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Providence Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Recognizing anesthesia dangers in children

Effectively administering and monitoring anesthesia involves a large number of considerations, including accounting for the patient’s weight and age. Not only can such factors affect how the patient responds to anesthesia but they can also have an impact on his or her overall health and recovery. When it comes to using anesthesia on children, the situation can become even more complicated and dangerous. The attorneys at DeLuca & Weizenbaum, L.T.D., are familiar with the harmful complications and consequences related to the use of anesthesia on young children, and are committed to educating our clients about such issues.

Many aspects of pediatric medicine are incredibly complex and even controversial, as there is still much to be learned about child development and how the human body responds to different medical treatments at various stages of life. For instance, WebM.D. explains that there is a lack of scientific information on how children under the age of three are affected by general anesthesia. However, some studies have suggested that children who are exposed to general anesthesia on multiple occasions have an increased risk of developing behavioral problems and learning disabilities.

What are the risks associated with preeclampsia?

The human body experiences a huge number of physiological changes during pregnancy, which can result in serious complications for the mother and baby alike. Some pregnancy-related complications can occur quickly and without noticeable symptoms. Therefore, it is the responsibility of obstetricians and attending medical professionals to actively monitor the progression of their patients’ pregnancies in order to identify and prevent serious conditions like preeclampsia.

The Mayo Clinic discusses preeclampsia, and describes the condition as a pregnancy complication that is characterized as signs of high blood pressure and damage to other organ systems in the mother. The onset of preeclampsia generally occurs after 20 weeks of pregnancy, and often occurs in women with no history of high blood pressure.

Recognizing that primary care physicians make deadly mistakes

No matter if you only go to the doctor every few years or work closely with your physician to manage a chronic medical condition, your primary care doctor is likely the physician that you know the best. In fact, you may have had the same primary physician for years. That does not necessarily mean, however, that your primary care doctor is incapable of making preventable and/or dangerous mistakes. We here at the law offices of DeLuca & Weizenbaum, L.T.P., have handled a large number of cases revolving around serious and fatal injuries caused by negligence on the part of primary care physicians.

Medical Daily discusses medical malpractice incidents involving primary care physicians in one study, and explains that these types of doctors are involved in approximately 7 to 16 percent of lawsuit claims filed in the U.S. The vast majority of malpractice claims filed against primary care physicians cited the misdiagnosis of conditions like meningitis, cancer and heart attacks. Similarly, drug errors were identified as another major cause for malpractice claims.

What should I know about adverse drug reactions?

Given the fact that over-the-counter and prescription medications are specially designed to treat a huge number of medical conditions, it can be difficult to imagine that they can actually do more harm than good in some cases. Adverse drug reactions happen more often than you might believe, and can have serious and even fatal consequences. Consequently, it’s important to be able to identify when and how dangerous drug reactions can occur, as well as recognize possible symptoms.

According to FamilyDoctor.org, anyone can experience an adverse drug reaction. However, you may be at a significantly higher risk of having a reaction if you take more than three prescribed and/or over-the-counter medications every day. Everything from over-the-counter vitamins to herbal supplements to prescribed antibiotics can interact with one another, causing potentially hazardous side effects and complications. Beyond that, other factors like alcohol, caffeine and certain foods can affect how medications work.

Lack of reentry oversight for doctors prompts concern

When it comes to undergoing a particular medical treatment or surgical procedure in Rhode Island, many patients only consent because they trust in the extensive training and practical experience of their doctors. What happens in cases, then, when a particular physician has not actually practiced medicine in years? As it turns out, thousands of doctors reenter the workforce every year after taking extended breaks from practicing, and many of them face inconsistent requirements for treating patients again.

Since there are no nationwide guidelines for physician reentry standards, it is largely up to individual states and employers to mandate guidelines for doctors going back to work after taking a hiatus from practicing medicine. Patient advocates argue that the lack of oversight for doctors returning to work is a disservice to the patients, who should be able to trust that their physicians are properly trained. Others argue, however, that efforts should be made to make it easier for doctors to return to the job.

Postpartum hemorrhage injuries and concerns

Often times, a great deal of emphasis is placed on pregnancy and birth-related medical care by OB/GYN physicians and other medical professionals. Expecting mothers are educated about the various stages of pregnancy and childbirth, but may not be aware of the many medical concerns and complications that can arise after the birthing processes is over. The unfortunate truth is that postpartum hemorrhaging continues to be a major issue in the U.S., resulting in serious injuries and deaths every year.

According to the babycenter.com, a postpartum hemorrhage can occur immediately after giving birth or in the days or weeks following delivery. A postpartum hemorrhage is characterized as excessive blood loss, and is often caused by the uterus failing to contract properly after the placenta separates and is delivered. Other causes for postpartum hemorrhaging can include but are not limited to:

  •          Vaginal or perineum tears
  •          A large episiotomy
  •          An inverted or ruptured uterus
  •          Cervical lacerations

How do medication errors happen?

The Mayo Clinic discusses common medication errors that occur in homes and hospital settings across the country, and explains that they are incredibly prevalent. No matter if the medication in question is a prescription drug or available over-the-counter, there is always the potential for it to be improperly dispensed or administered. Beyond that, issues relating to physicians and/or pharmacists issuing wrong prescriptions are not uncommon. The truth of the matter is that a serious and potentially life-threatening medication error can occur at any stage of a drug being prescribed, dispensed or administered.

Poor communication is a primary factor in medication error incidents, and can occur between everyone from physicians and nurses to pharmacists and patients. For instance, a severe medication interaction can occur in instances where a doctor prescribes a medication without being aware of all the nonprescription drugs the patient is taking. Nurses and other medical professionals have also been known to administer wrong medications because they fail to recognize and/or question drug names and abbreviations.

Largest medical malpractice verdict ever awarded in Rhode Island

Unless or until people are personally affected by a preventable medical injury, it can be difficult for them to fully appreciate the impact that such an incident can have. Medical malpractice victims and their families can face immediate and long-term financial difficulties as a result of issues like excessive medical expenses and loss of income. Beyond that, the emotional toll of these types of injuries can be profound as well. It is for that reason that medical malpractice financial awards often account for multiple types of damages.

The Rhode Island Hospital, which is located in Providence, recently admitted to providing substandard care to a patient six years ago. Not only did the medical facility express regret for the incident but it also admitted that several staff members acted negligently in diagnosing a head injury.

The disturbing link between surgery mistakes and distractions

As people’s every day routines and lifestyles continue to be impacted by the increasing use of mobile phones and other devices, more concerns are being raised over user distraction and accident rates. For instance, it is now widely understood that issues relating to cell phone use and distracted driving can have catastrophic consequences for motorists. Similar concerns are being raised by patient advocates and members of the medical industry, and revolve around distractions that occur in the operating room.

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, approximately two thirds of surgeons across the country use their cell phones in operating rooms and intensive care units. In fact, physicians are increasingly incorporating the use of personal cell phones and other digital devices into their professional practices. A cell phone camera can be used to take pictures of an active medical procedure, while the device can also serve as a music player during surgery. It is for that reason that some are questioning the use and safety of such technologies in the operating room.

Recognizing heart attack symptoms and misdiagnosis concerns

Rhode Island cardiologists, emergency room doctors and other medical professionals are trained to promptly and accurately identify the signs and symptoms of a heart attack. After all, they understand that the nature and severity of heart attack symptoms can vary from case to case, and that a number of tests are available to confirm a heart attack diagnosis. If you or a loved one suffered a heart attack and were not properly diagnosed or treated, it is important to understand that your worsened medical condition may have been prevented. That is why the attorneys at DeLuca & Weizenbaum are committed to advocating on behalf of our clients and medical misdiagnosis victims.

The Mayo Clinic explains that a number of factors can come into play when considering the nature and severity of symptoms heart attack victims can experience. For instance, it is not unusual for elderly adults and people with diabetes to experience mild to no symptoms at all. Similarly, women often present different heart attack symptoms than men. Chest pain, for instance, is not as common in female heart attack patients. Instead, they are more generally known to experience everything from unusual fatigue to shortness of breath to back pain.

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Cases of Interest

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