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Houston Medical Malpractice Law Blog

How does stroke affect the brain?

Nearly all of us feel a little off every now and them. Depending on the circumstances, the feeling could be chalked up to something as minor as allergies, or it could be something much more serious. This is why Texans turn to trusted doctors. Patients expect to have their symptoms properly assessed so that a diagnosis can be made and effective treatment can begin. Any misstep along the way, though, can result in serious harm to a patient.

To see an example, on need only look at the effects of stroke. Stroke, when improperly diagnosed and quickly treated, can lead to extensive brain damage. The specific damage caused is dependent upon the area of the brain that is affected. For example, a stroke that occurs in the back part of the brain will likely result in some sort of vision disability. If a stroke occurs on the right side of the brain, then the left side of the body will be affected. Specifically, an individual in this situation may suffer paralysis, memory deterioration, vision trouble, and an inquisitive behavioral style. When a stroke occurs on the left side of the brain, then a victim may suffer paralysis on the right side of his or her body, memory loss, difficulty speaking, and a cautious way of behaving.

Vacuum extraction and birth injuries

In an ideal world, every birth would be quick, easy, and painless. But we all know that the real world is far from the ideal one. The reality is that many Texans go through a long, painful, and emotionally difficult birthing process. It is during this time, when mothers and fathers-to-be are tired and mentally fatigued, that they may be asked to make important decisions that have a direct impact on the mother and child's health.

One of these is whether to engage in vacuum extraction. This technique, which utilizes a vacuum pump connected to a cup that fits around the child's head, should only be used in certain situations. Most commonly it is used when the baby has descended into the birth canal, but the mother is unable to push the child out. It is important to note that vacuum extraction should only be tried when C-section can also be performed.

Has a surgical error left you suffering?

Your car has seatbelts to improve the chances that you will survive an accident. However, if you are in a hurry and don't take the time to buckle up, those restraints do no good. In the same way, your hospital likely has protocol for minimizing the risk of mistakes during surgery. If your surgical team doesn't take the time to follow the protocol, what good is it?

Waking up from surgery to discover the doctors have made a grievous error can be a living nightmare. The most common error occurs when a surgeon leaves a surgical object inside you after completing the surgery. Reportedly, this type of event happens to only one in every 18,000 inpatient operations. However, if you are the one, these statistics may bring little comfort.

Texas doctor accused of surgical errors

Medical professionals receive an extensive amount of training and education, which is to be expected since these individuals oftentimes hold Texans' well-being in the palm of their hands. Although most of these professionals carry out their duties competently, far too often unsuspecting Texans are subjected to subpar care, which leaves them serious injuries. In these events, these victims may want to take action to find accountability and closure, as well as seek compensation for their damages.

A number of Texans are doing just that after they claim they were seriously harmed by a spine surgeon. According to these victims, the doctor performed inappropriate, unnecessary, and dangerous operations that left them with long-lasting back pain. One victim is now in a wheelchair while another claims that her pain is so bad on a daily basis that she wishes she would die. One man even died, allegedly as a result of the care provided by this medical professional. The doctor has been accused of implanting devices he created in violation of FDA standards, and one victim claimed he inserted a screw into the wrong bone.

3 anesthesia errors that could result in negative outcomes

The thought of undergoing a medical procedure can cause apprehension for various reasons. You may fear the surgery itself, the possible reactions to medications, or the potential for adverse effects from anesthesia.

While some medical problems may be unavoidable, too often problems arise because of mistakes on the part of doctors and nurses. Following are some types of anesthesia errors that can cause serious harm.

Texas firm dedicated to helping medical malpractice victims

Previously, this blog discussed what must be shown in order to impose liability on a negligent medical professional. Although the law has only a few requirements that must be shown before someone can succeed on their medical malpractice claim, the truth of the matter is that each of these elements can have many contested factual components. The biggest, of course, is that there was a breach in the standard of care owed to a patient. Although legally this only presents one issue, there can be a number of acts and omissions that can leave the matter open for argument.

This is why is why it is often best to have a legal advocate on one's side when pursuing a medical malpractice claim. A skilled attorney will not only know what acts could constitute negligence and therefore a breach of the duty of care, such as surgical errors and failures to diagnose, but also how to anticipate any defenses that may be raised. This can leave a plaintiff well-positioned to succeed on his or her claim.

Keys to determining fault in a medical malpractice claim

The last thing any person expects when they walk into a doctor's offer is the chance that they will walk out in a condition worse than when they entered. Unfortunately, as we have said before, doctors and medical professionals are human, and human's make mistakes. Often these mistakes are minor, but there are situations when the mistakes made by doctors or medical professionals could lead a patient to a worsened condition or even death.

In order to pursue a medical malpractice suit, it must be proven that the health care provider was negligent in his or her duties. A doctor-patient relationship is proof of the existence of a duty owed by the health care provider. The patient is also owed a standard of care by the health care professional. There must be a proven to be an injury or illness to the patient. And lastly, it must be proven that there was a causal connection between the patient's injury and the standard of care owed to the patient.

Misdiagnosis of Alzheimer's disease disturbingly common

Although there may be a few symptoms that are similar, according to a study published in "Alzheimer's & Dementia: Translational Research & Clinical Interventions," it appears that the two are both being misdiagnosed at an alarming rate.

According to researchers, Alzheimer's disease was misdiagnosed in patients as much as 24 percent. The findings show that both false positives and false negative rates were each at 12 percent. It is believed that many of the psychotic symptoms of Alzheimer's may lead doctors into believing that a victim is actually suffering from dementia instead. It is believed that approximately 36 percent of Alzheimer suffers experience delusions, and 18 percent have hallucinations, both common symptoms of dementia.

New tech can prevent medication errors, but not all hospitals use it

During a hospitalization, you may receive numerous medications for whatever injury or illness you suffer. Since you can't possibly monitor everything the doctors and nurses do, you must rely on them to take the time and care needed to ensure that you don't suffer any serious adverse drug events (ADEs).

To prevent medication errors, many hospitals have begun using computerized physician order entry (CPOE) systems. One study shows that hospitals that use these systems have seen ADEs drop a staggering 55 percent. The data from a later study showed the drop in error rates was approximately 88 percent. If these percentages are accurate, why aren't more hospitals using these systems? A better question for you is whether the hospitals in your area are using CPOE systems.

The basics of surgical errors

It could be every patient's worst nightmare. You go in for surgery, trust your doctor and medical team to address your injury or illness and leave the operation room in worse shape than you entered. Sometimes the error is obvious, such as operating on the wrong side of the body or on the wrong organ. But at times, the nightmare could be even worse when you consider the fact that you often are not even aware anything is wrong.

You wake up groggy and on multiple medications to minimize the pain and help address your surgery. But as the days or weeks move on, you notice symptoms that do not correspond with the typical recovery process. Although such errors are typically rare, occurring in 1 out of every 112,000 surgical procedures at hospitals, this does not take into account the errors that occur in smaller settings such as private doctor's offices or treatment centers.

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