Archive for the ‘Hospital’ Category

Hospitalized Children Given Dangerous Combo of Medications Every Year

February 10th, 2015 at 2:08 pm

dangerous combo of medications, Westport medical malpractice attorneyrecent study has found that when children are admitted to the hospital, the course of medical treatment they receive typically involves the administration of multiple medications. Too often these medications interact with each other and cause serious side-effects and injuries in the young patients. But what was even more alarming about the study’s results is the way medical personnel often ignore the alarm systems put in place which are supposed to alert them to possible drug interactions.

The study was conducted by doctors from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, utilizing data from 12 months of medical records provided by 43 children’s hospitals from around the country. The research team discovered that of the approximately half million children who were hospitalized during that year, almost half were given medication combinations which have the potential for harmful side-effects when interacted with each other.

Potential dangerous side effects from the combinations of medications include breathing problems, sedation, bleeding issues, and a reduction in iron absorption. Another serious side effect is the unknown reduction of effectiveness that one drug may have on another, as it may potentially eradicate the healing powers the medication has which a child needs to get better.

Of all the children’s medical data that was used for the study, 49 percent were given dangerous combinations of drugs. The two most common categories prescribed were opioid painkillers and antibiotics.

Hospitals do have safeguards in check to monitor for potential drug interactions in patients. These electronic alerts ring an alarm when a patient is receiving a medication which can be harmful when interacted with another medication the patient may be receiving. However, a real concern to the researchers of this study was how medical personnel do not pay attention to these alarms. The reason for this is there are so many drugs that do interact, these alarms are constantly going off, and doctors are left suffering from what the study calls “alert fatigue.”

If your child has suffered a serious illness or injury because he or she was given an incorrect or dangerous combination of medications, contact an experienced Westport medical malpractice attorney to discuss your case and legal options.

Jaundice in Newborns Can Lead to Catastrophic Brain Injury

January 19th, 2015 at 7:00 am

catastrophic injuries, Connecticut malpractice lawyer, Connecticut medical lawyer, Connecticut medical malpractice attorney, hospital negligence, medical malpractice lawyer, negligence, permanent disabilities, severe brain damage, jaundice in newbornsThe most catastrophic injuries in hospitals are not always the ones seen in an emergency room. In 2010, misdiagnosis, failure to diagnosis, and medical error—generally described as “bad hospital care” by the Office of Inspector General for Health and Human Services—contributed to the deaths of 180,000 patients in Medicare. Additionally, in 2013, a study published in the Journal of Patient Safety stated that those numbers are much higher—between 210,000 and 440,000 patients annually. 

Brain Injury and Jaundice in Newborns

Kernicterus, a relatively rare yet severe form of jaundice, can cause brain damage in babies if left undiagnosed and untreated. Surprisingly, 60 percent of newborns are diagnosed with jaundice, which is the result of a baby’s liver not adequately removing excess bilirubin.

Bilirubin is a naturally occurring substance in the blood, which is removed by the liver. A low-level build-up of bilirubin is normal in newborns, and can often cause mild jaundice in babies. Additionally, it can sometimes take a few days for a newborn’s liver to function properly to remove the excess bilirubin, which is why mild jaundice is normal. However, if a newborn has jaundice and it is not properly monitored by doctors and hospital staff, it can become a serious problem and lead to severe brain damage for which the hospital would be liable.

Treatment for severe jaundice can include phototherapy, which alters the bilirubin in a baby’s blood from toxic to non-toxic. But in some severe cases, such as those that lead to kernicterus, a more extreme treatment such as a blood exchange transfusion may need to be employed to ensure the safety of the child. Hence, diligent monitoring is essential to help prevent the extreme from occurring.

Contact a Compassionate Medical Malpractice Attorney

If you or someone you know had a newborn suffer from misdiagnosed jaundice or kernicterus, you may be eligible for compensation. Contact a compassionate Connecticut medical malpractice attorney today to discuss your case and your options.

Spinal Cord Injuries Can be Exacerbated by Poor Care

January 15th, 2015 at 7:00 am

catastrophic injuries, Connecticut attorney, Connecticut malpractice, failure to diagnose, hospital negligence, medical side effects, misdiagnosis, misdiagnosis in hospital, Westport medical malpractice attorney, spinal cord injuriesSpinal cord injuries are of the most severe and catastrophic injuries that a person can sustain, and the severity of consequences depends on the location of the injury. If you or someone you know has sustained an injury to the spinal cord, it is important to first seek medical attention. Additionally, if an injured person cannot move his or her head or extremities immediately following an accident, do not attempt to move him or her; call an ambulance immediately. A doctor can determine the extent of the injury.

According to a spinal cord injury foundation, the initial level of an injury may not remain consistent. In fact, an injury may intensify or become more severe as time passes. Therefore, if a doctor fails to recognize this potential, he could be held liable for negligence. A diagnosis of a spinal cord injury is extremely important, as time is of the essence.

Once a patient begins treatment, he or she is much more likely to fully recover. A typical physical examination to determine whether or not a spinal cord injury has been sustained will include muscular strengths tests and testing to see if a patient still has sensation in his or her arms and legs. Most patients who believe they have sustained a spinal cord injury should be immobilized by a cervical collar or on a backboard for the vast majority of this testing.

Medicine.net advises that after a patient is diagnosed with a spinal cord injury, he or she will likely be put on a regimen of steroids. This is usually intended to help decrease the amount of damage to the spinal cord, as steroids can help to reduce the swelling and inflammation of tissue and muscle around the site of injury. Steroids are usually only beneficial if they are started within eight hours of injury. If a doctor fails to administer steroids in a timely fashion, he or she could be liable for malpractice as well.

Spinal cord injuries are very serious, and if not treated correctly can lead to vast complications or paralysis. If you or someone you know has sustained a spinal cord injury and suspect that medical professionals did not do all they could to mitigate severe effects, you could be eligible for compensation. Contact an experienced Westport medical malpractice attorney today.

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