Codeine has long been included as a cough suppressant in cough syrup. Recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics has urged doctors to stop prescribing medications which contain codeine to children under the age of 18. Codeine is converted into morphine by the liver and has resulted in life-threatening or fatal breathing reactions.

The AAP report, published online Sept. 19, calls for improved education of parents and health providers about the risks of codeine use in children and formal restrictions of its use in children, as well as further research on safe and effective pain treatment in children.

When a report like this is issued, doctors have an obligation to be aware of this and alter their practice accordingly.

In New York, physicians are responsible for performing their job up to the accepted standard of care of the medical community. When treating a patient, doctors must take the same steps as that of another competent physician in the same field. When a doctor fails to uphold that level of care, they have committed medical negligence. Medical negligence can cause the patient serious injury, and has been known to be fatal in some cases. Fortunately, patients who have suffered an injury due to medical negligence may be able to file a lawsuit to recoup damages they may have suffered. As a result, patients who have suffered an injury due to medical malpractice should seek the counsel of a New York Medical Negligence lawyer.