Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice

cerebral palsy, brain injuryApproximately 750,000 people in the United States live with cerebral palsy. Even so, there a lot of misinformation about this condition. If your child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, read on to learn what you can do.

Unfortunately, there is no complete, permanent cure for cerebral palsy.  However, that does not mean that there are no prospects for improvement of the child’s symptoms, or better management of his disabilities. In fact, when therapy and other forms of treatment begin early, you have a greater chance of success in improving the child’s quality of life.

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x-ray headNew studies find that the use of a safety checklist can help radiologists prevent errors during severe contrast reactions.

The results of the study were published recently in the American Journal of Roentgenology. Contrast reaction management is a particularly error-prone area of radiology,. What make it worse is that the kind of errors that often result during simulated severe contrast reactions can have life-threatening consequences.

For the study, the researchers created a safety checklist that was based on some of the most common errors that occur after a radiologist has administered an IV contrast medium. A group of radiology residents were split into two groups. Each group participated in the simulation severe contrast reaction scenario. The groups were administered written tests, before and after the simulation.

Inurse, nursingAn overwhelming majority of nurses report having to care for too many patients, and not having enough time to perform their duties efficiently and safely.

The annual survey of nurses in Massachusetts found that the biggest and most significant challenge for registered nurses in providing quality patient care was caring for too many patients during a single shift. About 77% of the nurses admitted that the strain placed on them in having to care for too many patients at a given time, definitely impacted their ability to perform their duties safely.

These challenges could also have serious and life-threatening consequences for patients. Approximately 77% of the registered nurses who participated in the survey admitted that frequent medication errors were the direct result of them caring for too many patients in a single shift. In fact, 72% of the nurses claimed that patient readmission was a very frequent and common result of their caring for too many patients during a single shift. About 64% of the nurses admitted that such unsafe assignments were directly linked to patient injury or harm.

Image result for emergency roomWhen emergency room doctors have a system that allows them to cross check their performances, it can lead to a reduction in medical errors, although not all types of errors.

Those results came from a randomized trial that was conducted in France, and involved a total of six emergency departments. Physicians in each of these departments were made to participate in cross-checks three times a day. During these checks, the physicians were required to present their cases to each other, and get feedback on the same. The results found that during the cross-check period, the rate of medical errors dropped to approximately 6.4% of patients who visited the emergency room, compared to 10.7%, during the non-check period during which patients got the standard care without any physician feedback.

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medication errorSeniors may be at a higher risk of suffering from a medication-related error. The Harvard Medical School has tips for seniors to prevent these dangerous errors and injuries.

There are reasons why seniors may be at a higher risk of suffering medication error-related injuries. Aging-related cognitive slowness may cause a senior to misunderstand a doctor’s instructions. Hearing impairment is also another factor in such misunderstandings.  That failure to understand instructions clearly could lead to overdosages and other possibly fatal errors.

Remember, there are a number of factors that affect not just the effectiveness of your drug, but also its ability to cause harm.  As a senior, you have the right to complete information about the medication that is prescribed for you. If your doctor has prescribed a certain medication, ask questions about it.

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Image result for hospital patient dischargeFar too many patients every year get themselves discharged from the hospital earlier than the doctor recommends. This is a common practice, but one that may have serious consequences for the patient.

The findings come as the result of a review which was published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society recently and finds that such voluntary, early discharges by patients are very common. Certain patients are much more likely to get themselves discharged from the hospital early, in the face of the doctor’s advice. Male patients, for instance, are much more likely to get an early discharge, compared to female patients. Younger patients, according to the data, seem to be much more likely to leave the hospital early.

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anesthesia complicationsSeniors are living healthier and longer lives than ever before. With life expectancies on the rise, most seniors can expect to undergo at least one surgical procedure during their lifetime. That means going under general anesthesia, exposing the senior to a number of the complications that anesthesia can involve.

There is no denying the fact that an older mind is much more likely to suffer from the complications involved in general anesthesia. However, the good news is that due to advancements in medical technology, many of those complications can be foreseen and prevented.

One of the more common anesthesia complications that older patients are vulnerable to is postoperative delirium. A patient who suffers from postoperative delirium may come out of anesthesia feeling very confused or disoriented. He may have no awareness of his surroundings. There may be concentration and attention difficulties that may last from a few hours to a couple of days after the surgery. Generally, postoperative delirium only lasts for a maximum of a week after the surgery.

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Image result for iv dripA dose of acetaminophen could significantly increase comfort and reduce pain for patients coming out of anesthesia.

Those findings come from a recent study which was presented at a meeting of the American Society of Anesthesiologists.  The study found that acetaminophen reduces the chances of patients suffering shivers and extreme chills when they wake up from the effects of anesthesia.

Approximately 50% of all patients who go under general anesthesia experience shivers, when they regain consciousness. The reason for these shivers is not known, but they are common after a surgery. These shivers are not just uncomfortable, but could also be painful. Additionally, such uncontrollable shivering when a patient comes out of anesthesia could actually be dangerous. It places a huge strain on the cardiovascular system, and preventing such shivering is always a priority for doctors. This is especially true in the case of patients who already have a high cardiopulmonary risk. For these patients, such shivering and chills could possibly be deadly.

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health-2662312_1920-200x300A new study finds that while many Americans have experienced a medical error, many are also able to identify the mistakes when they occur and are ready to inform staff at the hospital about it.

As many as one in five Americans have experienced a medical error. According to a new study conducted by the IHI/NPSF Lucian Leape Institute and NORC at the University Of Chicago, another one in three admitted to being involved in the care of a person who experienced an error.

Most of these errors were diagnostic errors. Approximately 59% of these errors involved an incorrect diagnosis, delayed diagnosis or failure to diagnose. More errors were likely to occur in outpatient settings than during in-patient care. About 6 out 10 adults experienced a misdiagnosis and 4 out of 10 respondents admitted that they were not treated with respect

xray-1488182-1280x960-300x225While radiologists are aware of the risks and effects of various radiological procedures, physicians may not be as informed about these risks. That lack of knowledge places patients in harm’s way.

A recent study published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology (JACR) found that physicians in the United States practicing across multiple disciplines were far less informed about the effects and risks of radiation exposure than they needed to be. Researchers at the University Of Colorado in Denver surveyed healthcare providers from multiple disciplines over a span of two years. They found that 26% of providers were ill-informed about the expected effects of radiation exposure and risks associated with medical imaging procedures.

According to radiologists who participated in the study, it is critically important that health care providers and physicians who supervise radiological procedures or request medical imaging exams are better informed about the exposure involved in these procedures, as well as the risks and benefits involved. They must have this knowledge in order to be able to comfortably and accurately discuss all the risks and benefits of a procedure with their patients, prior to the patient undergoing an exam. The lack of a bare minimum level of understanding of safety issues involving radiation is troubling, and bodes very poorly for patients.