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You have probably heard the joke about a doctor who walks into the examining room. The patient says, “Doctor, people ignore me.” The doctor walks out and yells, “Next!”
Unfortunately, that’s not a joke.
Admit it. You wait a long time to get an appointment and a long time in the waiting room. Finally, when you’re face to face with a doctor, they have to look at the chart to remember your name and if you don’t talk fast—he or she is out in a flash before you’ve had a chance to exhale and say what the problem is or where does it hurt. If you did have a chance to speak, you have an uncanny feeling that no one heard you and or nobody cares.
The mantra used to be, your doctor would see you now but that phrase is open for interpretation.
After all, doctors are busy people and you either look healthy enough or have had too many complaints in the past. Are you old enough to remember when doctors knew your name, asked about the family, sat down and asked how you felt, then offered you more than a cookie cutter response? Those were the days.
You have had high cholesterol and your doctor puts you on a statin drug which is supposed to solve the problem. But what happens when those statin drugs cause more problems? For instance, sometimes you have numbness in your feet or memory loss so severe you forget how to do simple computer tasks. Sometimes your muscles ache to the point that you cannot walk around the block.
Your cholesterol is good now but statin side effects continue to plague you. Your doctor seems single-mindedly focused on your cholesterol numbers. “What’s a little discomfort?” he says.
The University of California, San Diego, investigated doctors' behavior for how they deal with patients who complain of statin side effects. The researchers focused on three types of side effects commonly caused by statins. The first type involved muscle pain, tightness, cramping, or weakness. In private consultations, the patients described their symptoms to 138 doctors; 85 doctors dismissed the possibility. Patients presented symptoms of impaired memory or thinking to 56 doctors; 40 doctors dismissed the possibility. Lastly, patients presented symptoms of nerve injuries including pain, weakness, or loss of function to 49 doctors; 32 doctors dismissed the possibility.
Almost 80 percent of the cases had enough criteria for probable drug reaction. Many doctors considered the symptoms as relative to the patient’s to age or thought process. Some doctors denied outright that statins caused these or any side effects. Almost two-thirds failed to diagnose these adverse side effects and did not report them to the FDA Medwatch program.
Is this a cause for medical malpractice? Yes. Please contact a medical malpractice law firm to discuss your options.