Archive for the ‘Westport Medical Malpractice Attorney’ Category

Birth Injuries: Often Preventable with Improved Safety Protocols

June 2nd, 2015 at 7:00 am

birth injuries, Westport Medical Malpractice LawyerWhen a birth injury occurs due to medical malpractice or medical error, it mars the joyous occasion of a new life entering the world. Health care providers who work in obstetrics are treating two patients, mother and child. As such, opportunities for human error are doubled, along with the number of potential victims. Fortunately, there are medical errors which can be prevented with better health care provider communication and adherence to safety protocols.

Every hospital maintains different protocols regarding its birthing and obstetric protocols. Hospitals where coordinated patient care and safety protocols are high priorities generally have a much lower rate of live birth complications and fewer birth injuries. However, in hospitals where safety protocols are impeded or not prioritized, the rate of injuries related to medical error can be significantly higher.

To help decrease incidences of medical error, doctors and health care workers must be given the support by their organizations that enables them to make preventing patient injury their first priority.

Several hospitals have made procedural changes to improve the quality of their obstetric care and prevent medical error as well as birth injuries. Many of those organizations are now seeing a drastic shift in their statistics due to their implementation of improved safety protocols.

  • The NY Presbyterian Hospital now boasts some of the nation’s lowest numbers of brain injuries resulting from oxygen deprivation in newborns.
  • The Hospital Corporation of America was able to achieve an 87 percent reduction in the fatality rate of pulmonary embolism in delivering mothers.
  • Ascension Health achieved an 85 percent reduction in brain trauma in newborns at its birthing facilities that adopted a revised program of best practices during live birth delivery.  

Hospital data shows that the frequency of medical errors and devastating results, such as newborn brain injuries, can be greatly reduced when safety protocols are implemented at the organizational level. Appropriate staffing levels, coordinated patient care, and a limit to procedures such as C-section births are some of the ways that health care organizations have achieved lower medical malpractice rates in the field of obstetrics.  

If your family member suffered harm because of a childbirth medical error, please contact an experienced Westport medical malpractice attorney today. Richard H. Raphael, Attorney at Law, works hard to protect the rights of patients of all ages and holds the health care industry accountable for providing the safest level of care possible. Call (203) 226-6168 today to schedule your free initial consultation. 

Study Confirms: Do Not Get Sick in July

May 19th, 2015 at 7:00 am

sick in july, Westport Medical Malpractice AttorneyThe “July effect” is a well-known term among medical professionals that most non-medical people have never heard. The July effect, also called the July phenomenon, gets its name because it is in the month of July when just-graduated medical students enter their internships in teaching hospitals across the country. It is this influx of new, inexperienced “physicians” which causes a real and documented increase in the danger to patients, particularly high-risk patients.

A study conducted by researchers from Harvard Medical School, Stanford University Hospitals, University of Southern California, and the RAND Corporation concluded that the July effect does pose a serious threat to patients with medical conditions where even the slightest delay in treatment can mean a matter of life or death.

The researchers used data collected from the U.S. Nationwide Inpatient Sample. They analyzed cases from more than 1,400 hospitals across the country where patients arrived at the hospital suffering from heart attacks. Cases were divided into low-risk and high-risk groups, and came from both teaching and non-teaching hospitals.

The study found that in general, patients who were treated at teaching hospitals actually had a lower risk of mortality than patients who were treated at non-teaching hospitals—except during the month of July. In July, the risk of dying from a heart attack jumped from 20 percent to 25 percent at teaching hospitals. In teaching hospitals, the month of May had the lowest rate of mortality as interns conclude their training during this month and are much more experienced.

Moreover, the lead researcher of the study pointed out that, according to their findings, “For every 100 people hospitalized with a severe heart attack, five more people will die in July than in May.” Hence, an intern who struggled with inserting a stent to open up a patient’s clogged artery in July, and caused what could have been a fatal delay, is quite adept and experienced with that same procedure 10 months later.

If you or a love one has been injured or became ill due to incorrect or delayed medical treatment, please contact an experienced Westport medical malpractice attorney to discuss what legal recourse you may have against the physician and/or medical facility that caused your injury. Call Richard H. Raphael, Attorney at Law, at 203-226-6168 today to schedule your free consultation.

Study Shows Premature Infants Exposed to High Toxic Chemical Levels

May 7th, 2015 at 7:00 am

premature infant, high toxic chemical, Westport Personal Injury AttorneyA recent medical study has revealed disturbing results—premature babies are being exposed to a potentially toxic chemical in neonatal units across the county. The chemical—Di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP)—is used in plastics, and is contained in high levels in medical devices such as intravenous tubes, blood bags, feeding and respiratory tubes and fluid bags. The chemical helps to make these devices softer and more flexible. However, the chemical seeps into body tissues and fluids upon contact. Ironically, DEHP is used in children’s toys; however, toy manufacturers must follow stringent government regulations, something that is evidently lacking in the use of the chemicals in medical devices.

According to warnings issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), exposure to DEHP can lead to a disruption in the development of the brains, lungs, and eyes of newborns. The chemical can also cause injury to the liver, increased inflammation, and affect normal hormone functions. Particularly at risk are newborn boys because DEHP has been found to have a negative effect on the development of testicles and sperm production.

The study was performed by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The research team found that premature babies are being exposed to 4,000 to 160,000 times higher levels of the chemicals than is safely recommended to avoid toxic side-effects which have been associated with the chemical.

A four pound premature infant, who is completely surrounded and exposed to plastic medical devices, may be exposed to more than 4,000 times DEHP toxic levels which are known to cause damage to male productive organs, and as high as 160,000 times DEHP toxic levels which are known to cause liver damage.

Many premature babies have lungs which are not developed enough to breathe on their own and it is necessary to have them hooked to a ventilator. However, the breathing tubes used to connect them to the ventilator contain high levels of DEHP. Researchers say this is one reason why premature babies who are not hooked to ventilators have much better lung development than babies who are.

Both France and the European Commission have announced that DEHS will be banned from medical devices by the end of this year.

If your child has been injured or developed an illness caused by a medical device, please contact a knowledgeable and compassionate Westport personal injury attorney to discuss your legal options. Call Richard H. Raphael, Attorney at Law, at 203-226-6168 today to schedule your free consultation.

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