Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice

When most expectant mothers imagine giving birth, they expect Hollywood depictions of pain followed by pure joy holding their new little one. While this becomes a reality for many women, there are too many U.S. mothers who have a worse experience.

Recent research has shown that American women are more likely than women in any other developed country to die from childbirth, with rates rising since 2000. As experts have scratched their heads wondering what happened and how to fix the problem, one solution has become clear: improve care in hospitals.

More proactive prenatal care

A hospital has come under fire after staff members set a disoriented woman outside dressed only in a hospital gown. The hospital’s top executive has issued an apology to the patient and her family and is said to be taking full responsibility for the incident. In Maryland, the hospital president stated that due to hospital negligence, the facility failed to provide the patient basic compassion and humanity.

A video that has gone viral on social media shows hospital staff leaving a woman dressed only in a hospital gown out on the street. The temperature at the time was 30 degrees. A passerby dialed 911, and an ambulance took her back to the hospital. A witness stated the family members found the woman at a homeless shelter and that she is now home safe with her family.

This incident is in the forefront because it was caught on camera and broadcast over social media, but it remains unclear how widespread patient dumping is in Maryland. It is currently not tracked by state or federal officials. The Joint Commission requires that hospitals have a discharge plan for patients, and the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act prohibits hospitals from denying services to patients unable to pay.

Many Maryland residents seek the full-time care for a loved one that a nursing facility can provide when care can no longer be provided at home. The decision is usually not made lightly, and the family often considers many facilities before deciding on a home that best meets their loved one’s needs. Some forget to check for complaints of negligence or abuse while interviewing potential care sites. Overlooking any claims that have been made against a nursing home facility or its employees or contractors can prove to be painful for the residents, costly for families or even deadly.

A Certified Nursing Assistant in another state has been charged with felony criminal neglect after failing to follow directions regarding care for a patient. The 32-year-old woman was in the process of giving a 400-pound patient a bath when the woman rolled over the bed rail and fell roughly 3 feet to the tile floor. The fall caused the patient to break both femurs and required surgery with plates and screws to keep the bones in place.

The nursing assistant was told by staff and the patient that the bath required two people. The assistant neglected to seek help and proceeded to wash the woman by herself. When questioned, the nursing assistant said she had bathed the patient by herself before. If she is found guilty of criminal neglect, the nursing assistant could spend five years in prison and owe $5,000 in fines.

Choosing to place a loved one in a nursing home facility at any point in his or her life is difficult for most Maryland families to make the transition. Trusting staff to care for a loved one is very difficult, but nursing homes can often provide a level of care that some families cannot. One family sadly lost their loved one, and they believe it is due to the nursing home injury he suffered.

Despite the change of pace from his normal routine of his previous full life, his family reported that he appeared content in the facility. The family claims that his life quickly ended as a result of a nurse’s poor judgment. The man was apparently sitting in the hallway when one nurse requested another nurse to push him to dinner. According to the family, the man was not warned of the transport and footrests were not in place prior to pushing him.

The man fell from the wheelchair and broke his neck. Failing to follow safety procedures, the nurses turned the patient over and transported him to his bed without immobilizing his spine. He was transferred to a medical facility and determined to have suffered cervical fractures. He died not long after his transfer.

When suffering from a scary medical issue, many will often opt to take a trip to the emergency room should the issue be severe. Upon meeting with the physician, the patient assumes that the doctor and the hospital staff will do their best to see that proper care is provided, and all tests and procedures will not only lead to a diagnosis, but also a proper treatment plan. Maryland physicians who fail to follow procedure, and observe proper patient care and follow-up, can find themselves in the midst of a medical negligence lawsuit.

A 55-year-old man has recently been awarded $12,820,990 in a medical negligence case in another state. The monetary award is to help with past and future non-economic damages and medical care needs. The victim says he has suffered great emotional pain and fear, and will have a lifetime of continued medical care and permanent disfigurement.

In April of 2014, the victim was suffering from abdominal pain and went to his local emergency room. The attending physician ordered a CT scan and learned that the victim had portal gas and hardening of the arteries. Upon consultation with another doctor, the attending physician sent the man home the following day with a prescription for pain medication and orders for a follow-up outpatient ultrasound.

Maryland residents seek the healing expertise of medical professionals when they are ailing. Going to the local emergency room when one is in immediate need of a physician is usually never given a second thought. But when hospital negligence or doctor error result in an adverse health outcome, or even in death, some may begin to question the knowledge and care given when making decisions of some in the medical field.

A 46-year-old woman in another state was recently awarded $12 million after a jury found her to be the victim of a hospital medical error. The victim went to the emergency room upon advice of her primary care physician for unusually thin blood. She was given the drug Profilnine to reverse her higher-than-normal level of international normalized radio (INR), which is used to measure blood levels.

According to the hospital’s guidelines, patients presenting with her symptoms should only be given the drug Profilnine if they have serious or life-threatening bleeding or require immediate emergency surgery, which the victim did not. Shortly after given the drug, the woman experienced a code arrest, and doctors were able to restore her heart rate and blood pressure to normal levels with a blood clot-busting drug. Despite the hospital’s efforts, the woman never regained consciousness and remains in a vegetative state.

Health care providers often need to refer a patient to a more specialized provider when presented with a case that proves to be a challenge. During the referral and patient monitoring process, it is expected that all records are shared and reviewed, and doctors follow-up on the patient. But many Maryland residents are finding that communication between them and their practitioners is breaking down, and the care provided is suffering. When such happens, doctors can find themselves facing a medical malpractice claim.

A woman in another state succumbed to treatable cancer after miscommunication between her doctors delayed a surgery that would have saved her life. The 70-year-old female patient was being seen by her primary care doctor and a urologist who were monitoring a growth on her kidney. She was told by her urologist to follow-up with him in six months, and he delayed surgery and other treatment options until then. When the patient began to complain of back pain in the area of her kidney, her primary doctor ordered a scan, and the radiologist noticed that the growth had grown. A follow-up with her urologist was suggested to rule out underlying malignancy, but the urologist was never informed.

A year later, the woman was scanned again and the mass had continued to increase. After further evaluation, it was found that the cancer had spread to other parts of the victim’s body aggressively. Surgery and treatment were no longer options. Had the urologist treated the growth when the time frame allowed, the medical malpractice lawsuit alleges that the victim would still be alive, as kidney cancers are the most curable. The $10 million award was handed out by a jury after a weeklong trial and three hours of deliberation.

Maryland mothers expecting a new baby often put a lot of research into baby furniture, car seats and the doctors they choose to help bring their little bundle of joy into the world. Bringing forth life into the world seems like such a common thing, and the advances in medical technology and well care have made advances by leaps and bounds. With the knowledge and insight we have into human medical needs and conditions, it is often a sad case when a practicing physician is charged with medical malpractice.

A woman in another state lost her life nine years ago shortly after giving birth to her fourth child. According to reports, she was anemic at the time of delivery, and this medical state put her in a high-risk category for possible life-threatening complications, especially during a cesarean section. During the surgery, the obstetrician punctured a bowel, which caused the victim to lose a significant amount of blood.

The physician did order blood products for the woman but gave no clear instructions or directives as to the use and when or why the patient would need them. Shortly after the physician signed over care to another doctor, the woman began to hemorrhage, and the transfusion she was given did not help her blood to clot. The woman was then taken back into the operating room for an emergency hysterectomy but was pronounced dead by 10:32 p.m.

Many Maryland doctors often have their practice or moonlight at their local Veterans Affairs Medical Center. By doing so, the doctors alleviate the need to carry their own medical malpractice insurance and payroll that can often run the doctor thousands of dollars. Sometimes, doctors will start out working with the VA and then venture out on their own. A recent investigation by USA Today apparently found that one center has been allowing doctors to quietly resign after repeated medical mistakes that have caused unnecessary pain and suffering for veterans.

A podiatrist for a Veterans Affairs Medical Center in another state has been accused of making at least 88 mistakes, including drilling the wrong screw into a bone, severing a tendon, as well as performing unnecessary surgeries and a failed ankle fusion, twice. What’s more disturbing is the fact that the center knew he was dangerous as a practitioner and allowed him to resign with no other action taken. After his resignation, he reportedly opened a private practice in another state. Instead of the facility firing or reporting the doctor, his new patients at his new practice had no way of finding the truth behind the issues that the doctor had with the VA.

The investigation that revealed this doctor’s disturbing terms of exit with the VA also uncovered around 230 other settlements which were not made public regarding other doctors and medical staff that had worked at the VA. These former staff members also quietly left the VA and opened a practice or began to work in the private sector without any public record of their transgressions. There is currently a lawsuit filed by six veterans regarding the doctor accused of making 88 mistakes and claiming that the VA concealment constituted fraud.

Maryland families prepare for the arrival of a baby in many ways. Reviewing or implementing a will and updating life insurance policies may be just a few “must-do’s” when expecting, next to setting up the nursery and picking out baby names. When a parent dies shortly after the birth of the child, the family can be left reeling and wondering why this happened.  A young mother’s estate has finally been settled when a jury ruled in favor of a $6 million medical malpractice lawsuit after she lost her life7 days after the birth of her premature son.

A 20-year-old mother in another state went into premature labor when she was 28 weeks pregnant. The baby was delivered via cesarean section, and after a short recovery period for mom, she went home. A week later, while at her parents’ home, she collapsed. While in route to the hospital via ambulance, the paramedics failed to intubate her correctly, and she died shortly after arriving at her local hospital. The medical staff had discovered after her death that an endotracheal tube was incorrectly placed by the advanced life support paramedics who were transporting her.

The verdict was handed down by the jury who believed that the most pressing injury which contributed to the woman’s death was the health care facility’s inability to act in good faith. The jury also cited that the paramedics were unsuccessful in addressing her respiratory or cardiac arrest issue. After debating, they awarded the young mother’s estate $4 million and a trust of $2 million to her surviving son.

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