Pittsburgh Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Woman gets permanent brain injury as result of negligent doctor

Many Pittsburgh residents will be under the care of a physician this year. Doctors are among the most trusted members of our society and provide a necessary service. They help thousands of people each year with minor illnesses, serious injuries and everything in between. But occasionally a physician can be found to be negligent as is the case with a physician who failed to monitor his patient.

A woman in Ohio received a multi-million dollar settlement recently when a jury found the physician who treated her in the hospital was negligent in his care towards her. The woman suffered permanent brain damage when the physician failed to monitor her blood sugar levels while she was in the hospital. Her blood sugar levels dropped to dangerous lows, causing permanent brain injury. Now she requires around-the-clock care and can no longer live independently or work. The jury found the physician negligent in his care and awarded the guardian of the victim over $8 million.

A surgical site infection can be serious

Thousands of Pittsburgh residents will undergo surgery this year. These surgeries are medically necessary for many people and will hopefully bring them a better quality of life. One unexpected outcome of a surgery is a surgical site infection that can lead to a worsened condition, extended hospital stay and even death.

A surgical site infection can cause serious complications in a patient. After a patient has emerged from surgery there are signs that should be watched for that can indicate there is a problem. These warning signs include swelling and pain, pus draining or a bad smell at the surgical site. Red lines may also be seen coming from the site or the patient may have a fever. Any of these symptoms can indicate there is an infection.

What are some signs and symptoms of cerebral palsy?

For Pittsburgh parents the birth of a baby is the highlight of their lives. This much anticipated event brings much joy and purpose to the family. But occasionally the birth can be clouded in unexpected sorrow when a birth injury affects the newborn.

One birth injury that can occur with a newborn is cerebral palsy. It is a movement disorder that causes impaired movement and other problems with functional abilities. Cerebral palsy is caused by brain damage. It can occur from random mutations, maternal infections and other illnesses, fetal stroke, lack of oxygen during delivery and other circumstances.

Failure to diagnose stroke can have serious consequences

Pittsburgh emergency rooms see thousands of patients each year with stroke complications. Most of these patients are older when they suffer from a stroke, but people who are under the age of 50 may also have a stroke.

When younger people present themselves at the ER with stroke symptoms, they may frequently be misdiagnosed. When these people are seen by doctors, the doctor may not first think that they are suffering from a stroke. The symptoms include feeling numb in places like the face or arm or over the side of one's body, feeling confused, struggling to speak, feeling dizzy, headaches and dizziness. Emergency room doctors have misdiagnosed these patients with alcohol intoxication, seizure, inner ear disorders and other ailments that were incorrect.

Facility where surgery took place may be liable for doctor error

Thousands of Pittsburgh residents have surgery every year. Most of these surgeries go as planned, but occasionally a surgical error occurs. When this unexpected event happens, patients often hold the surgeons accountable. But, it may also be possible to hold the facility where the surgery took place accountable as well.

Vicarious liability is holding the facility that retains a negligent medical provider on its staff responsible for its actions. It involves using a legal theory called "respondeat superior,r" which holds an employer liable for the actions of its employees. An employer may be held liable for vicarious liability if a few things are true. First, the injury to the patient needs to have occurred while the employee was working. Second, the injury to the patient needs to be caused by an activity that the negligent medical provider was hired to perform. And third, the employer needs to have benefitted from some way from the actions that were performed by the employee.

Woman receives cancerous pancreas transplant and later dies

Organ transplants are miracles of modern medicine. Thousands of patients across the United States have a second chance at life each year when they receive a transplant. In Pittsburgh many people are saved each year because someone gave the gift of life when they passed away. But a tragic story has come to light regarding an organ transplant that went wrong and caused an unexpected death.

A family in Minnesota is grieving the loss of a young mother after the pancreas she received was found to have cancer. In 2007 the woman received the pancreas from a 15-year-old donor. The organization who procured the organ said that the organ donor had died from what was believed to be bacterial meningitis.

Children especially prone to medication errors

Pittsburgh parents are usually well-versed in prescription medication for their children. That's because they get a lot of practice from their kids' picking up illnesses at school and collecting injuries on the playground. Many times these illnesses require medication.

If so, it is important to make sure that child medication dosages are accurate when they're given to the child. Usually the medication dosage is based on the child's weight, which can vary dramatically among children. These variations make it easier to give out the wrong dosage. And a child's small size makes them more sensitive to dosage errors. Together, these factors make medication errors especially dangerous for children.

Do you need a medical malpractice attorney?

Almost all Pittsburgh residents use a medical provider every year. Doctors are an important part of families' lives as they keep them healthy and help them recover from illness and injury. But sometimes things go wrong and these doctors make a mistake that puts a patient in a worsened condition.

Do you need a medical malpractice attorney? There are some situations where you may want to consider speaking with one. First, if you received a wrong diagnosis. The failure to diagnose a condition is a common error for medical providers. If a doctor fails to diagnose you with cancer it can result in you not receiving treatment in a timely manner.

New video service may help with patient instructions

For many Pittsburgh residents, health care looks a lot different now than it did for our grandparents. The personal, individualized service that people used to receive has been replaced by medical providers who are stretched to the limit. Many times patients just feel like a number and often wonder if the doctor is doing the right thing.

When doctors interact with their patients they can do so quickly and give out so much information that patients may not remember it all. This is especially true for those who are coming out of a procedure that used anesthesia. Many times doctors give these patients important instructions and much of it is not retained by the patient. For many patients only 10 percent of the information that is given to them is retained.

Woman who broke hip in hospital sues for medical malpractice

When a Pittsburgh resident goes into the hospital they don't expect to come out in even worse shape. But that is the case for a woman who broke her hip while under hospital care. We expect hospitals to take good care of us and our loved ones but occasionally hospital errors occur along with a failure to diagnose.

A 90-year-old woman in Louisiana broke her hip while in the hospital for other circumstances. The woman was admitted to the hospital for hallucinations related to dementia. She was considered a fall risk yet the hospital allegedly allowed her to fall while she was in their care. As a result of the fall, she has had to undergo surgery. She is suing the hospital for physical pain and suffering, medical expenses, physical therapy, and other damages.

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