Testosterone therapy is widespread across the country, and is used to treat symptoms that make life uncomfortable for its sufferers. However, because it is a relatively new treatment, many unscrupulous practitioners are offering unproven products or are untrained in how to administer the medication. These conditions lead to risks of heart attack, stroke, and death.
Testosterone therapy is used to treat a medical condition known as low testosterone (or low T), in which the patient’s levels of the testosterone hormone fall below the level considered normal. Low T can cause problems in the sufferer’s health, such as fatigue and weight gain, and also reduces libido. Testosterone is critical for maintaining muscle mass and bone strength, as well as memory.
When a person experiences low testosterone, medical practitioners will prescribe treatment with either synthetic or bioidentical testosterone, which is administered in a variety of ways. Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) can be given to the patient via topical ointment, intranasal gel, intramuscular injections, or subdermal implants.
While testosterone therapy can bring about a return of muscle and bone strength and revitalization of the libido, the use of this treatment is controversial. In many cases, practitioners may administer higher doses than are approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Careful monitoring of all aspects of the patient’s health and activity is important to ensure they do not overexert themselves.
Testosterone therapy is associated with a dramatically increased risk of heart attack and stroke. Increased red blood cell production can lead to blood thickening and blood clots. Clots that break loose and travel to the heart or brain can cause strokes, pulmonary embolisms in the lungs, or death.
Although the treatment is FDA-approved, it is common for patients to suffer illness or death as a result of the process of administering the drug. Many factors can influence the choice of therapy and method of treatment, and not all of these are in the best interests of the patients or their specific medical needs. Common testosterone therapy errors include:
Testosterone therapy errors can result in serious side effects and death. Treatment mistakes can cause significant devastation to a patient’s life and family. A competent lawyer will help the patient seek compensation for both economic and non-economic damages. Oklahoma Statutes section 23-61.2 states that there is no upper limit for economic expenses, such as medical bills or property damage. For non-economic damages, the limit is capped at $350,000. Non-economic damages include things such as pain and suffering, loss of companionship, or loss of enjoyment of life.
Those who are wronged must file any medical negligence lawsuit in Oklahoma within 2 years of the incident or from the dates the patient became aware of the injury. Because liability is so difficult to argue in medical malpractice cases, developing a strong case requires experience and many people. Families who are suffering should rely on good legal counsel to do this work, which can help them during their recovery.
Medical malpractice, medical negligence, and personal injury claims against medical practitioners are very difficult and complex. It is critical to convincingly prove the liability of the medical provider, and the bar for doing so is much higher than in other types of cases. The plaintiff must prove that:
An important portion of the plaintiff’s argument is clearly demonstrating how the defendant failed to adhere to the standard of care. A testosterone therapy errors attorney can secure medical experts who provide the same treatments to provide testimony in court. Victims should also document and detail all damages and losses they suffer. Retaining receipts for all charges associated with the case and keeping a detailed timeline record of their injuries and experiences will strengthen the claim.
Injuries from testosterone therapy errors may range from minor side effects to disabling conditions, such as stroke or partial paralysis. Inappropriate dosing and monitoring can put a practitioner at risk of medical negligence or malpractice. In addition, the drug itself can contribute to the injuries. This would allow a product liability claim against the manufacturer as a way to seek additional remuneration for a victim’s losses. Any party responsible for any part of manufacturing the product, as well as any product vendor, can be considered culpable.
Medical malpractice or medical negligence lawsuits may involve witnesses who provide expert medical testimony about complex treatment protocols and how those protocols affect patients. Doctors and hospitals are usually unwilling to admit error and have the financial resources to employ multiple lawyers and other professionals to cast doubt on a victim’s claim of wrongdoing. Lobbyists for the medical industry also work to influence state regulations and laws in favor of their practitioners.
All of this means that pursuing a testosterone therapy error lawsuit requires a significant effort on the part of the victim. Many states require a plaintiff to file a “certificate of merit,” arguing that their case is not frivolous before they can file a lawsuit against a medical provider. Oklahoma recently struck down such a statute that was among the most demanding in the country, although it could be put forward again.
Once a plaintiff and their lawyer are confident that they have the evidence and arguments necessary to seek compensation via the courts, they will compile a list of damages to seek. Damages are intended to reimburse the victim for harm and loss they have experienced from the medical negligence or medical malpractice. Damages can include such items as:
When injuries and loss are especially egregious, a judge may decide to award further damages known as punitive damages. These awards are intended to inflict substantial financial hardship onto a hospital, practitioner, or other party who participated in the wrongdoing. Punitive damages are meant to make an example of those liable for harm, and serve as a warning to others who might engage in the same behaviors. These damages can also include specific orders from the court to rewrite practitioner policies or halt certain procedures they administer.
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