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Houston Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Legal issues related to losing a loved one

The loss of a loved one can be a traumatic experience for a family, no matter the circumstances that surround their death. When an elderly relative passes on a Texas family may struggle with the loss even if the deceased lived a long and wonderful life. However, when a person dies under conditions that should have been safe and even beneficial to them, the loss can carry with it even more weight.

That is because unexpected deaths do not allow grieving individuals the opportunity to prepare for the pain of saying goodbye. Particularly in the context of medical mistakes and malpractice, such losses can be difficult, as the decedents were in the hands of medical professionals tasked with protecting their health when they passed on. Not all deaths that happen during medical care are wrongful. However, when a death is caused by the negligent, careless or reckless acts of a medical practitioner or facility, that death may be considered wrongful.

What is hypoxia?

When problems arise within critical body functions, such as the respiratory, neurological and cardiovascular systems, a person's overall health and safety may be put at risk. Mistakes made by doctors during the birth of children in Texas can put them at risk of death and serious injury before they have even made their entrances into the world.

One of the most serious complications that a child may experience during labor and delivery is hypoxia. Hypoxia is the failure of the brain to receive sufficient oxygen. A child can suffer hypoxia before it is born, during the birthing process or even after birth if they are not monitored for this serious and sometimes life-threatening condition.

Who is most at risk of suffering from Wernicke encephalopathy?

Some Houston residents may take vitamin supplements without knowing whether they have a true need for them. In many cases, these supplements do little to benefit a person unless the individual has been diagnosed with a vitamin deficiency by a medical professional and prescribed a supplement. On the other side of that situation, you may have a vitamin deficiency that your doctor missed, and as a result, you may have suffered significantly.

In particular, if you have a vitamin B1 deficiency, you may develop a serious condition known as Wernicke encephalopathy. This disease can affect your brain and nervous system, and as a result, you could suffer substantially negative effects, especially if the condition goes untreated.

Understanding the trauma of a wrong-site surgery

Wrong-site surgeries are serious medical mistakes that can threaten patients' lives and cause them unnecessary and long-term pain and suffering. Texas residents who become the victim of a wrong-site surgery should be aware of their rights and their options under the medical malpractice laws of the state to seek their damages. Wrong-site surgeries can happen in several different ways.

Wrong-site surgeries can happen when doctors operate on the wrong side of a paired anatomical structure. For example, if a patient needs surgery on their left hand, but the operation is done on their right, they may have the proper operation but in the wrong location.

Failure to recognize brain injury may lead to long-term problems

Texas residents who follow sports news are probably aware that a growing body of research is emerging that paints a damaging light on the numerous and violent hits that football players take over the course of their careers. Some athletes have been found to have developed a condition called chronic traumatic encephalopathy, often shortened to "C.T.E." This condition can change the way the players' function, their abilities to cope and how they interact with the world.

C.T.E. is a form of brain injury, and any brain trauma can be devastating to a victim. Individuals who are involved in personal injury accidents, like vehicle collisions, or who are victims of violent acts, may suffer concussions and more severe brain injuries as a result of their situations. If a brain injury is not recognized early on, a victim may not be given the best possible treatments for the conditions.

Did hospital-acquired C. diff turn into sepsis?

No one likes to spend any significant amount of time in a hospital, whether it's here in Houston or elsewhere. You can't move around much, nurses and other staff periodically wake you, and, well, the food often leaves much to be desired. However, on occasion, it may be necessary in order to ensure you recover from whatever illness or injury you suffered.

Considering all of the other inconveniences that come with a hospital stay, it wasn't likely encouraging when you contracted an infection called Clostridium difficile, better known as C. diff. Unfortunately, an already bad situation took a turn for the worse when you contracted sepsis as a result.

Texas Supreme Court weighs in on birth injury case

The birth of a child is an exciting time in the lives of parents. While many prospective mothers and fathers may exert a great amount of effort to prepare for their child's arrival, they cannot always anticipate the needs that their children will have once they enter the world. Particularly when a child is born with an illness or injury, parents may need to scramble to understand their conditions and related care.

In 2011, a pregnant mother was admitted to a Texas hospital in order to be induced into labor. Once the procedure began her labor progressed until her doctor discovered that the baby had become stuck inside of her. The doctor and a nurse attempted to move the baby's arm so that it could pass through the birthing canal, but during the process the baby's shoulder was injured.

What are the elements of a wrongful death claim?

The surviving loved ones of a victim of a medical malpractice mistake may be scared, confused and unsure of what to do after losing their relative to a preventable error. Although medical malpractice may be the cause of the victim's demise, their death may offer their survivors an option for seeking compensation and the recovery of their damages: a wrongful death claim.

A wrongful death claim in Texas can arise from different events, such as medical mistakes, car accidents and even criminal activity can serve as the bases for these civil claims. In order for a wrongful death claim to become relevant, a victim must lose their life due to the actions or omissions of another party.

Failure to diagnose actions arise from medical mistakes

Getting the right diagnosis for a medical condition is imperative to providing Texas residents with treatment that will improve their health. While not all illnesses are easy to identify, doctors can often find the right answers to even the most challenging medical conundrums when they work through differential diagnoses and consult with professionals in other specialties. A diagnosis can take time to discover, but when the right one is identified it can set a patient on the road to recovery.

However, mistakes and negligence can plague the diagnostic process and can leave patients reeling with unbearable medical ailments. For example, if a doctor simply stops their diagnostic evaluation at a single diagnosis without looking at other causes, they may misdiagnose their patient with an erroneous condition.

Spinal infections could turn into sepsis if not quickly diagnosed

Did you undergo an invasive medical procedure on your spine? If so, your doctors probably informed you that anytime the surface of the skin is broken, the risk of infection exists, but he or she may have downplayed the seriousness of this possibility. Whether your doctor puts too much faith in the sterility of the environment or just doesn't want to alarm you unnecessarily, you went under the knife confident you would not contract an infection.

Unfortunately, you did. Spinal infections require diligence to diagnose since the symptoms are few. You may not even have a fever or experience any pain or telltale signs other than the fact that your back hurts, perhaps a lot. You or your doctor could easily dismiss this pain since you just had a procedure done on your spine, and some pain is expected. However, you aren't the medical expert; your doctor is supposed to be.

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