Archive for March, 2014

Types of Misdiagnoses That Result in Medical Malpractice

March 27th, 2014 at 3:51 pm

misdiagnosis, medical malpractice, Westport attorney, Westport malpractice lawyer, It can be difficult to determine whether or not you qualify for a medical malpractice suit. Medical malpractice, however, is an epidemic in America—according to the Journal of the American Medical Association and as reported by Forbes, “medical negligence is the third leading cause of death in the U.S.—right behind heart disease and cancer.” While it might be difficult to prove medical malpractice, payouts for these types of suits still totaled over $3 billion in 2012, amounting to one average payout nationwide every 43 minutes. This statistic can be misleading. According to Forbes, “only 15 percent of the personal-injury lawsuits filed annually involve medical-malpractice claims, and more than 80 percent of those lawsuits end with no payment whatsoever to the injured patient or their survivors.”

At its worst, medical malpractice brings to mind tools left in patients’ bodies, or infectious, deadly diseases transmitted because hospital staff forgot to wash hands. Yet the leading cause of medical malpractice is actually much more benign. According to a study out of Johns Hopkins last spring and as reported in the Village Voice, more than 30 percent of all medical malpractice payouts were for misdiagnosis. The lead researcher of the study said in a press release that, “this is more evidence that diagnostic errors could easily be the biggest patient safety and medical malpractice problem in the United States.”

To combat this, in 2006, according to the Wall Street Journal, Kaiser Permanente joined forces with the Veterans Administration to promote “system wide initiatives aimed at the most common lapses in the diagnostic process.” The most common instances of misdiagnosis arise from incidents that include (but are not limited to):

  • The creation of proper follow-up care plans;
  • Failure to obtain complete medical histories;
  • Failure to perform physical exams adequately;
  • Failure to order the correct type of tests. 

If you suspect that you have been the victim of medical malpractice in Westport, the most important step is to seek the counsel of an attorney. Contact the law office of Richard H. Raphael for a free consultation today.

Birth Injuries in Connecticut a Result of Medical Malpractice

March 22nd, 2014 at 12:13 pm

birth injury, medical malpractice, personal injury, hospital negligence, lawyer, attorneyProving that an injury that occurred during birth is a result of medical malpractice can be a difficult and frustrating process. If you suspect that your child may have suffered an injury due to doctor or hospital negligence, the most important thing you can do is to contact a medical malpractice lawyer. According to, a non-profit that provides support to families who have been affected by a birth injury, states that the most common types of birth injury are brachial plexus injury and cerebral palsy. Birth injuries can refer to either those suffered by the mother or the baby.

The brachial plexus is a bundle of nerves that beings at the base of the neck, according to “There are two common systems used to classify or describe different kinds of brachial plexus injuries,” reports “The simplest uses the severity of the injury from least to greatest: (1) stretch, (2) rupture and (3) avulsion.” Many times stretch injuries heal quickly and can often result in a full recovery. Avulsion, conversely, is the most serious type of brachial plexus birth injury and can result in immobility or even lack of growth in a leg. “The only known cause of avulsion injuries is extreme traction (pulling) applied to the brachial plexus,” reports

Cerebral palsy refers to a series of brain injuries that can occur as a result of medical malpractice during the birthing process. “Cerebral palsy is a non-progressive impairment of your child’s motor functions which causes physical disability as your child develops,” reports.

According to the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP), in 2006 there were nearly 157,700 birth injuries that occurred to either the mother or baby, which could have been avoided. Injuries were more common for baby boys than girls.

If you or someone you know was affected by a birth injury in Westport, you are likely eligible for compensation. Contact Richard H. Raphael Attorney at Law today.

CT Scans Increase Risk of Cancer

March 14th, 2014 at 12:58 pm

CT scan, cancer, carcinogen, lawyer, attorney, medical malpractice, Westport, The New York Times recently reported on the enormous increase in the use of medical imaging and the impact that increase has had in the number of cancer deaths in the last two decades.

Cancer is the number two cause of death in the United States, but it is quickly catching up to and may soon surpass the leading cause of death – heart disease. Medical imaging – particularly CT scans – exposes the patient to high doses of radiation. According to the Mayo Clinic, a CT scan performs by    combining “a series of X-ray views taken from many different angles and computer processing to create cross-sectional images of the bones and soft tissues inside your body.”

The radiation from a CT scan (also referred to as a cat scan) is 100 to 1,000 times higher than X-rays. Many doctors have always concluded that the benefits of using CT scans for diagnostic purposes far exceeded the risks of that exposure. Today, however, in a 2009 study, the National Council on Radiation Protection & Measurements (NCRP) reported that there will be an extra 29,000 cases of cancer caused from CT scans performed in the year 2007. And 14,500 of those cancer cases will be terminal.

In another study, the NCRP also reports that in 1980 there were 3 million scans performed. Today, there are 62 million CT scans performed annually.

The correlation between the radiation in CT scans and cancer has been documented in several studies. Just one CT scan exposes a person to enough radiation that could cause cancer and has been compared as the same amount of radiation exposure as people were exposed to in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, many who later died of cancer.

Research has also revealed that children are even more at risk than adults. They are three times more likely to develop brain cancer or leukemia from CT scan radiation exposure.

Medical experts say that better guidelines and standards need to be established on the use of medical imaging. They also say that better oversight is needed. Currently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is only responsible of the approval of scanners, but does not have any jurisdiction on how they are used.

If you have suffered injuries or illness brought on by medical error, contact a qualified Westport medical malpractice attorney today to find out what kind of civil options you may have for pain and loss.

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