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Tag Archives: surgical error

Medical malpractice more likely if the doctor is fatigued

Research has now documented something that many have long suspected about medical errors by doctors. The recently presented paper shows that a physician that is burnt out or fatigued is more likely to have reported a serious medical mistake. Experts say that this makes sense in light of what we know about fatigue in healthcare providers, including doctors, nurses, paramedics and technicians. Significant fatigue and burnout can obviously lead to a tired healthcare worker that slow the thinking process. However, the fatigue and burnout can also create irritability and dulled clinical senses, leading to poor concentration and critical decision making. All of these can easily lead to various medical malpractice issues, such as a surgical mistake, wrong medication prescriptions or dosing, and even missed or delayed diagnosis. Patient safety advocates have long demanded that medical professionals maintain proper safety precautions, including ensuring proper sleep habits, maintaining safety protocols and monitoring for and dealing with risk factors for medical errors. Stories of surgical error or other malpractice issues are always a cause to take note and make serious changes to prevent recurrence. It is crucial to speak to an injury lawyer that specializes in medical malpractice lawsuits if you or someone you know suffered from an error due to the actions or inactions of a healthcare professional. This study further describes the association between medical mistakes and doctor fatigue or burnout.

Photo for illustrative purposes only. Photo Credit: Army Medicine [License]

How common are medical errors and are they being taken seriously?

Repeat studies on medical malpractice show that medical errors are common and serious. Unfortunately, it is difficult to determine the accurate incidence of medical malpractice that causes death due to record keeping and statistics issues. However, according to experts, if medical errors were tracked properly, it may be the third most common cause of death in the United States. Cases of medical mistakes occur in regular hospital rooms, the ICU, the emergency and operating room just as often as in an outpatient doctor’s office, according to specialists. Of note, laboratory errors are also too common with inexperienced technicians and outdated equipment with negligent maintenance sometimes to blame. The high incidence of malpractice death has healthcare safety advocates very concerned. A New York City medical malpractice lawyer notes that this cause of death is all too often swept under the rug. Hospitals, doctors and other health providers sometimes cover up for their mistakes to prevent taking blame for medical injury or death. Other times, they may not have caught their blunder or innacuracy that could have led to a wrongful death or patient harm. Activists in this area point out that intensive scrutiny is often necessary to understand exactly what transpired. This can require medical expert witnesses examining the case and trying to determine if proper medical protocol was followed or if anything was missed. Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis can cause just as much of a problem as dispensing the wrong medication or overdose of a correct medicine. Experts say that other common medical malpractice events take the form of birth injury, negligent medical advice and failure to treat. Surgical error can include surgery on the wrong side of the body or the wrong surgery altogether. However, sometimes less obvious can be a surgeon who slips and perforates an organ. You can read more about the issue of surgical and medical errors here.

Photo for illustrative purposes only. Photo Credit: Fotos GOVBA [License]

New technology hopes to prevent birth injury

A healthcare instrument manufacturer has recently presented a new kind of scalpel to prevent birth injuries caused by a doctor during childbirth. The makers of this new surgical instrument say that it can prevent common accidental lacerations of the cheek, face and ear of the fetus as well as other body parts. Medical safety experts say that obstetrician doctors or residents often injure the infant while cutting through the mother’s tissues while working quickly to deliver the baby. Hospital errors can occur for various reasons. For example, unskilled physicians or fatigued staff sometimes have difficulty performing caesarean section surgeries under such time pressure. This can lead to permanent disability, wounds or even death of the baby. Patient safety can also be put at risk, leading to injury to the mother during such an intricate operation. The new medical device hopes to reduce the risk or such injuries and wrongful death. They also hope that the new safety blade design will prevent injury to the doctors and nurses involved in the surgery. Worker’s comp injuries involving hospital workers being hurt by needles, scalpels and other sharp instruments is a serious concern. Patient safety advocates explain that many medical safety devices are available to staff but some hospitals refuse to buy them due to high cost. However, they note that the high cost to a victim who suffers a medical malpractice injury must be taken into consideration. Many malpractice lawsuits, especially in cases of fetal injury, can be avoided with proper planning to avoid surgical error or a hospital mistake. Find out more about the new medical safety options here.

Photo for illustrative purposes only. Credit: M C Morgan [License]

$340,000 Compensation - Surgical Error - Young Woman Suffers Colon Perforation After Routine Surgery

Brooklyn, NY – – Jane Doe was 21 years old when she went for a routine gynecological surgery to remove cysts from her ovaries in February of 2010. However, she had to return to the Brooklyn, New York hospital approximately a week later due to severe pain from a perforation of her bowel. The injury to her large intestine quickly worsened into peritonitis, a dangerous infection in her abdomen and pelvis.

Ms. Doe continued to suffer and required multiple operations to help correct the apparent surgical mistake. She asserted that the hole in her bowel occurred due to doctor negligence and therefore filed a medical malpractice lawsuit. After consulting with a top medical malpractice lawyer, she further contended that the Ob-Gyn surgeon delayed treatment due to failure to diagnose the complication from the operation.

Following negotiation with the defendants, the malpractice victim was given a $340,000 settlement. For further details on this case, please see the full article below.

Illustrative photo by U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Benjamin Stratton [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons 

Long Island hospital facing medical malpractice lawsuit in alleged surgical error

New York – A woman went to a well-respected hospital in Long Island for a routine ectopic pregnancy operation but has now filed a medical malpractice lawsuit. She developed life threatening complications while in the hospital that left her with both legs amputated below the knees. The woman and her family say that the problems began when the surgeons pierced her colon during the laproscopic surgery. They explain that this puncture was missed by the hospital due to doctor error. This failure to diagnose, notes the family, led to even more serious complications. The patient then developed sepsis, a deadly infection in her blood, and gangrene necrosis, the death of tissues, in her legs. Doctors and nurses in the hospital detailed how the woman then required several months of hospitalization in the intensive care unit (ICU) with antibiotic treatments and various medications. However, the medical care could not prevent the need for amputating the woman’s feet and legs and several other necessary medical procedures. The victim now exclaims that the alleged hospital mistake have left her unable to care for herself and permanently disabled. She is suing the hospital and its doctors, claiming they were negligent in several areas of their medical care. You can read more about her hospital negligence case here.

Photo by Unknown photographer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons