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What Happens When Paramedics are Negligent?

Published on Jun 29, 2018 at 5:57 pm in Medical Malpractice.

Emergency medical technicians are responsible for responding to emergency injuries. They provide critical treatment and transportation to patients who experience a health crisis or injury. These first responders have tough jobs and do amazing work.

But what happens when a paramedic makes a mistake or acts negligently while treating or transporting patients? Unfortunately, not all EMTs live up to the standard of providing excellent care.

First Responder Responsibilities

The core duties of paramedics include:

  • Evaluating patients for injuries and life-threatening conditions
  • Preparing patients for transportation
  • Providing prompt and safe transportation to a nearby hospital or another medical facility
  • Giving necessary care to patients until they arrive at the hospital

Fame doesn’t make a doctor immune to medical malpractice

Published on Apr 4, 2018 at 1:36 pm in Medical Malpractice.

Maryland fans of reality television may be familiar with a show entitled, “My 600-lb Life” that profiles morbidly obese people as they go through their weight loss journeys. As part of the show, their care is overseen by Dr. Nowzaradan, referred to on the show as Dr. Now, who also performs weight-loss procedures on his patients as part of their care. Patients are painfully aware of the possible risks involved in the surgery, but many of them probably did not realize the danger could come from Dr. Now who is currently facing a medical malpractice claim from one of his patients.

Both the doctor and the clinic out of which he works are named in the suit, which was filed in Sept. 2017. The former patient alleges that Dr. Now failed to remove tubing and a stainless steel connector inside the patient following surgery to repair a hiatal hernia and remove a gastric band system two years prior to that date. Just days thereafter, the patient began experiencing excruciating abdominal pressure and pain.

Did medical malpractice cause Bill Paxton’s death?

Published on Mar 7, 2018 at 1:28 pm in Medical Malpractice.

Maryland moviegoers may remember that Bill Paxton starred in big box office blockbusters such as “Twister,” “Titanic” and “Aliens” throughout his career. He also graced the small screen in television shows such as “Big Love,” which aired on HBO. He died on Feb. 25, 2017, just days after undergoing a surgical procedure on his heart at the age of 61. Now, his family has filed a lawsuit claiming that medical malpractice took his life.

The family alleges that the surgeon failed to disclose all of the potential risks involved in the operation to them or Paxton. Moreover, they claim that the surgeon was not qualified to perform the unconventional and highly risky procedure. Even though his official cause of death is listed as a stroke after heart surgery, the family believes that his death could have been prevented.

Allegedly, the surgeon’s lack of experience reportedly led to post-surgical complications that led to the stroke. The lawsuit not only involves the surgeon, but also the hospital where the operation took place, Cedars-Sinai. The family says that the trust they and Paxton placed in the hospital staff and the surgeon was betrayed. However, it may be up to the courts to determine whether Paxton’s medical care fell below the accepted standards of care.

Paxton’s family could have a long road ahead of them since medical malpractice lawsuits are notoriously challenging. The level of medical expertise required in many cases alone can make these cases problematic. This is due, at least in part, to the need to differentiate between unfortunate circumstances and medical error. Anyone in Maryland believing that a medical mistake took the life of a loved one may find it comforting to know that they do not have to go through this process alone.

Source: CNN, “Bill Paxton’s family files wrongful death suit“, Sandra Gonzalez, Accessed on March 4, 2018

Medical malpractice issues: Falling while in the hospital

Published on Jan 24, 2018 at 1:08 pm in Medical Malpractice.

One of the last places that you may think you are in any danger of suffering from an injury is in a Maryland hospital. You expect that the doctors, nursing and other staff will diligently work to protect your safety. Sadly, if that was always the case, there would be no need for medical malpractice laws.

Most hospital personnel here in Maryland and elsewhere care about their jobs and their patients, but they cannot be everywhere at once and are human. Mistakes happen. One of the most prevalent sources of injury in a hospital is from falls.

Medical malpractice issues: Injuries to intestines and nerves

Published on Aug 29, 2017 at 10:15 pm in Medical Malpractice.

Do you envision instruments left inside a patient, removing the wrong organs and operating on the wrong patient when you think of surgical errors? If so, you are not alone. Many Maryland residents hear about these instances when it comes to news stories about medical malpractice. However, other injuries can wreak just as much havoc on a person’s body and cause permanent injuries as well.

For instance, a nearly microscopic nick to your intestines or bladder is a serious and possibly deadly mistake by a surgeon. The waste material contained in the bowels and bladder is not meant to roam free through the body. The toxicity could make you seriously ill or kill you.

Is medical malpractice responsible for infant’s death?

Published on Aug 15, 2017 at 10:19 pm in Medical Malpractice.

Many courts around the country and here in Maryland must answer this question far more often than anyone would prefer. No parent should have to leave a hospital without his or her child. Doing so would be difficult enough when doctors did everything they could to save the child, but when it is possible that medical malpractice led to the infant’s death, it could be devastating.

This is the situation facing one family in another state. After a cesarean section, the hospital gave the mother a sleep aid called Ambien and a painkiller called Vicodin. A few hours later, at approximately 3 a.m., a nurse brought her newborn into the room for breastfeeding. The infant was put into the bed with the medicated mother who must have rolled onto him.

Is perspiration a reliable indicator of surgical readiness?

Published on Jul 26, 2017 at 10:10 pm in Medical Malpractice.

When assessing the readiness of residents to perform surgery, the longstanding process has been for supervising surgeons to assess individual performance in the operating room. While this technique has proven effective for decades, the emergence of more regulatory bodies in surgical education has highlighted a need for a decidedly less subjective performance evaluator.

While a host of studies have been undertaken in an attempt to identify a more objective performance evaluator, including measuring the heart rates and blood flow to the brains of surgical residents, none have actually been deployed during a real life surgery.

That has now changed, however, thanks to the efforts of researchers at the University of Missouri who are currently in the middle of a five-year study measuring whether sweat levels could actually prove to be a reliable barometer of surgical readiness among residents.

Horrific case shows ‘never events’ remain a problem in the OR

Published on Jun 20, 2017 at 9:55 pm in Medical Malpractice.

Anyone who must undergo some manner of operation knows through their conversations with surgeons and their own research or personal experience that there is always some degree of risk involved. Indeed, postoperative complications can arise, infections can develop, and the underlying disease or condition can remain unchanged.

However, there is at least one aspect of surgery about which patients should be able to have complete confidence: avoiding wrong-site, wrong-procedure, wrong-patient errors or simply WSPEs. That’s because these types of surgical errors are typically 100 percent preventable and considered so flagrant that federal health officials have labeled them as “never events,” meaning they should simply never occur.

The unfortunate reality, however, is that even though WSPEs should never occur, they still do — and often with devastating results.

Study: Over 20 percent of patients with serious conditions misdiagnosed

Published on Apr 10, 2017 at 9:19 pm in Medical Malpractice.

Two years ago, the National Academy of Medicine published a groundbreaking report indicating that not only will the majority of people receive an incorrect or delayed diagnosis at least once during their lifetime, but that roughly 12 million people — or close to 5 percent of adults seeking outpatient care — are misdiagnosed every year.

Furthermore, previous research has found that diagnostic errors are behind 6-17 percent of adverse hospital events, 10 percent of hospital deaths, and present in 10-20 percent of all cases.

As enlightening — and frightening — as these numbers are, the study authors cautioned that additional study was needed to identify the scope of the problem.

Was your hospital fall listed as a “never event?”

Published on Mar 28, 2017 at 9:06 pm in Medical Malpractice.

Even though hospitals have signs in strategic locations warning about the possibility of a patient taking a fall, this kind of accident happens on a daily basis. Patients may fall because they felt woozy getting out of bed or because the freshly mopped floor was slippery.

Some patiens survive such falls without harm. But if they suffered a lasting injury it may be classed as a medical error, and they may be entitled to compensation from the medical facility.

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