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Houston Medical Malpractice Law Blog

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.

Victims of surgical errors may have legal options

A surgical error can impose lifelong hardships on a victim. Texas residents who suffer from these errors while receiving treatment for other medical conditions can face long periods of painful recovery, worsened medical conditions and other detrimental side effects from undergoing medical procedures that were not intended for their bodies or that were botched by health care professionals.

The time that a victim spends recovering from a surgical error can be incredibly difficult and isolating. They may not want to talk about their ordeal or they may feel shame over the state of their body and condition. A surgical error may rob a person of their ability to enjoy life and may impose pain and suffering on them as they seek to find relief from their ailment.

C-sections can impose risks on mothers and babies

A Cesarean section is an operation that may be necessary to facilitate the birth of a child. When a mother cannot deliver her child naturally, she may require the intervention of a C-section to safely bring her newborn into the world. While many C-sections happen every day in Texas without issue, C-sections can be dangerous when doctors and other medical professionals fail to properly monitor and care for both mothers and babies.

A C-section requires an incision into the mother's abdomen and uterus to remove her unborn child. Whenever a scalpel is involved, cutting injuries can happen; when doctors cut too deep or otherwise fail to protect babies, lacerations can occur even prior to a baby's birth.

Did your newborn suffer harm due to meconium aspiration syndrome?

What is meconium? Well, it is the poop your baby passes while still in utero (while still in your uterus). In many cases, it does not do any harm to your baby, but there is a one to four or five percent chance that it will. Even though this is such a small percentage, like other Texas parents, you probably think even that small chance is enough to take action.

Your obstetrician should take action to ensure that your baby doesn't suffer from meconium aspiration syndrome, which when your baby inhales his or her first stool into the lungs. This can cause your baby to have trouble breathing. Without adequate oxygen, your baby could suffer from MAS, cerebral palsy or seizures.

Victim claims heart surgery mistakes led to leg amputation

Undergoing a surgical procedure to fix a broken or ailing part of one's body can be a scary process for a Texas resident. While any operation can introduce additional complications, surgeries on the heart can be particularly delicate. A Texas man recently alleged that mistakes made during his heart surgery led to serious complications, resulting in the amputation of his leg.

The victim was undergoing a procedure for cardiac catheterization and had a stent placed in his coronary artery. The doctor performing the surgery used a sheath to help put the stent in place. During the procedure, the victim's heart stopped but he was resuscitated.

Why do so many surgical errors happen?

To a Houston patient, the steps leading up to the surgical procedure they need to get healthy may seem very simple. They know exactly what their ailment is, exactly what their doctors have decided for their treatment, and exactly when they must arrive at the hospital to have the surgical procedure that will set them on the course to recovery. They may have single-mindedness about their medical plan and what must be done to complete it.

Doctors, however, do not have the luxury of this unwavering focus. They often see many patients in a single day and surgeons may perform multiple varying surgeries within a few hours of each other. This is not an excuse for medical professionals; surgeons and other doctors have a duty to provide each and every one of their patients with the appropriate care.

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