Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice

When Maryland residents suspect that they or a loved one has been injured, became ill or there was a fatality because of a medical error, they will frequently look to the clinical treatment that was given. There will undoubtedly be evidence of the mistake itself when the medical record is scrutinized. However, there are other factors in medical malpractice cases and they too can be important when considering a legal filing. Researchers assess medical missteps and gauge causes to discover and prevent them.

Medical mistakes could stem from insufficient sleep for doctors

A recent study suggests that a lack of sleep for treating physicians could be a significant factor in medical errors. For its research, there were 11 academic medical centers surveyed on several topics. Sleep was one of them. There were more than 11,300 physicians who took part between November 2016 and October 2018. Nearly 7,800 replied to questions about medical errors they made and self-reported.

Sometimes, elderly loved ones cannot safely live by themselves. One option a family may consider is a nursing home. These facilities are designed to provide seniors with a safe environment where they can enjoy activities, socialization, and on-site medical and mental health care. Choosing a nursing home can be difficult, and even a facility with a nice brochure and a good first impression can leave an elderly Maryland resident at risk to suffer a nursing home injury

A study conducted in another state revealed that such injuries are more common than people might assume. The study revealed that nursing homes often do not report injuries to the proper supervising agency, and some of these injuries are caused by neglect, or worse, intentional carelessness on the part of staff members. An elderly resident can suffer serious injury or death as the result of such behavior. 

Common nursing home injuries revealed by the study include bed sores, which can become infected, falls that can break bones, pneumonia, and even injuries caused by other residents. The investigation revealed that some nursing homes try to hide these incidents from oversight agencies as well as from concerned families and loved ones. If a nursing home resident has suffered because of abuse or neglect by staff at the facility, loved ones may want to take legal action.  

When Maryland residents seek medical attention, they expect that the doctors and nurses providing treatment will do their best to provide the best care possible. Unfortunately, thousands of people are injured or killed because of medical negligence each year. After the loss of his beloved wife, one man is calling for an overhaul of the protocols in place to handle malpractice cases. 

The man explains that he arrived at a reputable hospital for the scheduled cesarian delivery of his second child. Hours after welcoming his new baby into the world, tragedy struck. Medical staff discovered that the man’s wife began to bleed internally after the surgery, and no one caught the danger until it was too late. Doctors performed an emergency surgery, but the woman had been neglected so long that the amount of blood lost rendered the life-saving attempt unsuccessful. The mother passed away shortly thereafter. 

The hospital acknowledged the mistake and quietly offered the grieving father of two a financial settlement, which he accepted. Shortly thereafter, he discovered that the negligent doctor responsible for his wife’s death received a mere slap on the wrist. The doctor was not allowed to instruct other doctors and nurses for a period of four years, but he was able to continue performing surgical deliveries at another hospital. The man learned that the very same doctor was responsible for similar medical negligence involving other patients, and he is now warning others that, in some cases, a doctor can kill a patient and not face any consequences. 

Maryland residents are used to seeing more and more technological devices when they visit a medical professional. Artificial intelligence, or AI, can be used to help with a variety of things. From checking patients in more quickly to using stored information and algorithms to make diagnostic processes more efficient, AI is becoming more commonplace in the medical field. This may leave many confused about the possibility of medical malpractice

While one major benefit of AI is that it’s use eliminates some of the possibility for human error, there is a downside as well. Technology, no matter how advanced, can malfunction. Patients may be seriously injured if a medical device malfunctions. An error with an AI device can lead to misdiagnosis, incorrect medication or treatment, or false results on medical tests. 

In the event that such an error occurs, a patient may feel helpless. An injured patient may be unsure whether legal action should be taken against a doctor or the company that manufactured the AI device. There are a few quick tips that may help determine what action to take. 

Deciding that it is time to place a loved one in a nursing home is rarely easy. When that time comes, families in Maryland usually do their very best to find the right place for loved ones. But it is hard to really know what goes on behind closed doors. Even facilities that seem safe from the outside could actually be hiding systemic nursing home abuse and neglect.

According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), around 15,000 U.S. nursing homes accept Medicare and Medicaid. The CMS website recently implemented a new alert that should help families and patients better assess whether a facility is the right choice. The symbol of a white hand surrounded by a red circle will appear next to nursing home facilities that have been cited for abuse within the prior year. This will supplement CMS’ current five-star rating system. It should also be easier than combing through health-inspection reports and searching for citations.

While the sign might be a step in the right direction, it is still not enough. Nursing home abuse is notoriously underreported, so there are probably many dangerous facilities hiding in plain site on CMS’ website. The Health and Human Services Department’s Office of Inspector General estimates that for every five nursing home residents with Medicare beneficiaries who visit the emergency room for high-risk problems at least one is the victim of neglect or abuse.

Veteran’s Day recently passed, and Maryland residents were once again honored the sacrifices brave men and women in the armed forces have made to protect the freedoms and liberties that make our nation great. With this in mind, people might be shocked to learn that a Supreme Court ruling prevents veterans from filing medical malpractice claims against the government for conditions suffered as a result of military service. What many consider to be an unfair ruling may soon change because one brave veteran continues to fight for others from his deathbed. 

Richard Stayskal served with the Green Berets, an elite Army unit. He is now dying of lung cancer. He fights on to try to change the law preventing veterans from filing medical malpractice lawsuits because he claims that during his time in the service, doctors neglected to tell him that he had lung cancer, and as a result he didn’t find out about the disease until it was too late. 

Lawmakers and advocates want to change pass a law that allows veterans to file medical malpractice lawsuits in similar situations. It is not yet decided how long a veteran victim will have to take legal action, and sadly the legislation will probably not be changed in time to help Richard Stayskal. His plight has called attention to the injustice regarding veterans and medical malpractice, and advocates hope to see legal action taken to protect people that bravely protected the United States. 

A Maryland man was sent home after complaining of chest pains to his primary care physician only to die a few days later. After six years, his family finally received a settlement in November 2018.

Instead of insisting that the victim be examined in an emergency room for a heart attack, the victim was sent home in with a recommendation for a CT scan and to visit a cardiologist if his symptoms didn’t improve within a few days. The victim died of coronary artery disease and multiple heart attacks a few days later.

Breach of standard of care

The statistics about strokes are enough to frighten anyone. It is the fifth leading cause of death for Americans and depending on your risk factors, it may be the biggest threat to your life. With one stroke happening every 40 seconds in the U.S., physicians are trained to quickly diagnose and, when time allows, treat the stroke before permanent damage or death occurs. Unfortunately, proper diagnosis does not always happen.

When a patient dies, or suffers serious, long-term disability in the wake of a stroke, it’s important for that person’s loved ones to ask whether the physician followed protocol. Before you can ask that question, it’s important to have a baseline understanding of what a stroke is.

What is a stroke?

Psychiatry is a highly nuanced field of medicine. When a patient suffers while pursuing psychiatric treatment, it’s not always clear whether the doctor has committed medical malpractice-for which there are legal repercussions-or poor doctoring-for which there are none.

In today’s post, we outline five core areas that have historically yielded successful psychiatrist malpractice claims.

1. Treatment

Safety missteps at hospitals can lead to serious medical mistakes. This includes things like surgical errors, treatment errors, care errors or medication errors. Such medical errors, in turn, could expose patients to injuries, infections, illnesses or other health complications.

So, how good of a job hospitals here in Maryland do when it comes to safety has big implications for patients in the state.

Recently, state rankings on hospital safety came out. In these rankings, the states and Washington D.C. were compared on how well the hospitals in them did in Leapfrog’s hospital safety ratings for Fall 2018. Specifically, they were ranked on what percent of their hospitals got an “A” grade in these ratings.

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