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Providence Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Understanding drug allergies

As springtime is in full gear now, many Rhode Island residents may experience seasonal allergies. Runny, itchy eyes, sinus congestion and sneezing are often some of the tell-tale signs of these conditions. However, these are not the only types of allergies that people should be aware of. People can also experience allergic reactions to prescription medications. In some situations, these allergies may be very serious and even life threatening. For this reason, it is important that health care providers communicate well with patients when prescribing drugs.

The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology indicates that antibiotics such as penicillin are among the most common allergens in the prescription drug world. Anti-inflammatories, cancer drugs and anticonvulsants are also known to prompt allergic reactions in patients. When a person’s body detects what it considers to be an allergen, the body releases histamines or other chemicals to essentially fight back.

Woman left infertile after surgical error

Most people in Rhode Island have heard some stories about others who have experienced serious medical errors. The effects of these experiences can be emotionally traumatizing as well as physically debilitating or even life-threatening. Medical mistakes that involve surgeries can even make patients hesitant about ever undergoing another surgical treatment in the future.

Figuring out how to ever trust a doctor again is just one of the challenges that a Connecticut woman and her husband must face. The couple is left without the ability to naturally have their own biological children without the intervention of medical science due to a serious error made by a new physician. Upon being admitted to the hospital to investigate some pain in her pelvic region, the wife underwent a surgery to have her appendix removed.

Wearable technology may move into therapeutic use

People in Rhode Island have seen a dramatic increase in the use of wearable devices over the past few years. This trend has been experienced around the nation and is part of the country’s continued focus on how to improve people’s health while making use of technology. But, can wearables be more than they are today? If they can, what would that look like?

Current models of wearables focus primarily on reporting health. This may be in the form of tracking data like the number of steps a person has taken in a given day, the number of calories consumed or expended during exercise, and the like. Some collect other information specific to health. But, new models of wearables are in the works that may actually go one step further. These new devices could move from reporting health to facilitating health. They could become mechanisms by which treatments or medications are administered.

What is placental abruption?

Whether you are pregnant with your first, second or fifth baby, you should be able to enjoy the nine months of your pregnancy with joy and anticipation. Like other expectant parents in Rhode Island, it is also important for you to be aware of some of the complications that may develop during a pregnancy in order to keep you and your baby safe.

One problem that can occur is called a placental abruption according to WebMD. This refers to a situation in which the placenta becomes detached either in part or totally from the wall of the uterus. The connection here is the pathway via which your baby receives oxygen and nutrition so any abruption may compromise the delivery of those essential things.

Communication problems may contribute to medical errors

 Rhode Island residents naturally want to understand the scary and potentially dangerous world of medical malpractice. Nobody wants to become the victim of a medical error or to have their family member suffer from a preventable mistake made by a health care provider. A study led by Boston Children’s Hospital took a look at how communication between physicians may impact errors. The results were quite interesting.

Stanford Medicine reports that a new procedure implemented during the handoff from one physician to another was put in place at nine different hospitals. The goal was to see if a change in the transmission of information between shift changes would create any change in the number of errors made. Over the course of the duration of the study, the number of medical errors identified as preventable dropped by 30 percent. There was no change to the number of errors identified as unpreventable which further supported the impact of communication on the preventable errors.

Repeat surgery required after error

New England patients who must undergo even the most minor surgical procedure can reasonably be nervous about doing so. Fears about being put under the effects of anesthesia and the challenges associated with recovery are just some of the issues to face. Sadly, those are not the only issues that patients have to think about. Surgeons and others on surgical teams can make mistakes along the way.

A patient in Connecticut has recently brought forth a lawsuit after a surgical resident lied about an error that forced her to undergo an additional surgery. After a suspicious lesion was noted on a bone in her ribcage, it was decided that the bone should be removed. After the procedure was supposedly done, imaging showed something different. Yes, a rib bone was removed from the woman’s body. However, the bone that was taken out was not the bone that was supposed to have been taken out.

The dangers of a silent stroke

If you are like many Rhode Island residents, you are concerned about the dangers of medical errors today. When you go to the doctor, you want to be able to trust completely that you are given accurate information and receiving the best care. Sadly, this is not always the case. Sometimes problems result from diagnosis issues. This may include you being given a diagnosis which is not accurate. It may also include you being given no diagnosis at all when you do, in fact, have a serious problem. This can even happen with a stroke.

Many people may think that a stroke is always easy to identify by individuals and providers but that is not necessarily the case. As described by WebMD, sometimes a stroke can be considered a silent event. Essentially, this means that the actual event of a stroke is mild enough that it is not even detected by the person who has the stroke. In addition, the silent stroke term could also be used to describe a stroke that is not remembered by the person who has the stroke. If a stroke occurs when the person is alone, this can be a problem.

Understanding preeclampia

Rhode Island parents looking forward to the births of their babies should be able to enjoy the nine months of pregnancy with anticipated delight. However, the reality always exists that some type of medical problem can develop. In the ideal world, such problems will be found and treated with proper prenatal care and checkups. When that does not happen, mothers and babies alike can find themselves at risk for serious injuries.

Preeclampsia is one condition that may affect as many as eight percent of pregnancies according to the American Pregnancy Association. The danger with preeclampsia is that the blood flow from mother to baby can become compromised. This, in turn, can reduce the amount of nutrition and oxygen that the baby receives. Symptoms of preeclampsia include water retention, high protein levels in the mother’s urine and high blood pressure. Headaches, abdominal pain and blurring of vision may be more serious symptoms.

Questions to ask before you have surgery

If you need to undergo a surgical procedure in Rhode Island, you should take the time to gather as much information as possible ahead of time. Being fully informed about all aspects of your surgery is an important step in ensuring your own safety before, during and after the surgery. WebMD recommends that you ask your doctor several key questions.

Some questions you should ask focus on who will be involved and where your surgery will take place. Get details about the hospital or outpatient surgical center. Then ask for the names and backgrounds of the nurses, anesthesiologists and other doctors or medical staff that will be on your surgical team. Once you have this information, you can even do some research on the facility and the people.

When does a second opinion make sense?

No Rhode Island resident wants to receive a bleak medical diagnosis. Similarly, nobody wants to have a potentially serious condition overlooked, only to worsen for lack of proper and prompt treatment. These are just some of the types of medical errors that may lead to injury or even death. While it seems that the media continually offers some report of medical negligence, how can you feel secure in the safety and reliability of your health care today?

The Center for Advancing Health indicates that seeking a second opinion can be a very important way of protecting against potential medical errors. Obtaining additional input may help by confirming an original diagnosis or by identifying an originally missed condition. Second opinions may also be highly beneficial ways of getting different options for the treatment of a particular condition. Having more than one treatment can allow patients to choose the one that they are most comfortable with.

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Cases of Interest

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