Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice

Image result for elder abuseSeniors may be at a much higher risk of abuse and neglect when they live in for-profit nursing homes, compared to non-profit facilities.

New research published in the Gerontology journal recently indicates that residents of for-profit nursing home receive substandard care compared to residents of non-profit nursing facilities. According to the researchers, their study focused on more than 1,100 residents above the age of 60 who were treated at hospitals for the consequences of poor care between 2007 and 2011. Their study found that patients who were also residents of for –profit nursing homes were more likely to show up at the hospital for treatment of stage 3 and 4 bed sores, dehydration and broken feeding tubes and catheters. Residents of for-profit facilities were also more likely to suffer the consequences of improper or irregular delivery for their medications.

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Image result for hospital sterilizationWhen stroke patients acquire an infection in the hospital during the course of their treatment, they may suffer a higher risk of complications after discharge from the facility.

According to the findings of a new study that were published recently in the journal Stroke, when stroke patients suffer an infection like pneumonia or sepsis in the hospital, it increases their risk of readmission by as much as 20 percent. The researchers analysed hospital readmission rates for 319,000 patients who had suffered an ischemic stroke, and found that as many as 20 percent of patients who were readmitted had suffered a hospital infection during their stay.  When the researchers looked at the risk of specific infections, they found that common infections like urinary tract infections were linked to a 10 percent higher risk of readmission.

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Image result for robotic arm surgeryArtificial intelligence is fast taking over hospitals and operating rooms. There are undeniably great advantages to the use of artificial intelligence in hospital environments. However, questions of liability in the event of a medical error or patient harm must also be strictly defined.

Medical errors are one of the leading causes of unintentional death in the United Sates. An approximate 100,000 persons are killed annually as a result of medical errors.

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Image result for burned outWorkplace fatigue and burnout is a problem affecting American doctors, and according to a new study, as many as half of all doctors in the country are experiencing symptoms of fatigue that actually increase their risk of medical errors.

The poll was conducted by researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine, and focused on nearly 6,700 physicians. More than 10% of the doctors in the survey admitted to committing at least one major medical mistake in the three months before the survey. The researchers were also able to confirm that physicians who suffered from symptoms of burnout and fatigue were much more likely to commit serious medical errors.

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Erb’s Palsy is one of the most common birth injury-related disorders, impacting as many as one or two out of every 1,000 births in the United States. The condition affects the muscles in the shoulder and upper arm, and may result in some degree of paralysis and loss of motion in the area.

Erb’s Palsy typically occurs as a result of a birth injury during delivery. The good news is that in approximately 80% of the cases, the impact of the condition may be minimized by a treatment program that includes immobilization of the arm, and physical therapy. Surgery may sometimes be recommended when there has been nerve damage as a result of the injury.  However, in order for the treatment program to be effective, it is important for the injury to be diagnosed as quickly as possible. A diagnosis made within 4 weeks after birth can help minimize the impact of the injury.

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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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