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