A former patient at a Louisiana psychiatric hospital has sued the psychiatric hospital, a physician, and others for medical malpractice, alleging that their medical negligence resulted in the woman suffering a stroke. The psychiatric malpractice case was filed last month in Louisiana and seeks unspecified damages for her blindness, pain and suffering, mental anguish, medical expenses, loss of income, loss of earning capacity, permanent disability, and loss of enjoyment of life.
The Underlying Facts
The woman alleges that on December 6, 2009, she was transferred from a regular hospital to the defendant psychiatric hospital because she was suffering from suicidal ideation and depression due to problems in her marriage. At the time of admission to the psychiatric hospital, it was noted that the woman had high blood pressure. Her medical providers placed her on Paxil (an anti-depressant medication) and antabuse (for the treatment of chronic alcohol abuse).
Between December 7 and December 9, 2009, the woman alleges that she had multiple high blood pressure readings and that she consulted with the defendant physician regarding her high blood pressure, on December 9, 2009.
On December 13, 2009, the woman began experiencing blurred vision, a severe headache, nausea, and she had an unsteady gait. Her blood pressure was taken and was recorded at its highest level since she was admitted to the psychiatric hospital. She was given a single dose of the blood pressure medication Capoten, which she alleges was not effective in lowering her blood pressure. The defendant physician subsequently saw the woman and had her transferred to a local emergency room, but the defendant physician did not prescribe any further medication to lower her blood pressure.
According to the woman’s medical negligence lawsuit, she suffered a stroke while being transported to the local emergency room, which required her to be hospitalized for eleven days, after which she had to endure extensive physical therapy.
Paxil And The Risk For Stroke
Paxil is in a class of medications known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which are the most commonly used antidepressant medications. A 2012 analysis of 16 studies that involved more than 500,000 participants found that people who take SSRIs were 50% more likely to have an intracranial hemorrhage than people not taking antidepressants and about 40% more likely to have an intracerebral hemorrhage. However, the risk is low, with an estimated 24.6 of these type of strokes per 100,000 people per year, with the use of SSRIs increasing the risk by one additional stroke per 10,000 people per year.
The author of the 2012 analysis stated, “In general these drugs [SSRIs] are safe, and obviously there are risks to having depression go untreated. But doctors might consider other types of antidepressants for people who already have risk factors for these types of strokes, such as those taking blood thinners, people who have had similar strokes already or those with severe alcohol abuse.”
If you or a loved one suffered injury (or worse) as a result of malpractice at a psychiatric facility or the medical negligence of a psychiatrist, you should promptly consult with a local medical malpractice attorney in your U.S. state who may investigate your psychiatric malpractice (psychiatrist malpractice) claim for you and represent you in a psychiatric malpractice case, if appropriate.
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