Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice

When seeking medical care and treatment in Maryland, there is a natural expectation that the providers will be fully prepared, pay attention to what they are doing and adhere to the proper standards. Unfortunately, mistakes happen and patients become ill, injured and lose their lives. This could be the basis for a medical malpractice claim. These errors arise for many reasons and researchers try to discover common causes to prevent them from happening in the future. It is not only doctors who can make mistakes when caring for people, but nurses as well. This should be considered if there are questions about treatment and outcomes.

Nurses who are having mental and physical problems may be prone to errors

A recent study by the College of Nursing at Ohio State University found that nurses experiencing problems physically and mentally might have a propensity to make more medical errors than nurses in a better frame of mind. Nurses who are part of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses were surveyed. Almost 800 took part. Researchers found that 61% stated they felt physically subpar while 51% said the same about their mental state. Forty percent showed signs of depression. More than 50% showed indicators for experiencing anxiety. Medical errors were 31% to 62% more common for nurses experiencing these personal challenges.

It can seem daunting to make the decision to pursue a medical malpractice legal claim. Most people know that these cases can become incredibly complex at times, since they include detailed medical terms and, potentially, differences in opinions between medical professionals. However, when someone in Maryland has the right team in place to pay attention to the details when pursuing such a claim, there may be a greater chance of success.

Medical malpractice details

Whereas a “run of the mill” personal injury case might be based on a situation anyone can easily understand, like a car accident, a medical malpractice case is based on healthcare decisions and procedures that may be completely foreign to the average person. After all, most healthcare professionals complete years of schooling and on-the-job training just to be in their profession to begin with. The technical details of nursing, doctor care and surgery, for example, are not something the average person is familiar with.

When Maryland residents seek medical treatment, they rightfully expect to receive the very best of care. Unfortunately, as some of our readers may know, the very best of care isn’t always rendered to medical patients in America. Medical malpractice is fairly common, and when it occurs a patient’s life can be changed forever.

Pursuing a medical malpractice claim

It may take patients awhile to realize that they were the victim of medical malpractice. Although instances such as birth injuries or surgical errors might be easier to detect, other instances such as a misdiagnosis, medication errors or hospital errors might take longer to find out about. Sometimes victims of medical malpractice might think that it is too late to do anything about it. Or, they are intimidated by the prospect of taking on a large hospital or medical group in court. Whatever is behind the hesitation to look into the possibility of taking legal action, our law firm works with potential clients to help them determine if there is a path forward to pursue a medical malpractice claim.

When an Annapolis area resident goes in for surgery, they legitimately feel apprehensive about the procedure. Whether the surgery is planned or more of an emergency, it can be scary to put your life in the hands of another person. Most of the time a surgery goes as expected and is successful. But occasionally a surgical error occurs where a person is unexpectedly seriously injured.

Surgeons are highly trained doctors who perform life-threatening work every day. Unfortunately, not every surgeon is as diligent and careful as they should be, causing thousands of unexpected surgical errors each year. Common surgical errors include:

  • Wrong site surgery. Although it can be hard to believe, wrong site surgeries continue to happen. Patients have wrong legs amputated, wrong kidneys removed, etc.

Going to the doctor can be a hassle for a Maryland resident. They usually do not make appointments with their physicians until they feel unwell, and then they must answer a barrage of questions from their nurses, doctors, and other practitioners just to get to the right treatment for their malady. In many cases, a trip to the doctor results in a medication or protocol to improve the patient’s health. However, in some situations, doctors may fail to properly assess and treat their patients’ needs.

This post will introduce readers to the differential diagnosis process for evaluating and treating patients. No medical or legal advice is offered in this article. Readers who believe that their doctors may have erred in the use of, or failure to use, the differential diagnosis process may wish to explore their possible claims with the help of medical malpractice attorneys.

What is a differential diagnosis?

Advance directives and living wills can turn a confusing and stressful situation into one of comfort and solace. An advance directive allows for a person’s preferences for how they would like to spend their last days to be honored. A legally binding document, the Attorney General in Maryland provides optional resources to assist residents who wish to provide directives to those who care for them, including their doctors and loved ones.

However, there are those whose advance directives were not followed by medical personnel. In these cases, family members feel that their loved ones suffered unnecessarily. As a result, these families have taken legal action by suing for medical malpractice.

Reasons to take legal steps

As advances in cancer research and treatment continue, medical professionals are better able to diagnose and effectively treat those who have been diagnosed with the disease. In fact, many cancers that are deadly if left untreated can be eradicated if caught early enough. This means that speed and accuracy matter a great deal when it comes to dealing with cancer. One cancer where this is true is breast cancer.

How breast cancer is diagnosed

There are a lot of ways that doctors can go about diagnosing breast cancer. To start, a breast exam can identify any irregular lumps that require additional testing. Then tests such as an X-ray, a MRI, or even an ultrasound can provide images of deep tissue to better spot abnormalities in the breast. Once those irregularities are identified, a biopsy, where a piece of the suspicious lump is removed and tested, can be taken, thereby giving a patient a clear indication of whether the lump is cancerous or not.

No one expects their medical professional to cause them harm. Yet, the sad reality is that medical malpractice is much more common than most people realize. If your or a loved one know this all too well, then you’re probably thinking about your legal options and the best way to obtain closure and move forward with life. In many of these medical malpractice cases, settlement offers are made by negligent doctors, hospitals, and insurance companies. While one of these settlement offers might purport to provide you with the closure you need, you’ll want to thoroughly vet the offer to see if it’s really in your best interests.

How to analyze your medical malpractice settlement offer

There’s a lot that goes into an analysis of a settlement offer. You’ll want to look at each of them before determining a course of action that is right for you. Here are just some of the things that you’ll want to analyze in light of your settlement offer:

How each of us views the world is largely influenced by our vantage point. This is especially true for organizations and systems. If you are an insider, you’ll likely view things differently than someone on the outside. Because we can get tunnel vision, it is often beneficial for people to experience an opposing perspective.

This was the subject of a recent New York Times article written by a doctor who experienced a patient’s perspective when her teenage daughter needed an appendectomy. The doctor, who also happens to be writing a book about medical errors, noted that when she switched from being a medical provider to the family member of a patient, the once-comfortable hospital environment suddenly began to feel full of hazards.

The author’s position was unique in that she had much more medical knowledge and confidence than most patients and family members do. But, she admitted, she was still uncomfortable “being the squeaky wheel” and asking numerous questions of the physicians and nurses. She could sense the “unspoken annoyance” of the staff as she sought explanations.

Though hospitals are supposed to be places where medical professionals find answers to the ailments Maryland residents have, the reality is that they do not always provide the rest and recovery they are supposed to. Rather than get better in a hospital, a large number of patients end up coming out of the hospital with a worsened condition.

According to one study, the third cause of death in the country is medical errors. A medical professional’s negligence that causes an error can be devastating and cause additional medical expenses. A medical malpractice suit can be one way to hold medical professionals responsible for the negligence. The following are some common medical errors that patients should be aware of when going for medical treatments.

Erroneous paperwork

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