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Pittsburgh Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Hospital mix-ups put newborns at risk

When you went to the hospital or birthing center for the delivery of your child, you were probably nervous about the well-being of your baby. The arrival of your child was a significant event, and the hospital stay likely brought joyful visitors and tender moments of bonding.

However, for the staff of nurses and doctors, the birth of your baby may have been just another part of a routine day. When a job becomes routine, people may begin to make mistakes. A recent report found that Pennsylvania hospitals saw over a thousand mistakes in a two-year period involving newborn identification and care.

Did Your Flu Shot Make You Sick?

With the approaching of flu season again, more and more people are going to be receiving flu shots. Almost everyone is encouraged to get a flu vaccination in order to prevent the spread of the influenza virus with very limited exceptions such as infants and those with serious allergies to flu vaccine.

One reason many people do not go get their flu shot is a fear that the vaccine will give them the flu. While this is not possible according to the CDC, many people still have this fear.

Medical mistakes mount in hospitals during the summer months

Going to the hospital during the summer months may be a bad idea as medical errors increase starting in June and ending in September. If you are planning an elective procedure, choose a time other than the summer.

What makes summer the most dangerous time for you to be hospitalized?

Medical malpractice cases are helping improve patient safety

There is reason to be optimistic in the field of medical malpractice. Check out this article in the Wall Street Journal, highlighting the fact that insurers and medical specialty groups are reviewing thousands of medical malpractice lawsuits that have either been tried or settled. One of the reasons for the review is to identify issues that threaten patient safety so efforts can be made to prevent the negligence from reoccurring in the future. This article comes on the heels of the Johns Hopkins study that concluded death by medical negligence is the third leading cause of death in the United States, behind cardiac disease and cancer.

New surgical sponges include barcodes for tracking

Pennsylvania residents who need to undergo surgery can understandably be nervous. This nervous feeling may relate to many things from concerns about what may be discovered during an operation to medical errors that may be made in the process. While no patient wants to think about the potential of becoming the victim of medical negligence, it is important to acknowledge the reality.

When it comes to surgeries, the vast majority of mistakes may include having surgical sponges left inside patients’ bodies. This can happen in as many as 70 percent of surgical errors which are found to happen once every 5,500 operations. More than four percent of patients who have these sponges left in them end up dying. Another 16 percent suffer lifelong injuries.

Study reveals that Medical Malpractice is the third leading cause of death in the U.S.

According to a recent article published by the British Medical journal, medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death in the United States. Martin Makary and Michael Daniel assess its contribution to mortality and call for better reporting, because medical error is not included on death certificates or in rankings of cause of death.

A look at medical errors in Pennsylvania

When you or a family member in Pennsylvania becomes sick or injured, the last thing you should have to worry about is the safety of your medical care. However, in today’s society, this concern is a valid one. Many a medical error has been known to leave patients with serious injuries. In some cases, patients even die due to the negligence of the professionals that were supposed to cure or take care of them. But, just how often does this happen?

While there may be no way to know for sure exactly how many medical mistakes are made in a given period of time, it is possible to know how many suspected cases of mistakes may exist. The Pennsylvania Courts publish data that shows the number of claims for medical malpractice that are filed each year in the state. Data is available county by county and highlight the risk that exists all throughout the state.

Commonly misdiagnosed conditions

If you have ever struggled with getting answers to some of your most pressing medical concerns, you know how hard it can be to get the help you need. Sadly, you are not alone. Many other Pennsylvania residents have experienced this same thing. While much of the time, health care professionals can give you the care you deserve, there are times when errors happen. One type of medical mistake is the incorrect diagnosis of a condition.

According to Everyday Health, the 10 health conditions that are most frequently misdiagnosed impact people both physically, mentally and emotionally. Data shows that some people struggle with the effects of Lyme disease for more than a year before finally getting accurate diagnoses. As many as 83 percent of people with Celiac disease are told they have other conditions or not even diagnosed with anything at all.

Oxygen deprivation during birth and cerebral palsy

Expectant parents in Pennsylvania know that there always exists the chance of complications developing during pregnancy, labor and delivery. However, parents should also be able to feel confident in the ability of their obstetricians and other providers to properly handle these situations. Sadly, this confidence is not always earned. Mistakes made during the birthing process can leave families struggling with the effects for life. Cerebral palsy is one condition that can result from a birth injury.

As explained by WebMD, approximately 20 percent of cerebral palsy cases are associated with birth injuries. These injuries generally involve a reduction in or lack of oxygen flowing to babies’ brains. This, in turn, causes damage to the brain. Effects of cerebral palsy are frequently exhibited in motor skill difficulties. Both fine and gross motor skills can be impacted.

Types of medication errors and tips for patients

Pennsylvania residents who must take prescription medications can be vulnerable to becoming the victim of a medical error. Just like surgical errors or missed diagnoses, mistakes involving prescriptions can and do claim the lives of innocent people. In addition, countless others are injured due to medication errors.

MedicineNet suggests that as many as 1.3 million medication errors are made in the United States each year. Older people may have a higher risk of being injured by a medication error simply because they tend to require more medications than younger persons. Mistakes involving medications can involve any preventable action that is involved in injury to a patient or the incorrect use of a drug. This can occur when a drug is under the control of the patient or a health care professional.

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