Nashville Car Accident Lawyers

Priapism Is a Serious Consequence of Medical Malpractice

Treating Tennessee clients with dignity and respect

Erectile dysfunction is usually a symptom of an underlying and serious disease. For many men, a visit to the doctor to treat the causes of ED is the first step. For some, it’s taking a medication like Viagra or Cialis; for others, an injection of papaverine or phenoxybenzamine may be necessary. But penile injections to treat erectile dysfunction come with the very real – and very serious – risk of the user developing priapism, and priapism could leave a man impotent for life.

At the Rocky McElhaney Law Firm, we fight for compensation for men who are now rendered permanently impotent because of penile injections. We represent clients in Nashville, Knoxville and Hendersonville whose injuries were the result of another person’s negligence, and we want to hear your story. If your doctor negligently prescribed you a penile injection which led to priapism, and thus rendered you permanently impotent, we have the skills, the recourses and the know-how to help.

What is priapism?

Simply put, priapism is a rare medical disorder where a man’s erection lasts for longer than four (4) hours. According to the Mayo Clinic, priapism usually falls into one of two categories: Ischemic priapism, where blood is unable to leave the penis; and Nonischemic priapism, where too much blood has entered the penis. Both cases are painful, and sexual arousal is not necessary to cause either one.

Erectile dysfunction drugs and priapism

The increase in erectile dysfunction drug usage has led, necessarily, to an increase in the amount of priapism cases throughout Tennessee and the country. In particular, intracavernous pharmacotherapy (ICP), also known as penile injections, have caused untold amounts of complications and suffering. More and more often doctors are prescribing penile injections for patients who don’t actually need them.

For example: a man who undergoes treatment for prostate cancer may suffer from erectile dysfunction after the treatment; in this case, a penile injection is supposed to help him achieve an erection for up to an hour. However, medical professionals are prescribing these injections for men whose cases of ED may be cured with an oral medication, or with a treatment of a lesser dosage. When that happens, a man can fall victim to priapism.

Common non-oral medications and treatments

The drugs used in ED penile injections are phentolamine, papaverine and alprostadil – but they are more commonly known as:

  • Caverject Impulse
  • Edex
  • Bi-mex
  • Tri-mix
  • Quad-mix

There is also an alprostadil-based suppository called Muse on the market, which a man inserts directly into his penile urethra through the opening of the penis.

For men who do not choose medications, there are surgeries available. A surgeon can repair broken or leaking blood vessels in the penis, or a patient may choose to have penile implants placed inside of his penis. Penile implants are placed on both sides of the penis and are usually inflatable; however, in cases where other treatments have been tried before and been unsuccessful, a surgeon may opt for semi-rigid rods instead.

What constitutes medical malpractice?

After men complained of, and were admitted for, priapism after using oral ED medications, doctors and pharmaceutical companies are required to list prolonged erections as a potential side effect. However, more and more doctors are prescribing penile injections for men whose erectile dysfunction may not warrant such an extreme treatment. In some cases men have developed infections, penile deformities and even become permanently impotent because of permanent damage to the blood vessels and tissue in their penises. In these such cases, and in cases where a doctor has failed to inform a patient of potential priapism or what to do if priapism occurs, the patient may be a victim of medical malpractice.

Let our family protect your family’s right to a better future

Erectile dysfunction and priapism are serious matters that can be compounded by a doctor’s negligence. We hold medical personnel accountable for their errors. The Rocky McElhaney Law Firm has offices in Nashville, Knoxville and Hendersonville for your convenience. We focus exclusively on protecting the injured, so you can rest assured that we truly understand how to help. Please call us toll free at 615-425-2500 or fill out our contact form to reserve a free consultation with an attorney who cares about your future.