Pittsburgh Medical Malpractice Law Blog

What are 'never events' in the medical environment?

Going to the doctor can be a stressful experience for any patient, whether they are going in for routine care or are undergoing a specific medical procedure. People generally understand that there is no guarantee that an operation or treatment will be completely effective and safe, but we should be able to expect that medical staff will provide a reasonable level of care.

While this is often the case, there are instances when doctor, nurse or other medical worker fails to take this responsibility seriously and ends up making a catastrophic error. In certain situations, these grievous mistakes are referred to as "never events," because they are so preventable and dangerous that they should never happen in any hospital room. If you have suffered as a result of one of these events, which we will detail in this post, it can be crucial to explore your legal options.

Birth injuries affecting the head and brain

Many women who are in labor don't assume that there will be complications during the birth that might injure the baby. When those types of birth injuries do occur, parents often look to medical professionals for reassurance that their baby will lead a normal life despite the injuries. Sadly, some birth injuries lead to life-long complications that can mar the child's ability to lead a normal life. While serious birth injuries aren't as common as they were decades ago, Pennsylvania parents should be aware of their rights if their child is injured during birth.

Because the head is usually the first body part in the birth canal, birth injuries to the brain or head might occur. For some infants, an intracranial hemorrhage, or bleeding in the brain, occurs. In some cases, bleeding in the brain is caused by lack of oxygen during delivery. It can also be caused by skull bone deformities. Bleeding in the brain is very serious, in part because there aren't usually symptoms associated with it. Some infants might experience seizures, lethargy or poor feeding if they are suffering from this.

Endometriosis Treatment Leaves Burns from Surgical Errors

Endometriosis is a disorder in which tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus (the endometrium) grows outside of the uterus. This endometrial tissue can grow into the ovaries, bowel or other tissue which lines the female pelvis. Endometriosis can cause severe pain, particularly during menstruation and also during intercourse.

Surgical Errors

Endometriosis is a disorder in which tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus (the endometrium) grows outside of the uterus. This endometrial tissue can grow into the ovaries, bowel or other tissue which lines the female pelvis. Endometriosis can cause severe pain, particularly during menstruation and also during intercourse.

What are some common surgical errors to be aware of?

Many people in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, worry that they are going to suffer from various mistakes when they go into surgery. While most surgeries are performed without issue, it is still a good idea to be aware of some of the more common surgical errors that may come about. This way, you can know what legal steps to take if something like this ever happens to you.

On the top of the list is the issue of having the surgery done on the wrong part of the body. For instance, when going in to have a torn ligament in your right knee repaired, a mistake on the doctor's orders could lead him to operate on the left knee instead.

Doctor facing hundreds of cases for surgical errors, malpractice

The Mid Hudson Medical Group used to employ a doctor who is now at the forefront of around 250 different cases involving medical malpractice. The doctor has already been convicted in a case involving fraud, admitting his own guilt. As a result, he is being kept in a prison in Pennsylvania, and he has to pay $5 million to the government.

However, even with that case behind him, the malpractice cases are still coming in. He was cleared in a single case, but more than 200 of them remain.

Insomnia Medication Errors from Medical Negligence

Physicians examine and treat patients with sleep disorders, insomnia in particular, on a daily basis. Insomnia is typically defined as difficulty initiating and maintaining sleep which causes a negative impact on a person's quality of life and prevents the person from performing normal tasks. Often, insomnia is present in individuals who suffer from depression and/or anxiety. It can also be caused as a result of an individual who has pain emanating from some kind of injury or condition. Research indicates that as many as 70% of our population has some form of insomnia.

Failure to diagnose cervical cancer demands legal action

Most woman have gone through a PAP smear as part of an annual gynecological examination. This test is the best screening tool for cervical cancer that women have access to on a regular basis. Medical care standards state that any woman who is at least 18 years old should have one of these tests each year regardless of whether she is sexually active. Simply having a PAP smear, however, doesn't necessarily mean that the woman will be properly diagnosed when problems are present.

For women who aren't diagnosed early, cervical cancer can be life-threatening. In fact, early detection is one of the factors that is responsible for the decline in cervical cancer mortality. In terms of cancer mortality, cervical cancer ranks sixth today. Before 1940, however, it was the leading cause of death from a malignancy in women.

New technique could buy more time for reviving the recently dead

There may be no better place than Pittsburgh to have a brush with death -- at least according to David Casarett, an author and associate professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. In a recent interview with Wired, the scholar discussed his new book on the topic of resuscitating the recently deceased and the ethical issues that this can involve.

Fatal medical errors are in decline, but still shockingly common

Nearly half a million people per year die as a result of preventable medical errors such as improper monitoring, adverse drug interactions, infections and surgical error. As dire as this may sound, however, experts say that the situation is improving.

A report published last year in the Journal of Patient Safety estimated that 440,000 preventable deaths occur each year due to medical mistakes and negligence. The good news is that, according to a survey released this spring, nearly one out of every three U.S. hospitals has improved its performance by 10 percent or more since 2012. 

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