Medical Malpractice: Emergency Room Errors

Jan 6, 2017 by

Health and medicine is a serious occupational path. They are very complicated, and even a single mistake in practice can cause injury or death. Because of the complexity of health and medicine, errors are not that uncommon, especially in emergency rooms where everything is urgent.

According to the Toronto personal injury lawyers of Mazin & Associates, PC, emergency room errors can be seen as a medical malpractice, and the medical professionals involved may be held liable.

Most common emergency room errors

Emergency rooms can be stressful places, but it doesn’t mean that medical professionals have room for errors. Below are the most common emergency room errors that result into injury or death.

  • Patient dumping – releasing a patient because of his inability to pay or other financial reasons
  • Misdiagnosis – failing to properly diagnose complications, particularly those that are life-threatening
  • Medication mistakes – Issuing the wrong medication, dosage, or not giving medication at all
  • Improper discharge – releasing a patient too early or without the necessary supplementary instructions
  • Improper management – having issues with the overall medical operations, like lack of staffing and delays in treatment
  • Improper procedure – incorrectly performing procedures that may cause harm to the patient

Causes of emergency room errors

Most emergency room errors are a result of recklessness and negligence. These things have no place in emergency rooms, especially because lives ar at risk. Also, they are easily prevented through competence, diligence, and loyalty to safety procedures.

Emergency room errors occur because of the following:

  • Inexperience of staff
  • Lack of medical equipment and facilities
  • Fatigued or stressed staff
  • Not following standard protocol

Effects of emergency room errors to patients

A visit to the emergency room is bad enough, but everything becomes worse if you become a victim of an emergency room error. The most common effects of such errors to patients include:

  • Additional medical bills because of corrective treatment
  • Loss of time at work or school
  • Unnecessary inability to enjoy life
  • Unnecessary pain and suffering

Experiencing these things because of another person’s fault is unjustifiable, especially if that person is the one who is supposed to take care of you in emergency situations. But by reading more about emergency room errors, you are one step farther from being a victim.

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Surgical Errors

Mar 17, 2016 by

Seventy-one-year-old retired secretary LaVerne Stiles underwent a spinal fusion operation at Citrus Memorial Hospital in central Florida in February 2012, as she had been involved in a minor car accident a few weeks earlier and had sustained broken bones in her neck.

Spinal fusion is done tens of thousands of times annually at the hospital, and they are usually performed without a hitch. Stiles can take her pick from three of the hospital’s well-trained surgeons, who mastered their craft at the hospital rated to be one of the top 100 in the nation when it comes to spinal fusion operations.

However, the doctor that performed the procedure on her, Constantine Toumbis, had one of the highest rates of mishaps when it comes to spinal procedures in the United States. The other two doctors at the hospital’s disposal possessed among the lowest rates for postoperative problems like infection and internal bleeding.

According to statistics analyzed by New York City-based independent non-profit newsroom ProPublica based on Medicare data, the differences that Stiles encountered at Citrus Memorial are indicative of the activities in many hospitals across America – they do not track the complication rates of many surgeons and utilize such information so as to enforce improvements. The government also has no say in this.

Using five years of Medicare records for eight common elective procedures including knee and hip replacements, prostate removals, and spinal fusions, ProPublica found out that hundreds of surgeons across the nation had rates of complications approaching double and triple the national average, surgeons with the highest complication rates are still being allowed to perform surgeries nationwide, and that subpar surgeons are working at academic medical centers which are considered the best in the country.

Attorneys at Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller, & Overbeck, P.A. say that patient safety has been at the core of American health care since 1999 when the Institute of Medicine published “To Err is Human”, a report that revealed the frequency with which surgical operations result in errors.

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Medical Negligence Causing Birth Injuries Far More Frequently than Anyone May Realize

Oct 19, 2015 by

According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, as many as 28,000 babies are born with a birth injury every year. Good thing most of these injuries are only minor and easily heal without any need for treatment. But what about the serious ones, to think that this nation probably has the most advanced healthcare system in the world and some of the world’s most modern medical equipment?

A birth injury, or birth trauma, is a general term that is used to refer to any type of injury or harm (such as fractures, cuts or other injuries) sustained during the birthing process. It usually occurs during a difficult delivery, which may be due to: the abnormal position of a fetus in the uterus at birth (like a breech position, wherein the baby exits the pelvis with his/her buttocks or feet first); the birth canal being too small; or, the fetus being too large (when delivering larger babies, doctors usually use a vacuum or forceps to make babies’ passage through the birth canal easier. This, however, can result to neonatal injuries, especially if the doctor is not careful with birthing instruments or uses too much force). Difficult delivery or not, however, many legal and medical professionals will confirm the sad fact that medical negligence is the top reason why many babies suffer injuries during birth and that these acts occur far more frequently than any one may realize.

While a professional or licensed midwife may be present and assist during delivery, medical negligence is usually identified as failure on the part of a doctor, nurse, anesthesiologist, and whoever may be part of the medical team inside the delivery room. On the part of the doctor, the most commonly reported acts of medical negligence that he or she may be held accountable for include his or her: excessive dependence on modern medical devices; failure to dedicate the time required in preparing for a proper delivery; dangerous performance of a rush delivery; and, failure to perform a caesarean section during emergency.

Based on a recent study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), some of the most common serious types of birth injuries due to medical negligence, include:

  • Brachial Plexus Injury (BPI). This includes Erb’s palsy and Klumpke’s palsy (a form of BPI which can affect the upper limbs, armpit and back of the neck and which can cause paralysis in the forearm and hand). Brachial Plexus Injury can result to temporary or permanent disability.
  • Bells’ palsy or Paralysis of Facial Nerves. This is due to the use of forceps or a vacuum during delivery. If too much pressure is applied on an infant’s face, such pressure can damage nerves which, in turn can result to total paralysis on the side of the face that is affected.
  • Brain Injury. This is one of the effects of oxygen deprivation and it can lead to a host of medical disorders, like cerebral palsy and chronic seizures.
  • Cephalohematoma. This usually results from the use of birth-assisting tools. Cephalohematoma happens due to the pooling of blood or bleeding underneath the skull.
  • Cerebral Palsy. This is damage to the brain which causes impaired muscle coordination. There is no known cure for this type of birth injury, which may be sustained before or during birth.

Newborns naturally sustain minor injuries during the childbirth process and that bruising, tearing, stretching of tissues and even broken bones are, in fact, very common and often unavoidable results of bringing a child into the world.

The case is different though with regard to serious birth injuries since most of these are consequences of acts of negligence either during prenatal care or inside the delivery room. Any serious injury suffered by a newborn, therefore, deserves to be investigated as this may lead to the discovery of irresponsible behavior, a mistake that can forever change the life of a child and his/her family.

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Medical Malpractice: What You Can Do if Your Child Acquired Erb’s Palsy

Mar 5, 2015 by

There are some injuries that one can acquire in life that simply cannot be recovered from. A lot of the time, these are injuries that are caused as a direct result from the negligence of another party. These kinds of situations can be classified as one that warrants a legal personal injury lawsuit.

Due to the numerous natures of which circumstances like this can occur, there are quite a number of subsets to this particular branch of the law. Premises liability, birth defects, car accidents, medical malpractice, and even nursing home negligence are only some of the subsets under the umbrella term of ‘personal injury’. Since a lot of the suits filed under cases of this nature often require a more specialized know-how with medical jargon and terminologies that may not be known to just anyone, an expert with these kinds of circumstances is advisable. Take, for example, the case of a child born with erb’s palsy due to negligence.

This can have serious repercussions onto the family. It amounts to medical procedures and necessities that had been previously not been a part of the original part of the budget, as well as the psychological and emotional strain that this birth defect imposes upon the child and the child’s family. A case like this requires compassion, sympathy, and an aggressive pursuit for justice – since erb’s palsy is often a result of medical malpractice or negligence, there is a guilty party involved and justice requires for this offending party to pay due compensation for the damage that their action has done.

Settlements like this can often be difficult to attain as hospitals and insurance companies may often be difficult with coming through with payments and so it takes a determined legal team to represent the wronged party so they need not suffer the stress and strain that a lawsuit of this nature tends to give.

If you or a loved one currently has to go through a situation like this, professional legal help is advised.

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