WOODSTOCK, Georgia. Reports indicate that hundreds of British hospital patients may have died due to the hospital’s opioid policies. How did this happen and could it happen here in the U.S.? According to the New York Times, as many as 650 patients in a British hospital may have died from opioid overdoses after they were given these painkillers, which advocates claim they did not need. As the opioid crisis has worsened in the U.S., many news outlets have reported about how over prescription of these drugs may have worsened the crisis.
In Britain, doctors may have prescribed some patients much stronger painkillers than they needed, in cases where weaker and less addictive painkillers may have been appropriate. Some of the patients were not seriously ill, though many of the patients were elderly.
The case is alarming because patients who were well were put on a care track that is usually reserved for terminally ill patients. Reports found that patients may have not only received dangerous doses of opioids, but they may have received combinations of these drugs with sedatives.
The case in England seems to reveal a pervasive pattern of incompetence, but could something similar happen in the U.S.? The problem in U.S. hospitals right now is actually the opposite. According to WebMD, one of the unintended consequences of more restrictive laws and policies on opioids has resulted in some hospitals seeing shortages of important pain relieving drugs. The risk in the U.S. might not necessarily be the risk of overdose, but the risk that patients won’t get the pain treatment they need and deserve. According to WebMD, doctors reported that they did not have sufficient pain medication for women undergoing C-sections. Other doctors reported that they had to use older medications with more side effects because of shortages.
Yet, patients should be prepared to self-advocate when it comes to receiving pain killers from their doctors. While more doctors are aware of the risks of opioid addiction, some doctors may still prescribe these drugs when there are alternatives. If you are being prescribed pain medications, it is always a good idea to ask about the addictiveness of the drugs you will be taking, possible interactions with other medications, and about whether there might be safer, less addictive alternatives available. In some cases, patients who have been injured have sought alternative forms of treatment, like acupuncture, chiropractic care, or even yoga to help alleviate back and neck pain—and in some cases these alternatives have worked.
If you or a loved one was injured due to another person’s negligence or neglect, you may have important rights under the law. Imbriale Injury Law are personal injury lawyers who help victims who have been hurt in construction accidents, car accidents, or other accidents due to another person or party’s neglect. Visit us today at https://imbrialeinjury.com/ to learn more about your rights and options under the law.

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