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Personal Injury Law Blog

Gender may influence medical treatment

When people in South Carolina or elsewhere suffer traumatic injuries that cause excessive bleeding and other life-threatening complications, victims naturally assume that medical professionals will administer any and all medication and treatments to help save the person’s life. An alarming finding from one research study indicates this is not always true. Sometimes, people seem to be given certain medications if they are male, but so not much if they are female. This practice holds the potential for creating medical malpractice situations for those involved.

The study and findings

The British Journal of Anesthesia recently conducted a study into treatment options given to patients who have severe injuries with traumatic bleeding. One approved drug that can help prevent life-threatening blood loss in patients in tranexamic acid. However, the study found that females are only about half as likely to receive the drug when being treated for traumatic bleeding that their male counterparts, despite a record of the drug being equally effective in both sexes.

Moreover, female patients complaining of chest pain are less likely than males to receive nitroglycerin, aspirin or some other cardiac treatment for a potential heart attack. Females also seem to have to wait longer to receive trauma care than males and they are more likely to be sent to a nursing home for on-going treatment and care. The researchers would not find a legitimate reason for these apparent gender-based discrepancies in medical treatment.

Affected by medical malpractice

It’s true that men and women have biological differences that influence their metabolisms and health outcomes. However, if a drug has been approved for treatment of both sexes and is equally effective regardless of gender, then women should have the same access as men. Withholding life-saving medical treatment based largely on someone’s gender rather than some other legitimate reason could lay the foundation for a medical malpractice suit. Anyone in South Carolina who feels they have been the victim of medical malpractice should consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney for assistance.