December 1, 2022
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You are treating a patient that you feel would be a good candidate for 'Drug X.' Unfortunately, 'Drug X' is not indicated by the FDA for the treatment of that specific condition; and, you are unable to find prescribing information regarding the optimal dose or duration of therapy with 'Drug X' for that condition. You realize that your use of 'Drug X' in this circumstance would be considered "off-label." What legal risks, if any, might you face?
Emergency physicians are much more likely to be sued for not administering tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) to stroke patients, than for giving the drug, says a new study.
Before giving a stroke patient tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), you must consider not only whether the patent is a candidate, but also whether the setting is appropriate, says Edward Jauch, MD, MS, assistant professor in the department of emergency medicine at University of Cincinnati and a member of the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Stroke Team.
Imagine this e-mail from one of your colleagues being Exhibit A at your malpractice trial: "You misdiagnosed Jane Doe with indigestion last night and she showed up this morning on my shift with a heart attack and didn't live. Since this is your third time to miss this sort of thing, you really need to pay better attention."