Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice

Doctors are not only responsible for prescribing patients the right medications, but also the right dosage.  Physicians may not be responsible for potential side effects listed on the warning label of a drug, but a doctor may be held liable for medical malpractice if a patient was injured because the wrong medication or dosage was prescribed. Continue Reading

Oxygen deprivation at birth, also known as perinatal hypoxia, is one of the leading causes of infant brain damage, according to Springer International Publishing. Between 2 and 10 out of every 1,000 babies experience a lack of oxygen at birth, according to the American Journal of Neuroradiology.

In some cases, a baby may experience perinatal anoxia – the total absence of oxygen.

Not getting enough oxygen during or after birth can cause long term neurological injuries. Both perinatal hypoxia and perinatal anoxia can result in an injury called hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE).  Many newborns with HIE will die as a result of organ failure or lung infections.  Babies who survive will experience lifelong problems that may include seizures, developmental delay and cerebral palsy. Continue Reading

The Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyers at Anapol Weiss have seen firsthand the devastating effects of a medical misdiagnosis. Failure to diagnose serious conditions such as cancer, pneumonia or meningitis can be result in a death that may have otherwise been prevented.

A patient is not to blame when a condition is misdiagnosed. It is the doctor’s responsibility to provide a correct diagnosis. However, there are a number of steps a patient can take to decrease the chances of becoming another victim of medical malpractice.

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Within the last 20 years, an estimated 80,000 “never events,” or surgical errors that should not have happened during surgery, occurred in American hospitals, according to Johns Hopkins.

One common example of a surgical error is when a doctor leaves a foreign object, such as a surgical instrument, inside the patient.

It is estimated that 4,500 and 6,000 adverse events involving retained foreign parts occur each year, according to USA Today.

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When a birth injury occurs, neither the child nor the mother is to blame. However, they are the ones left to deal with the aftermath when this type of medical mistake occurs.

Birth injuries can occur when the delivery staff applies too much force on the babies head or shoulder during delivery. Doctors may apply excessive force when the baby is having difficulty passing through the birth canal. While this may be a common scenario, it is also very preventable.

Doctors should analyze risk factors including diabetes, history of difficult deliveries, and the baby’s size and position to help prevent birth injuries.

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Early diagnosis and adequate treatment of a spinal epidural abscess can greatly improve a patient’s future quality of life, according to the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry (JNNP). A misdiagnosis of spinal epidural abscess can leave a patient with long-term spinal cord injuries.

A spinal epidural abscess is mass of infected material fixed between the bones of the spine, and the membranes covering the spinal cord. If this spinal cord injury is not diagnosed before weakness, paralysis or sensation changes occur, the patient is at great risk for permanent nervous system damage or death.

To avoid a delayed diagnosis of a spinal epidural abscess, doctors and patients should be aware of the following symptoms:

Childbirth is a natural process, but it is not always without complications. If the delivery team does not react quickly and properly, these complications can result in a serious injury to the mother or her baby.

Through no fault of the doctor, the umbilical cord could become entangled around the baby’s neck. If the doctor does not react correctly, the baby could suffer serious injury due to lack of oxygen, or cerebral hypoxia. A baby can swallow amniotic fluid blocking his/her airway resulting in lack of oxygen.

If the baby does not receive immediate assistance, cerebral hypoxia may result in brain injuries or death. Children with brain injuries caused by oxygen deprivation at birth may require medical care for the rest of their lives. The cost to care for a child with such needs can be crippling. Parents should not be forced to pay for mistakes made in the delivery room.

Researchers in Canada are working on a surgical tracking box, similar to the black boxes used to record the final events of an airplane, according to CNN.com. Rather than being used to analyze a disaster after it occurs, the surgical black box will be used to prevent surgical errors before they occur.

During the last 20 years, 80,000 “never events” – surgical errors that should not have happened– occurred in American hospitals, according to Johns Hopkins Researchers.

Dr. Teodor Grantcharov, a minimally invasive surgeon at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, was inspired to develop the surgical black box after years of witnessing the effects of surgical complications. He explained to CNN that the black box will decrease the number of complications from surgery by pinpointing mistakes and informing surgeons when they are veering off course.

On June 16, the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association (PTLA) elected Lawrence Cohan of Anapol Weiss as the new President of the organization.

For more than 50 years, PTLA has sought to protect the rights of all individuals, and it has become a growing force in the community. The organization is made up of more than 1,000 trial lawyers who aim to preserve the legal system and create new laws to protect the rights of the community.

“Because of the Trial Lawyers, the workplace in Pennsylvania is safer,” Cohan said. “Products are safer because manufacturers know we hold them responsible, and perhaps we have also helped make it safer to be a patient in a hospital in Pennsylvania.”

The Florida Supreme Court has declared caps placed on compensation for wrongful death cases — those in which a doctor’s mistake led to patient death — are unconstitutional.

“The cap on non-economic damages serves no purpose other than to arbitrarily punish the most grievously injured or their surviving family members,” according to the court.

Florida is at least the seventh state to declare medical malpractice award limits unconstitutional. The National Conference of State Legislatures shows that 35 of 50 states have a cap on medical malpractice awards. The Florida ruling doesn’t affect other states because it is based on the state’s constitution.

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