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Pittsburgh Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Holding negligent doctors responsible for fatal errors

When residents in Pennsylvania require medical attention sue to an injury, illness or a disease, the person had put a lot of trust in the health care professional caring for them. And while patients rely on the diagnosis and treatment plans of their doctors and surgeons, medical professionals may make an error. These medical mistakes could cause a patient to suffer additional medical issues or even worsen their condition, risking the person's life.

At Rosen, Louik & Perry, PC, our attorneys understand that some patients are victims of fatal medical errors. These unfortunate and traumatic situations often leave family members in a complex and challenging situation. If people believe that their family member is a victim of a fatal medical error, it is important to have a legal team on their side, helping them fully understand their situation.

What are the risks of a C-section?

Expecting mothers in Pennsylvania often develop a birth plan. This not only focuses on the needs of the soon-to-be mother, but also provides the mother some calm and ease as the birth nears. And while some birth plans go as planned, unexpected issues can occur. These issues can alter the plan or even lead to errors in the birthing process.

Whether a mother plans for a Cesarean section or not, this birthing process presents many risks for medical errors. What are the risks of a C-section? While risks are present to the mother because a C-section is considered a major surgery, a C-section poses several risks to a newborn infant as well.

Cosmetic surgery can cause serious injury

Some Pittsburgh residents fantasize about getting plastic surgery. Everyone seems to have something they want to erase on their bodies, like their love handles, larger (or smaller) breasts or maybe a facelift. Although thousands of people undergo cosmetic surgery each year without any lingering side effects, a surgical error can still occur that causes serious injuries.

Cosmetic surgery is something that many women and men consider at some point in their life. In 2014 there were over 285,000 breast augmentations done just in the United States. And the top non-surgical beauty treatment was Botox injections, with over 6.7 million people receiving this treatment. But many of these procedures come with risks that can result in a serious injury, worsened condition or even death.

Improper care leads to worsened condition for cat bite victim

Many Pittsburgh residents have pets. Dogs, cats, birds, reptiles are all popular animals and companions for a great majority of people. But occasionally these animals lash out at their human caregivers and cause a serious injury. A woman is suing a Michigan hospital for medical malpractice, alleging they did not properly treat her and failed to diagnose her condition.

The woman was bitten by a cat in 2013 on her hand. She was caring for her sister's cat, which was an unneutered male, when another cat entered the garage where the cat was. The cats got in a fight and the woman got bit by one of the cats. She developed an infection from the bite and went to Covenant Hospital in Saginaw three times where she was given antibiotics and referred to a hand surgeon. She had three appointments with the hand surgeon and x-rays were taken. The x-rays showed lesions on her hand bones. She then went to the emergency room at U-M where she spent 12 hours in the ER in significant pain with a fever. She was eventually admitted and treated for osteomyelitis, cellulitis, rashes, anemia and renal failure. She credits the infectious disease department for saving her arm.

Medication errors are common and can be serious

When a Pittsburgh resident has to go to the hospital, he or she generally has a serious health concern. Hospitals are designed to help patients with serious medical conditions get better. But sometimes a patient can suffer additional injuries like medication errors when they are in the hospital.

There are many ways a patient can suffer from a medication error while in the hospital. There is no typical medication error, and they can happen to anyone. Some examples of medication errors include a patient receiving the wrong medication, the wrong dosage can be given to a patient, a patient can be given more of a drug than was intended or a patient is given someone else's medication.

Women can suffer serious injuries giving birth

Although the birth of a baby is often an exciting time for new parents in Pittsburgh, there can be serious medical issues that can arise. When there is a failure to diagnose a serious childbirth injury, a woman can suffer from a worsened condition.

Childbirth is generally a safe event, but surprisingly up to 15 percent of women suffer some kind of pelvic injury. The act of childbirth is quite traumatic for the body, and pelvic injuries can take months to recover from. One such pelvic injury is when there is a pelvic muscle tear where the muscle partially or even fully detaches from the pubic bone. There can even be fractures. Many doctors don't realize when a woman has suffered a more serious injury, and instead may direct the woman to perform kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles.

Victims of surgical errors may seek legal help

When a Pittsburgh resident has to undergo surgery it can be a traumatic experience. No one wants to go through surgery, because there can be many risks involved. Most surgeries go as planned, but occasionally a surgical error occurs.

A surgical error can affect a person's life forever. There are many different mistakes that can be made before, during or after a surgery. A failure to monitor a patient's status is a common mistake that has devastating consequences. Anesthesia may not be administered properly. A patient's level of oxygen may go too low. This can lead to many complications, including brain damage and death. After surgery, a medical professional can fail to monitor how the patient is doing. This can lead to undiscovered blood clots, infections and heart and respiratory problems.

Blindness after surgical errors can be devastating

Pittsburgh patients know that there are risks that are involved with surgery. But not all risks are disclosed, and surgical errors can occur. One such risk is blindness that can occur after a number of surgeries for the spine, heart, head or neck.

Blindness after surgery, also known as postoperative vision loss, is a serious condition that can be devastating to patients and their families. It happens when there is significant blood loss during surgery. When there is not enough blood supplied to the optic nerves it can become susceptible to permanent injury. This can occur from low blood pressure or a lack of oxygen in the blood. For medical malpractice cases, this may come from not having adequate blood transfusions during surgery, not monitoring blood pressure, not keeping the patient's head above their heart and failure to monitor massive blood loss after surgery.

Elements of negligence needed for a wrongful death case

Pittsburgh residents don't expect their family member will become the victim of medical malpractice. When a person goes to the doctor they expect that they will get answers about what's wrong and hopefully a way to make it better. But when a doctor makes a mistake it can lead to a serious injury or even death.

When a family believes there has been a doctor mistake that led to their loved one's death there are elements that need to be present in order to bring a negligence claim. The plaintiff must prove four elements of negligence are present. The first element is duty. This is where the plaintiff shows that the defendant owed them a duty of care. A doctor would owe a patient duty of care because they provide competent medical care.

Reducing birth injuries, medical errors through practice

Pittsburgh parents-to-be are full of excitement and trepidation for the upcoming birth of their baby. Most births go as planned but occasionally a birth does not go as expected. These can lead to some scary moments in the delivery room and even a birth injury.

The University of Pennsylvania Hospital has started to implement simulations of high risk complications that can occur in childbirth and other scenarios. By having medical professionals practice ahead of time it can give them an opportunity to learn without hurting a patient. For example, excessive blood loss is one of the leading causes of death for new mothers if it is not stopped in time. Practicing for this hemorrhage allows doctors and nurses to practice communicating among providers in quick and efficient way. Other hospitals across the country use the simulations as well.

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Rosen Louik Perry, P.C. Pittsburgh
412-281-4200 1-800-243-5297