Medical Malpractice and Surgical Errors

Medical Malpractice and Surgical Errors

May 26

Medical professionals have licenses to prove their competence and to ensure their patients that they are in the right hands. But sometimes, even the most competent medical professional commits mistakes. These mistakes can be legitimate errors because the medical industry is inherently complicated. But they can also be preventable errors that only happened because of recklessness, negligence, or outright incompetence.

Medical Malpractice

According to the website of Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, those who have been hurt because of medical malpractice may have legal options, such as making the medical professional involved accountable. But when does medical malpractice occur?
Medical malpractice occurs when there is a direct professional-patient relationship, the professional has the duty of care for the said patient, the duty of care has been breached because of action or inaction, and the breach has resulted into the harm of the said patient.

Surgical Error

Medical malpractice may happen in any aspect of the medical industry, but arguably the most dangerous aspect of all is surgery. This is because surgery errors may result into permanent injuries, complications, and even deaths. Below are the most common errors in surgery.

  • Anesthesia Error – Too much anesthesia may result into asphyxiation and brain damage, while too little anesthesia may result into compromised effectiveness and unimaginable pain during surgery.
  • Foreign Objects – Leaving foreign objects in the body can lead to infections and severe pain. The most common objects left in the body are surgical tools, even though this can be easily prevented by properly checking materials before and after surgery.
  • Nerve or Organ Damage – Nerves and even entire organs are particularly vulnerable during surgery, as even a slight misuse of a scalpel can cause cuts and punctures. On the worst instances, these errors result into permanent disabilities and deaths.
  • Wrong-site Operation – Operating on the wrong body part is so incompetent that it is laughable, but it’s not so laughable when you realize that they do happen, resulting into wrongly amputated legs and wrongly extracted kidneys.
Some Facts about Spinal Cord Injuries

Some Facts about Spinal Cord Injuries

Oct 16

In 2005, the estimated new cases of spinal cord injuries (SCI) in the U.S. was 11,000. Records from the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center show, however, that, in 2015, the number went up to 12,500 new cases and still climbed to 17,000 in 2016. There are about 282,000 children and adults already suffering from spinal cord injury and, every year, more continue to be added to their number.

2016 record show that about 80% of new SCI cases involved males, while the average age at injury is 42 years (in the 1970s, the spinal cord injury average age was 29). Major causes of new SCI cases, on the other hand, included vehicle crashes (this has been the leading cause of the injury since 2010), falls, acts of violence (mainly gunshot wounds), sports/recreation activities, and medical/surgical error.

The spinal cord, which forms the central nervous system with the brain, is a bundle of nerve tissues and support cells; it is also one of the human body’s most delicate and sensitive parts. While the brain acts as the body’s command center, the spinal cord serves as the pathway for all messages from the brain to the different parts of the body and vice versa.

A spinal cord injury can damage the ligaments or spinal column disks, the vertebrae (which is a series of small bones that form the backbone), or the spinal cord itself. A spinal cord injury may be traumatic or non-traumatic. Traumatic SCI usually results from a sudden and forceful blow to the spine that fractures, crushes, dislocates, or compresses one or more areas of the vertebrae; it could also be due to a knife or gunshot would that pierces and cuts the spinal cord. Non-traumatic spinal cord injury, though, is usually due to disk degeneration of the spine, cancer, arthritis, infections, inflammation, or loss of blood supply to the cord (age is a major factor to developing non-traumatic SCI. This is because risk to the causes of NTSCI increases with age).

An injury to the spinal cord can be devastating as this can result to either partial or total paralysis, depending on how severe the damage is and the area/s affected by the injury. Partial paralysis, referred to as Paraplegia, is loss of control and function on one side of the body. There is a possibility that a partially paralyzed person would still have sensation despite having lost control in the paralyzed area.

According to the website of Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller & Overbeck, P.A., total paralysis, called Quadriplegia, means total loss of functions and control of body parts that are affected. Total paralysis starts from the injured area of the spinal cord down to the rest of the body; this means that the higher the injury, the greater the extent of paralysis.

Negligence is, most often, a factor in accidents resulting to spinal cord injuries. While the person at-fault in an accident may never have intended causing any injury, the fact that he/she was negligent and has actually injured someone are enough reasons to make him/her answer before the law and be made to compensate whoever he/she has harmed. A highly-competent personal injury lawyer may be able to assist a victim either in the legal pursuit or in an out-of-court settlement which will enable (the victim) to seek and claim the just amount of compensation that he/she is legally entitled to receive.

Wrongful Death: Information about Taking Legal Action

Wrongful Death: Information about Taking Legal Action

Jun 29

As the website of Crowe & Mulvey, LLP eloquently puts it, there are very few things in life as tragic and devastating as dealing with the unexpected loss of a loved one. There’s no way around the emotional turmoil that such an experience is sure to bring. What’s worse is when this grief becomes compounded due to the knowledge that death could have been avoided if not for the negligent behavior of another party. This leaves the surviving family to deal with consequences that will only increase the burden they are already carrying and make it hard to find the closure they need.

Fortunately, the law provides avenues of relief and comfort for grieving families in these situations. According to the website of Williams Kherkher, individuals seeking out answers can find closure through pursuing a wrongful death claim against the party or individual responsible for their loss. Wrongful death claims encompass all manner of accidents and scenarios that have been made possible due to negligent action committed by another person or entity. This includes fatalities caused by vehicular accidents, workplace explosions, and medical malpractice. A successful claim entitles the family to compensation covering financial expenses caused by the incident like medical expenses and income loss, as well as additional damages for the bereavement and suffering they have had to endure.

A wrongful death claim may be pursued by those that the law recognizes as the “real parties in interest”. While the definition varies from state to state, this usually includes the victim’s immediate family members, spouses and life partners, as well as financial dependents and other persons who stand to suffer financially due to the accident that occurred. These individuals will be allowed to pursue their claim within a specific period of time called the statute of limitations. Again, this differs depending on state laws. Usually, the statute of limitations for wrongful death claims is at 2 years. If you are looking to pursue a claim in the wake of an unexpected loss, it would be best to consult a legal professional as soon as possible.