Archive for the ‘misdiagnosis in hospital’ 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.

Sepsis Causes Alarming Number of Hospital Patient Deaths

August 28th, 2014 at 9:46 am

causes of sepsis, medical errors, medical malpractice, medical misdiagnosis, misdiagnosis in hospital, sepsis, sepsis symptoms, Westport medical malpractice attorneyMedical errors that result in death inside a hospital are oftentimes caused by the neglect of healthcare professionals. According to CNN, medical errors kill more than 250,000 people every year in the U.S., which by some estimates could be “the third leading cause of death.” Examples of these types of medical malpractice include treating the wrong patient, accidentally leaving surgical tools inside a patient’s body, misplacing patient records, and waiting too long in the emergency room.

However, one such disturbing trend of failure in American hospitals is the number of patients who die from sepsis every year. In fact, the CDC reports that between 28 and 50 percent of those who get sepsis end up dying from the illness.

According to the American Thoracic Society, nearly half of all deaths in U.S. hospitals are sepsis-related, with sepsis also accounting for close to 22 percent of all hospital charges. Vincent Liu, M.D., of the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research, notes how “improved care for sepsis patients of all severity levels and in all hospital settings could result in many future lives saved.”

Sepsis is not an infection or a disease, but an illness that arises from an infection. Once the infection enters the bloodstream, it can spread rapidly through the body, and often result in the loss of muscle function, limbs, or organ failure. Despite several medical advances meant to curb the rate of infection and spread of disease, sepsis continues to be an unexpectedly severe issue.

Several causes of sepsis include surgical site infections, catheter-related urinary tract infections, and infections of the lungs or skin. Those more susceptible to sepsis include the elderly, infants and children, those with weakened immune systems, and those suffering from a physical trauma or severe burn. Symptoms of sepsis include:

  • Fever,
  • Chills,
  • Rapid breathing and heart rate,
  • Rash,
  • Confusion, and
  • Disorientation.

Early detection and treatment of sepsis can prevent serious bodily failure and death. However, noted by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, it can be difficult to diagnose as many of the sepsis symptoms “mimic other conditions, making sepsis hard to diagnose in its early stages.”

If you suffered from sepsis while in a hospital, or had a loved one die as a result of sepsis while in the hospital, you may be eligible for compensation. Do not go through it alone. Contact an experienced Westport medical malpractice attorney to discuss your case today.

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.

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