Screwed both ways: Two doctors have to pay for the side effects of chronic systemic steroid treatment for an asthmatic

“Two area doctors must pay $1.9 million to an asthmatic patient whose bones were so badly damaged by being overmedicated with steroids that he needed both hips replaced by age 41, a Lackawanna County jury ruled Wednesday.”

Chronic systemic steroids are not routinely used for most cases of asthma – inhaled steroids are typically used. The fact that a pulmonologist was overseeing the care involving systemic steroids suggests that this case was particularly severe, and that all other routine options were exhausted. Unfortunately, the physicians were sued for this.

Consider the alternative – not maximizing steroids and having the patient die of status asthmaticus. A no-win situation for everybody involved.

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