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Pittsburgh Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Previously dismissed medical malpractice case granted a trial

With the court system, there are often several steps that determine the path of a medical malpractice claim. Ideally, a person brings their claim to court where a favorable outcome is reached the first time. However, admittedly, it isn't always that quick and easy. Sometimes, appeals or denied motions can stand in the way.

However, the result of a recent medical malpractice claim is proof that those affected by medical malpractice shouldn't give up. The victim filed suit against the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center over complications after a spinal surgery. The case was originally dismissed by a lower court when it mistakenly found in favor of the defendant. The issues in the suit were bifurcated by the higher court to allow the real issue of medical negligence to be heard.

Peripheral nerve damage is a very serious issue

The burning, searing pain of nerve damage isn't something that can be ignored. Thinking beyond the pain of this issue, you can see that there are important, life-altering impacts that can make each day more challenging.

There are some instances in which nerve damage can come from medical malpractice. It can come from improper procedures during a surgery, traumatic injuries, improperly managed diabetes or exposure to toxins. No matter what the cause of peripheral nerve damage, finding relief is a priority.

Can a doctor be held responsible for prescription errors?

Prescription drugs are a regular part of life for many people in the Allegheny County area. Whether they are used to abate symptoms of illness or injury or as a near cure, prescription medication is a huge part of life for many people. The thing with prescription medication, though is that it must be accurately prescribed. Any error made in the prescription or dosage of medication can result in unnecessary injuries.

If you suspect that you or a loved one was injured due to an error made in prescribing or dosing medication, it is important to understand your options. A prescription could be written and prescribed for the wrong amount or for a drug that should never have been prescribed to begin with. A medical professional should be made aware of all medications a patient is taking. This is to minimize any unexpected side effects that could occur due to mixing medications.

A medical misdiagnosis can leave long-lasting, irreparable injury

While the average person may understand when something isn't quite right with their body, they may not be able to pinpoint exactly what isn't right. This is why we often seek the help of medical professionals to help us better understand what is going on with our body and health. Because of their medical status, physicians and other medical professionals are expected to uphold a duty of care with their patients. A misdiagnosis could breach this responsibility and cause irreparable injury.

Misdiagnosis is a situation where a person is given a diagnosis for a condition or injury that is incorrect. Sometimes symptoms can point to a number of different potential diagnoses, so it is a health care professional's responsibility to diagnose the person with the correct illness or injury. While this cannot always be prevented, a healthcare professional is expected to uphold a standard of care comparable to their colleagues under similar circumstances. Failure to do this could point to negligence related to misdiagnosis.

C-section errors can result in injury to mom and baby

Delivery by caesarean section is nearly as common in the United States as traditional births, which leads many people to think it is a simple procedure. It is not. Thinking that a c-section is not a serious surgical operation is incorrect, and one should not undermine the serious nature of the procedure. Also, one should note the possible unwanted side effects that a c-section could have on mother and baby. For the unlucky ones that do experience a surgical accident or other unwanted side effect due to a c-section delivery, there may be more to the story.

It's possible that a c-section surgical accident could have occurred due to doctor or hospital negligence. An accident could happen during the procedure itself, upon finishing up the procedure, or the C-section may have been ordered late when a failure to diagnose a condition in a timely manner forces one at the last possible moment. An inability to plan for a c-section delivery could easily cause unnecessary injury to mother or baby. Understanding if negligence played a role is key to seeking damages.

PA supreme court upholds extended statute of limitations

If a loved one has been injured or even killed by negligent health care, it's tough to think about anything else. The pain and hardship this can put on an Allegheny family is unmatched. Most medical care is top notch; however, a percentage of patients do experience injury or even death. A recent medical malpractice case in which the statute of limitations was challenged was upheld by the Pennsylvania's highest court.

The defendant in the case, in which a woman suffered terrible and unnecessary ulcers that resulted in her premature death, argued that the appellate court erred in its judgment. The appellate court found that the plaintiff was within the extended statute of limitations, which gives a family two years to file a medical malpractice suit after a loved one's death. However, when this judgment was appealed, the PA supreme court upheld the appellate court's original verdict.

Avoid injury by taking properly prescribed medication

Thinking about the treatment options for injured or ill, many think of medication in the form of pills. There are many illnesses or injuries that are often prescribed medication in a pill form, either to help with curing or maintaining the symptoms of a person's injury or illness. It's amazing the impact that a medication can have on our ill or injured selves, it can really make a difference for a person who is suffering. However, being prescribed the wrong medication or dosage can be a disaster.

Many might think that little pills couldn't be that destructive to themselves or loved ones. However, that isn't true, even though medications are often little, they are mighty. Medications may be prescribed for a variety of ailments, however, each person has a specific dosage and instructions for taking prescribed medication in order to best approach their ailment or situation. Being prescribed the wrong medication, or the wrong dosage, can have disastrous effects.

How prevalent are birth injuries?

It's an expectant parent's worst nightmare. Something has happened that has injured or otherwise harmed your unborn child or to your child during childbirth. There can be a lot of confusion and stress surrounding these injuries. Oftentimes, birth injuries are not expected or anticipated and can happen very quickly, forever impacting your child's life.

It's estimated that for every 1000 babies, 5 will be injured during birth. Birth injuries can occur when the mother takes prescription drugs while she is pregnant or when a doctor does not recognize and address complications that exist during a woman's pregnancy or delivery. Depending on a doctor's duty of care, the medication or methods they use during the pregnancy or birth and even how their actions compare to what another doctor would have done in the same situation could be the basis for a medical malpractice cause of action.

Medical malpractice law, an overview from origin to today

When it comes to the law, we know that it doesn't always line up with what we expect. Why is that? Well most of U.S. law is based on the centuries old 'common law' principles. These principles may seem antiquated today but really they have been updated for our society and values. How has this shaped the face of medical malpractice law today?

Doctors and other medical professionals and health care facilities are expected to uphold a standard of care. This is because they owe a responsibility to their patients to operate at a certain level. Humans aren't perfect and neither are organizations, so sometimes things happen that can injure patients utilizing healthcare. Thus medical malpractice law exists to fill in the grey area between criminal acts and negligent acts that result in injury.

Trial underway, accusations of negligence against PA nursing home

Making the decision to put a loved one in a nursing home is a tough one. A loved one's failing health is often the reason behind seeking the care that a nursing home or assisted living facility can offer. Scary accusations of negligence and even wrongful death in these facilities make people even more wary of them.

The truth is that most experiences in nursing homes are positive ones. However, one Pennsylvania nursing home resident did not have this experience and was fatally injured, allege his estate. The man was soft spoken, a veteran and a nature lover and his family and estate are seeking justice for what they believe to be a wrongful death on behalf of a PA nursing home.

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