Archive for the ‘failure to diagnose’ tag

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. 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.

Undiagnosed Sleep Disorder Blamed in Fatal Train Derailment

December 5th, 2014 at 7:00 am

fatal train derailment, Westport wrongful death attorney, fatal accident, train accidents, sleep disorders, derailed train, undiagnosed sleep disorder

A report issued by the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has determined the cause of last year’s fatal New York City train derailment: the train engineer fell asleep due to an undiagnosed sleep disorder.

The fatal accident occurred on an early Sunday morning last December. The Manhattan-bound Metro-North commuter train was going 50 miles per hour over the speed limit—more than three times the allowed speed—when it went around a curve and suddenly derailed. Four of the 115 people on board the train were killed in the accident and another 67 people were injured. The locomotive and all seven of the passenger cars jumped the tracks, causing approximately $9 million worth of damage.

According to the NTSB’s report, the train engineer suffered from sleep apnea, which causes the airways to become obstructed or collapse during sleep and can cause sufferers to struggle with drowsiness.

In the engineer’s case, the disorder had never been diagnosed and he was unaware that he suffered from the problem. The report pointed out that the railroad had no policy in place to screen employees for sleep disorders. Compounding the engineer’s condition was a sudden change in his work schedule, having been moved to an early morning work shift just prior to the train crash.

Additionally, Senator Richard Blumenthal noted how the NTSB report showed “the cascading catastrophes over a single year illustrating the urgent need for dramatic upgrades and improvements in safety and reliability.” In fact, positive train control, a specific technology that was not in use during the time of the derailment, can “automatically bring a train to a stop” if speeding.

Statics from the Federal Railroad Administration show that there are more than 3,000 train accidents every year causing deaths, injuries, and property damage. Not only are passengers at risk for death and injury for many preventable train accidents, but railroad employees are particularly vulnerable in these incidents.

If you have lost a family member in an accident caused by the negligence of someone else, contact an experienced Westport wrongful death attorney today to find out what legal compensation you may be entitled to for pain or loss.

Filing a Failure to Diagnose Claim Can Help Medical Community

August 7th, 2014 at 11:21 am

failure to diagnose, failure to diagnose cancer, medical malpractice, misdiagnosis, Richard H. Raphael, Westport medical malpractice attorneyHeadlines about surgical tools being left in a patient’s body, or babies born with birth defects due to a hospital’s negligence, are attention-grabbing. However, a quieter and perhaps more deadly type of malpractice is most common—misdiagnosis.

According to Fox News, a study examining “medical malpractice claims against primary care doctors in the United States, Australia, France, and Canada found that between 26 and 63 percent of claims were related to missed diagnoses.” It is important to note that malpractice claims are different than the actual number of incidents as claims are allegations brought against the doctor by the affected patient or bereaved family. According to Fox News, about two-thirds of medical malpractice claims filed in the United States are thrown out by a court and not awarded.

The most common outcome in a medical malpractice claim was death of the patient. Not surprisingly, a misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose cancer was the number one reason for the claim: specifically breast, colon, melanoma, and lung cancer. A failure to diagnose meningitis in children was high on the list, as was a failure to recognize a heart attack in adults. Though many of these claims are thrown out, by some estimates the number of such incidents could be much higher than the claims suggest. Many patients who experience adverse side effects do not recognize them as medical malpractice and do not file.

A doctor at the California-based malpractice insurer The Doctors Company told Fox that suits can help doctors recognize where diagnoses are being missed, and alert them to the possibility of atypical symptoms. Many claims were filed in recent years regarding cases of heart attacks in women. By studying these claims, doctors were able to learn more about how to detect the possibility of heart attacks in women, and share this information with other doctors. “Ultimately [the process of analyzing malpractice claims] can contribute to improving the quality of medical practice,” the doctor told Fox.

If you or someone you know has been negatively affected by a misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose in Connecticut, the most important step is to seek the counsel of a Westport medical malpractice attorney. Contact the law offices of Richard H. Raphael, Attorney at Law, for a free initial consultation today.

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