America’s prescription drug epidemic reaches deep into the medical community, producing enormous risks not only for the individuals, but the patients who trust in their care, according to a recent USA Today article.

More than 100,000 doctors, nurses, and other health professionals nationwide currently struggle with abuse or addiction, mostly involving narcotics such as oxycodone and fentanyl.

For every worst-case scenario – including three hepatitis outbreaks since 2009 caused by a health care worker using patients’ syringes – there are countless more practitioners whose drug-related errors are more isolated. “Much of the damage goes unnoticed or undocumented; oversight mechanisms to detect, report and address drug problems in health care settings are haphazard and limited,” states the article.

“The medical community thinks it’s immune from this disease, but that’s not true,” said Anita Bertrand, a Houston nurse anesthetist who became addicted to pain medication following an abdominal surgery. “There are so many practitioners working impaired and we have no idea. …We’re doing a terrible job addressing this problem.” Read the full story here:

Doctors, medical staff on drugs put patients at risk

Doctors and nurses are not immune to drug abuse, but unfortunately they provide care and treatment to patients while under the influence of their addiction.

If you or anyone in your family has suffered serious side effects or damages from a medical error you should seek legal investigation immediately. Crandall & Pera Law is available to help answer your questions and guide you in determining your next steps.