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Articles Posted in medical malpractice

Researchers from the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) wrote in the Annals of American Thoracic Society journal on Aug. 1 that identifying common intensive care unit (ICU) diagnostic errors and reducing them is critical.

The study’s authors found that as much as 20 percent of all patient-doctor encounters result in diagnostic errors. They note that the risk of critically ill patients being misdiagnosed is significantly higher than it is for others also.

Two factors that make diagnosing critically ill patients difficult is that physicians are often unable to physically examine or interview them. Coordinating their care tends to be more complex as well.

A survey conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2015 showed that 20 percent of all pediatricians will be sued at some during their career. At least 10 percent of them end up getting sued during their residencies. These are just some of the many trends associated with medical malpractice cases filed against pediatricians.

Pediatricians age 39 or younger are only likely to be sued in less than 15 percent of all medical malpractice cases. The risk of being accused of negligence increases as a doctor ages. Between the ages of 40 and 49, a pediatrician’s risk of being sued for climbs as high as 35 percent.

Researchers working on this 2013 Pediatrics study found that these doctors age 50 or older have a 50 percent chance of having to defend themselves against accusations of negligence.

While thousands of babies are born naturally each year without incident, there are cases in which moms and newborns suffer injuries. During childbirth, a baby can develop facial nerve palsy.

This condition can cause them to lose their ability to voluntarily control the muscles in their face. While some cases of this condition are temporary or can be fixed with surgery, some children with this condition may end up with paralyzed facial muscles.

A baby typically will either suffer injuries that cause facial nerve palsy immediately before or during the birthing process. Those that are born after a particularly long pregnancy or traumatic birth are the ones most apt to be born with this condition, especially if forceps are used to deliver them. Larger babies, especially those belonging to moms who have gestational diabetes, are more likely to develop this condition as well.

Of the many different medical conditions that doctors misdiagnose each year, strokes are one of those at the top of the list. One of the reasons that physicians often mistake the symptoms that a patient is experiencing from something other than a stroke is because many of them fail to ask probing questions that would allow them to understand what’s truly going on.

Doctors often misdiagnose patients who are experiencing blurred or double vision or sudden loss of sight as something related to being tired or age. Oftentimes, it’s a sign that a patient’s blood vessel isn’t getting enough oxygen because it’s blocked, though. This is why any time you have a sudden-onset eye problem, you should advocate for yourself and ask a doctor if it may be the result of a stroke.

Patients who slur their speech, can’t walk in a straight line or are unsteady on their feet may be mistaken for being under the influence of drugs or alcohol when they’ve actually suffered a stroke. If your medical team seems to brush you off as being intoxicated, then you’ll want to emphasize to them that you’re not and ask if you’ve maybe had a stroke.

When many of us think about intensive care units (ICUs), we often imagine patients being monitored closely by cutting-edge technology or of them receiving more dedicated care at the hands of skilled medical providers. Few of us would think that it’s one of the areas in the hospital with the highest rates of preventable injuries or deaths.

It happens to be one of the units in the hospital where sepsis is most likely to kill patients, though. In fact, this condition is reportedly the leading illness that kills ICU patients in noncoronary hospital units each year in the United States.

Sepsis is a type of auto-immune response that results in the dying off of the body’s tissues if an infection goes untreated. The condition becomes increasingly aggressive as time lingers on and eventually causes an individual’s vital organs to shut down. As a septic shock sets in, a patient’s blood pressure sharply declines, resulting in an individual’s death.

While using a midwife to deliver a baby used to be the norm, many women have relied upon the modern conveniences that a hospital offers to have their babies during the last few decades. Using midwives to deliver newborns has experienced a resurgence in popularity in recent years, though. This has led many women to wonder, what recourse that they have if the labor and delivery process goes wrong at their hands.

Most jurisdictions require that a midwife completes certain educational requirements, including serving as an apprentice to a seasoned professional, before they can become licensed to practice their profession in that state. Many jurisdictions require the midwives to carry malpractice insurance in order to remain in compliance with licensing authorities.

It’s because of this that doctors aren’t the only ones who can be sued for malpractice. Instead, nurses and their employing hospitals and midwives can be held financially accountable for injuries that patients in their care receive. That being said, proving negligence isn’t easy.

A recent USA Today investigation revealed that the United States now ranks as the most dangerous developed country for pregnant women to give birth in. Each year as many as 700 mothers die during childbirth. Another 50,000 women suffer serious injuries either beforehand or afterwards.

Their research also shows that two of the conditions most apt to cause American women complications during childbirth include extreme blood loss or high blood pressure.

Data compiled by their researchers shows that at least 60 percent of mothers who die during labor or soon thereafter due so from having elevated blood pressure. Others die from losing too much blood, a phenomenon known as hemorrhaging. Their research shows that 90 percent of all new moms’ hemorrhaging deaths are preventable when doctors take more proactive measures in treating their patients.

Each year, at least a quarter of a million individuals die as a result of medical malpractice. At least 2.5 million are injured in similar types of incidents.

Data published by the National Institutes of Health in 2007 suggested that 43 percent of such instances take place right in a physician’s office. A new study published by a professor and doctor at Boston University School of Medicine suggests that reducing the occurrence rate of such incidents may start with improving the education medical professionals receive.

The author of the study suggests that the first step to reducing the occurrence rate of medical negligence is to have every medical student sit for a risk management exam and receive a certificate right before they graduate.

The Illinois State Attorney’s Office requested permission from Cook County administrators on July 24 to go ahead and settle a 2013 medical malpractice case for $6.5 million. The family of a 55-year-old Chicago woman had brought a lawsuit against the Stoger Hospital soon after she died from a botched pacemaker surgery.

While it is not common practice for the State Attorney’s Office to be asked to step on issues such as this, it was necessary due to unique circumstances in this case. The sitting State Attorney is listed as a partner at the firm representing the plaintiff. Cook County codes prohibit the payment of lawsuit awards to individuals with certain relationships with the county.

According to court records, the female victim was set to undergo surgery to have a pacemaker inserted at Stoger Hospital in 2013. Shortly after the procedure got underway, the woman’s surgeon severed her artery. At trial, he testified that he didn’t realize this had occurred.

A recent study published in Annals of Oncology, a cancer journal, chronicles how skin cancer diagnoses tend to be more accurate when they’re made via artificial intelligence devices rather than by dermatologists.

In order to reach this conclusion, researchers from the University of Heidelberg used a deep learning machine called the convolutional neural network (CNN) to observe moles. In the end, over 100,000 slides of these growths were analyzed alongside their diagnoses.

Each of the lesions were magnified 10 times their original size. Over time, the CNN became better at properly identifying both malignant and benign moles after researchers trained it using the slides.

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