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Houston Medical Malpractice Law Blog

How much does it cost to treat cerebral palsy?

Texas families who are expecting the birth of a child anticipate that the process without be a joyous one. For many, though, giving birth can result in preventable injuries being suffered by a mother and her child. The damages that can result from these incidences can be enormous. A newborn's birth injury can leave him or her with lifelong physical limitation, pain, and suffering that can be costly to treat. A mother can suffer similar physical harm. An emotional toll can be levied, too. Taken as a whole, these damages can be overwhelming and leave a family struggling to figure out how to move on.

One birth injury that can lead to this outcome is cerebral palsy. The cost of treating this condition alone can be enough to throw a family into ruin. One study estimates that the cost of raising a child with cerebral palsy to the age of 18 is more than $225,000. Over the course of a lifetime, a cerebral palsy sufferer can face nearly $1 million in additional expenses beyond normal costs associated with living.

Man's leg amputated after infection goes untreated

Even the deadliest medical conditions can initially present as minor problems. Yet, it is in these early stages that these diseases need to be caught to be effectively treated. This means that Texas medical professionals need to be diligent in their diagnosing of patients, ensuring that they accurately order and read all appropriate tests. It is when mistakes in these areas are made that serious medical malpractice can occur. Far too often victims of these circumstances are seriously injured and left to pick up the physical, emotional and financial pieces of their lives.

One man may be in that position now after his leg was amputated due to what may have been medical malpractice. According to a lawsuit that the man filed against the doctor who treated him, the man presented to an urgent care for treatment of what appeared to be a small wound on his foot. The doctor prescribed him oral antibiotics to treat what she thought was a common infection and sent him home.

Failure to diagnose leads to wrongful death award

Texas medical professionals carry a heavy responsibility. They are tasked with diagnosing and treating a seemingly countless number of injuries and illnesses. When those medical conditions are serious, any misstep by a doctor or nurse can lead to severe consequences for a patient. In the worst cases, a patient can die as a result of medical error.

A jury recently found that was the case for one woman who died after doctors failed to diagnose and treat her for a deadly blood condition. The woman, who suffered from lupus, arrived at the emergency room exhibiting symptoms that justified specific blood testing, including difficulty breathing and neurological issues. The doctors at the hospital failed to order the test. If they had ordered it, they would have discovered that the woman was suffering from thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, a fatal condition if not adequately and quickly treated.

Documentary highlights dangers of medical devices

Advances in medical research and technology have allowed patients to obtain treatment that was once only imaginable. Although many of these methods are successful, a recent film shines a light on problematic medical devices that can leave unsuspecting Texans with serious harm.

The documentary, entitled, "The Bleeding Edge," explores medical devices, the regulations imposed on them, and, ultimately, the dangers they pose. Amongst those devices examined was a permanent form of birth control that allegedly fuses with surrounding tissue and organs, thereby creating scar tissue that renders women infertile. Some of those women affected by the product claim that the device, which is a coil shape, came loose and caused bleeding and, at least in some instances, the need for a hysterectomy. This is only one of the many medical devices examined in the film, which also include hip replacements and robotic surgery devices.

What could go wrong with a Cesarean birth?

When you found out you were pregnant, you may have hoped for a hassle-free pregnancy in which you and your baby thrive, and you may have gotten it. However, now that the birth of the newest member of your family is imminent, you may be wondering what could go wrong.

It's only natural to wonder about these things. Yes, women have been giving birth for thousands of years, but the fact of the matter is that complications do arise. The reason that the infant mortality rate has gone down is due to advancements in the medical industry, including the ability to deliver a baby via Cesarean. Knowing this option is available if necessary may provide you with some solace, but you may need to understand that things could go wrong with this procedure as well.

Medical errors put expecting mothers at risk of harm

One of the things our country prides itself on is its advances in medical research and technologies, which allow Texans to receive quick and effective medical care. In some circumstances, though, medical professionals fail to live up to this vision. Sometimes they have even considered some lapses in medical care to those seen in third-world countries.

For example, a recent study conducted by USA Today found that more than 50,000 mothers were subjected to serious injuries during birth, while approximately 700 died. More terrifying is the fact that the investigation deemed more than half of these injuries and deaths preventable. This makes the U.S. the most dangerous place to give birth in any developed country. The two biggest threats to mothers is hypertension and hemorrhaging.

Did your appendix burst after a doctor sent you home?

You expect your doctors to take however long needed in order to provide you with the correct diagnosis and treatment in order to cure your illness or mend an injury. When that doesn't happen, you could end up suffering serious harm. In fact, your life may even be in jeopardy.

For example, if you end up in the intensive care unit with sepsis due to a burst appendix, it could turn out that you should never have ended up there. The odds may favor the fact that your doctor missed something or simply didn't take the time to look, in which case you may have grounds for a medical malpractice claim.

New test allows for quicker heart attack detection

Heart attacks are amongst the most deadly medical conditions that can unexpectedly threaten an individual's life. The good news is that if a heart attack is caught quickly enough, medical treatment may be able to stop it, thereby halting any additional damage caused to the heart. This, in turn, can result in an individual's life being saved. However, for heart attacks to be detected, certain tests must be conducted and accurately interpreted.

Fortunately, for Texas residents, a new heart attack test may be made more widely available that allows doctors to detect the medical condition much more quickly. The blood test, detects a certain protein that is released into the blood stream by a heart when it is damaged, such as when it is subjected to a heart attack. If doctors do not detect the protein during the test, then a heart attack can be ruled out.

Seeking medical care in the afternoon may be dangerous

Those who work nine to five job have likely felt a lull in energy that occurs in the early afternoon. One might feel tired or sluggish, and motivation may wane. This can make it difficult just to get through the rest of the day. For many Texans, this can lead to a decrease in productivity. In the medical field though, it can result in serious harm to patients.

This is backed by research too. One study, for example, found that anesthesiologists are more likely to make not only errors, but also harmful errors in the afternoon, particularly, between the hours of 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Medical malpractice: the importance of expert witnesses

If you've been injured by the negligence of a doctor or other medical professionals, then you may be considering filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. If you're able to succeed on one of these claims you may be able to recover considerable compensation to help alleviate the damages you have suffered. This may mean recouping medical expenses and lost wages, as well as obtaining money to help ease pain and suffering. Although many of these cases settle before reaching trial, you still need to be prepared to go to trial. First, you may be unable to reach a resolution prior to trial. Second, having a thoroughly prepped case can give you leverage during settlement negotiations.

This means that you need to have your witnesses lined up well before any anticipated litigation. Amongst these witnesses is probably at least one expert. In the medical malpractice context, these experts can analyze medical records and other documents and thereby draw conclusions that may be helpful to the judge and jury. Before an expert opinion can be rendered, though, it must be demonstrated that the expert is relying on methods that are generally accepted in the field in question.

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