Articles Posted in Wrongful Death Due to Medical Negligence

Image result for radiologyA new medical course developed by a radiologist aims at training medical students to prevent the kind of medical errors caused by radiology missteps.

The radiologist, Dr. Timothy Mosher of Penn State University says he developed the course after reading a report titled Improving Diagnosis in Health Care which was released in 2015 by the National Academies of Sciences. The report had made special mention of the fact that an increasing number of medical errors, including many fatal ones, can be linked to errors at the diagnostic stage.

The course curriculum focuses on identifying the causes and environments that contribute to an increased risk of a diagnostic error, and techniques that can be used to minimize the incidence of such errors. This is the first time that a course curriculum is being developed especially to expose undergraduate medical students to the potential for diagnostic errors right in their training years, so that they have a better understanding of how these factors can affect their work as they become full-fledged physicians.

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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 nursing homeA new report shows that most nursing homes often operate under lower staffing levels than they have reported to the government, placing residents at risk of abuse and neglect.

The report was released by Kaiser Health News, and was based on Medicare data. The agency only recently began collecting such staffing data on more than 14,000 such nursing facilities across the country. The data clearly indicates that there are fluctuations in staffing on a day-to-day basis in most nursing homes. Weekends tend to be critically understaffed, with large percentages of staffing shortages reported over the weekend.

The fact that nursing home staffing levels may not be consistent throughout the year has only now come to light after Medicare recently began collecting this important information. It is a suspicion, however, that Indianapolis nursing home abuse attorneys have had for several years.

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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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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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surgery-676375_1280A new Johns Hopkins study establishes that medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States. The study calls on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to include medical errors in its annual list of the top causes of death in the United States.

This is not the first study that establishes the role of medical errors in causing injuries and fatalities across the country, but this study is garnering attention for two reasons.  First, it is from a respected institution like Johns Hopkins.  Second, the report calls on the US federal government to name medical errors as a leading cause of death in the country. That step would immediately increase awareness about the dangers patients face every year from medical negligence at hospitals and care facilities across the country.

The Johns Hopkins researchers are also calling for changes in the current system for death certification in order to better record medical errors that cause fatalities. The study estimates that there are more than 250,000 fatalities every year from medical errors. That means medical errors rank just below heart disease and cancer as the top causes of fatality in the United States. Medical errors kill more people every year than even respiratory disease.

hospital hallwaysWhen medical negligence results in a patient’s death, survivors of the deceased may be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Questions of which family members or survivors are eligible to file a claim to recover wrongful death damages after a person’s death, or the parties that can be named in your wrongful death claim, are challenging to resolve. It is important to speak with an Indiana medical malpractice attorney if you are considering filing a claim for damages after the death of a loved one.

Often, the hospital, clinic or physician’s office, as well as the doctor or nurses may be named in a claim for wrongful death damages. Of course, this will depend on the exact details of the case and the kind of negligence that occurred. Filing a wrongful death claim for medical malpractice is very different from filing other types of wrongful death claims involving personal injury. When medical malpractice is involved, the law makes it more difficult for plaintiffs to claim damages against a healthcare provider.

Your claim will be subjected to a screening before it is filed. The screening will probe the merits of your case. Medical experts will be called in to determine whether negligence did indeed occur in your loved one’s case. In order to prove that the healthcare provider in your loved one’s case was negligent, you will also need an expert who will be able to establish that the doctor did indeed deviate from the acceptable reasonable standards of care for that particular condition, and in that particular situation.

downward tredsSome statistics seem to point to a clear trend: A decrease in the number of persons dying in hospitals since healthcare reform laws went into effect. It is too early to say, however, whether this drop is significant enough to matter and whether it points to a continual drop in fatalities in the future.

According to statistics in a new government report recently released, hospitals across the country have been able to reduce the rates of medical errors occurring in their facilities. Since 2010, they have been able to save approximately 87,000 patient lives. The report released by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality says that it is difficult to point out to the exact reasons for this drop in fatalities. The report also falls short of predicting a continuance of the drop in the future. In fact, according to the statistics, progress in preventing patient fatalities seems to have stalled in the past year.

However, some experts believe that the provisions contained in the Affordable Care Act have contributed to a decline in patient fatalities overall. According to these experts, the Affordable Care Act has given hospitals an incentive to eliminate the rate of medical errors, because hospitals that show good results in preventing patient injuries and fatalities are rewarded for their performance.

checklist 0837A number of hospitals have established policies that are specifically aimed at reducing preventable medical errors in their facilities. That is good news for patients and families who receive their care in these hospitals. However, new statistics released by the Leapfrog Group indicate that more progress must be made in educating hospitals about the importance of reducing errors and protecting patients.

According to Leapfrog, as many as one in five hospitals in the United States have failed to establish a policy that would require the hospital to reduce the number of medical errors that occur in the facility. This means that nearly 80% of hospitals have failed to comply with the group’s standard for the prevention of medical errors and patient safety.  This number remained consistent between 2012 and 2014, the most current data available.

These statistics are not the only problems related to hospital compliance that Leapfrog has observed. According to the report, as many as one in six hospitals in the United States have high central line-associated infection rates.  One-in-ten hospitals have a very poor record in the prevention of catheter-associated urinary tract infections.  These are two of the most common infections that patients acquire in a hospital, and they are linked to much lengthier hospitalization stays, and even higher fatalities.

The failure of hospitals to implement safety measures is an unfortunate reality and one which places many Indiana patients and families at an on-going risk.  The Leapfrog organization provides up-to-date information for any hospital who agrees to participate.  Cities like New York and San Francisco have valuable information on their hospitals.  Amazingly, not one hospital in Indianapolis has provided data to the Leapfrog program.

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pressure%20cuff%200832210.jpgThere’s no denying that medical devices have made life safer and healthier for many of us. The devices accomplish a number of invaluable functions and have become more sophisticated with each passing year. However, many are still not designed to share data with other devices in the environment, requiring nurses and other healthcare personnel to manually enter the data into the devices and electronic medical records. That extra step in documentation increases the risk of medical errors.

In a new study of nurses, an overwhelming majority of them admitted that they believed medical errors could be reduced significantly if devices were made to communicate with one another. As many as 74% of the nurses in the study believed that it was extremely burdensome for them to manually coordinate data from these devices. About half of the nurses admitted that they have personally seen medical errors occurring because of this lack of device interoperability.
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