Pittsburgh Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Surgical errors happen during Pennsylvania robotic surgery

Over the last several years, robotic surgery has become increasingly popular in the Pittsburgh area. Most Pittsburgh residents have heard of this type of surgery, and many have opted for it for their own procedures. But, there are risks of surgical errors involved with the surgery that have led to injuries and deaths.

Recently, robotic surgery has seen widespread adoption among the medical community. It is frequently used for minimally invasive surgery, and the benefits can include less post-operative pain, shorter hospital stays, less scarring and higher accuracy rate. It is a popular option for performing routine surgeries, including hysterectomies and colorectal surgeries, and with more complicated heart and brain surgery.

A birth injury can affect a Pennsylvania family forever

Thousands of Pittsburgh families welcome a new addition into their family each year. Pittsburgh has some of the finest obstetrical care available in the world. Most babies are born healthy, and go home just a few days later. But, occasionally, an unexpected birth injury occurs, which can cause serious and permanent injuries.

There are many different birth injuries that can occur. Birth injuries can come from the medical provider failing to monitor the baby who is in distress. This can result in the baby not being delivered in a timely manner, and the baby then suffers from a severe brain injury or even death. Other birth injuries can occur during the delivery. If a baby is forced out and his shoulders are hurt, it can lead to Erb's palsy. Erb's palsy can result in years of therapy for the baby to have his arms and hands working properly. Cerebral palsy can also happen in newborns, and the brain damage may not show up for months following the birth.

Can a Pennsylvania caesarian section lead to birth injuries?

Expectant parents in the Pittsburgh area usually spend time thinking about their delivery options for their newborn. Some parents opt for a natural birth, while others choose a planned caesarian section (C-section) for the delivery process. Still, others who plan for a vaginal delivery run into complications that require an unplanned caesarian section. Although a caesarian section is one of the most performed surgeries in the U.S., there are still birth injuries that can occur.

A C-section birth injury can happen in two different ways. One way is if a C-section was not performed or the delay caused injury to the baby. This can occur if a medical provider misses the signs of fetal distress, preeclampsia, a uterine rupture or other serious problem that is occurring. When a C-section is not performed promptly, it can result in the death of the baby or a serious brain injury.

Cancer doctor sentenced to 45 years

Pittsburgh residents enjoy access to phenomenal medical care. Most patients receive accurate diagnosis and accurate treatment. But, a troubling story has emerged from a nearby state where a doctor has been convicted of failing to diagnose cancer in his patients among other egregious actions.

The cancer doctor was sentenced this past Friday to 45 years in prison for Medicare fraud, money laundering and conspiracy to pay or receive kickbacks. The doctor had over 500 patients who received unnecessary cancer treatments. The doctor would tell patients they had cancer and then treat them for it, even though they did not. He would also over treat his patients that actually had cancer.

Who can be sued in a Pennsylvania medical malpractice case?

Pittsburgh residents generally receive excellent medical care. But, when negligence occurs, like the failure to diagnose a medical condition, and a patient is injured, what can be done? A medical malpractice lawsuit can help the family recoup some compensation for their ordeal.

In a medical malpractice lawsuit, who are the parties that can be sued? One party that can be sued is the hospital. The hospital can be held liable for the negligence of their employees. If an employee has not received adequate training, or if the hospital does not ensure that the hospital employee's education training and licensure is up-to-date and accurate, they can be held liable. They can also be held liable if they do not provide adequate staffing. A hospital can be held vicariously liable for an employee, if the person who caused the negligent act is an employee of the hospital. In addition to the hospital the doctors, anesthesiologists, pharmaceutical company and nurses can all be held liable.

Radiation dosage error injures patients

Most Pittsburgh residents will undergo cancer treatment that includes radiation or will have family member go through the process. Cancer is a scary diagnosis and treatment is often specialized for each patient and their unique situation. Radiation is often used as part of the treatment plan but medication errors can cause serious issues for cancer patients.

A hospital in Minnesota is under scrutiny after several patients have reported errors with their radiation treatment. The hospital in St. Cloud has been reported as giving too much or too little radiation to cancer patients. One patient was being treated for a tumor of her spine. The radiation was not fired correctly and damaged healthy part of her spine. She now needs to use a walker as there is no way to reverse the damage. Other patients have been affected as well including one woman who did not receive enough of the treatment that was originally prescribed to her. The errors were come into question when employees of the radiation department contacted the Minnesota Health Department with their concerns.

Time limits apply to medical malpractice cases

Pittsburgh residents enjoy a great quality of life and wonderful medical care. Most medical providers provide expert care to their patients and are able to solve their medical concerns. But occasionally a patient suffers from a doctor mistake and medical malpractice is brought into question.

Medical malpractice can happen in a number of different ways. Surgical errors can occur in even the most basic surgery. Doctors can write prescriptions for the wrong prescription or they can fail to detect cancer, heart disease, a stroke or other serious conditions. A medical provider may not properly monitor their patient causing even more harm and even death. The loss of a loved one because of medical malpractice can affect a family forever.

What are brachial plexus birth injuries?

Pittsburgh parents expecting a baby are filled with joy. The anticipated arrival of a newborn is one of the highlights of a family's experience together. But, occasionally a birth injury taints the birth experience and causes serious injury to the newborn. One such injury is a brachial plexus injury.

Neonatal hypoglycemia can be very serious for newborn babies

Pittsburgh residents who are expecting a baby are very excited for the upcoming birth and new addition to their family. Most births go as expected, with the newborn joining their family at home in a few days. But occasionally a birth injury occurs that can cause an unexpected serious injury.

Neonatal hypoglycemia is a condition that affects newborns. These newborn babies have low blood sugar which usually shows up within a few hours of birth. Babies have an increased risk of hypoglycemia if they are fed more than six hours after birth, if they are born premature, if they are born too small or too large, or if their mother has type 1, type 2 or gestational diabetes. A simple blood test can check for hypoglycemia. If the doctor fails to screen for hypoglycemia and the baby's blood sugar stays low for a period of time their brain can be affected. The long-term effects can include learning and vision problems, delayed motor skills and delayed speech.

Overprescribing pain medication can have serious consequences

Many Pittsburgh residents will need a prescription pain medication at least once in their lives. Surgery, injuries and other circumstances can lead to a person needing pain medication. Doctors have the responsibility to provide these medications in an accurate and appropriate manner. Most of the time this happens, but occasionally medication errors occur.

Most doctors agree that there is a problem with the overuse of prescription pain medication but the majority believe they themselves do not overprescribe the medication. The National Institute on Drug Abuse has shown that between 2000 and 2010 the use of prescription drugs has nearly doubled in the U.S. The drugs lead to abuse and addiction for many patients. These painkillers include hydrocodone, codeine, morphine and oxycodone. The drugs work by blocking the feeling of pain for patients but they can also lead to withdrawal symptoms, cravings and mood swings.

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