Your inquiry is both legal, and medical. The medical question (did the prolonged use of the medication cause or contribute to the cause of your friend's death) must be answered before the legal one (did the doctor's actions fall below the standard of care) can.
Your best bet at this point is to suggest to your friend's family that they contact an attorney that deals in medical malpractice. The lawyer can help them obtain the records, and get them reviewed by a competent medical expert, in order to determine if there was any medical negligence.
This response does not constitute representation or the formation of the attorney/client relationship.
Your friend's post operative bradycardia (slow heart rate) likely has nothing to do with his demise 4 months later. Longstanding high blood pressure is a known cause of a many serious complications ( for example, it's the leading cause of congestive heart failure) including a cerebral hemorrhage. So unless a medical doctor was negligent in treating your friend's high blood pressure, I do not see a clear case for medical malpractice.
The author of this answer is an Attorney-at-Law, licensed to practice law only in the state of Arizona. Unless both you and the author have signed a formal retainer agreement, you are not the author's client, and the author's discussion of issues does not constitute legal advice. Opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author, and are neither privileged nor confidential.
You need medical evidence showing the failure to diagnose, or below the standard of care or the medication caused or aggravated the condition.
My offices does represent people from Avvo if they contact me but only in the Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, San Bernardino and Riverside County in Southern California. The answers I give here are not meant to create an attorney client relationship. When accepting clients I conduct interviews face to face and they often take 30 minutes or more. I approach trials and issues from a legal and common sense approach, This is how the majority of judges I have appeared before in 40 years also make decisions. I do not intend by my advice to enter an attorney client relationship and in most cases advise to obtain legal representation. Sometimes if you can not afford it a consultation or limited scope representation is available. As an experienced attorney I can tell you, judges can be impatient, hate emotional arguments and over exagerations or lies. A brief outline of the problems and desired solutions is often best and I d0 limited scope representations advise clients on how to proceed at time of hearing or trial and my fees are considerably less when I do not appear in court as it takes much less of my time.
I am sorry for your friend's loss. The only advice I can give you is you, or someone who has standing to bring a claim on behalf of your friend's estate, (That is basically all of the property and debts he left behind.) needs to speak to an attorney and provide in depth details. The reason is medical malpractice is a difficult and complicated areas. That is because merely making a mistake is not sufficient to prove the physician was negligent. What would have to be proven, in a nutshell, is that the physician violated the standard of care doctors in his or her area adhere to, AND that the violation was a proximate cause of your friend's death. To prove that will require a fairly extensive analysis, before any real claim is actually made.
The first question in any medical malpractice case is: What Happened? Sometimes (many times) the answer isn't clear. The next question is: Was What Happened Preventable with Reasonably Prudent Medicine? Those two questions are answered by retaining experts to review the medical records and offer opinions. If as your question suggests, your friend passed from uncontrolled high blood pressure, the question would be whether his doctors were using to care to try to control it; i.e., what meds was he given once he was taken off of the one that gave him the bad side effects that took him to the ER.
I agree with the lawyers who have posted here. I am not a physician, so unless it is obvious negligence like cutting off the wrong leg, it is tough for me to say whether there is a case or not. If medical negligence is suspected, usually we have to have a physician in the same area of specialty review the records and give an opinion as to whether the standard of care was violated. This is expensive and many local doctors are not willing to do it.
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