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Medical Malpractice Frequently Asked Questions

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Your injury was quite likely the result of medical or surgical malpractice. Whether or not you have a valid legal claim requires further analysis requiring more information. We only give legal opinions after a thorough review of the anesthesiologist who intubated me for my appendectomy severely injured larynx throat case. In addition, a finding of medical malpractice can only be given by a medical expert. However, based on the severity of the initial description, the doctor who performed the intubation quite likely acted negligently. During a surgery involving general anesthesia, doctors must provide air to patients through what is called intubation. Intubation involves inserting a tube down the patient’s throat to provide air to the lungs.

Usually not. However, there is always an exception to the rule. For example, ureteral injuries during hysterectomy are recognized risks. In layman’s terms, when surgeons remove a woman’s uterus, injury to the tubes that carry urine out of the body can happen no matter how careful and talented the surgeon is. That said, in a recent medical malpractice case, medical experts testified that a ureteral injury was medical negligence. The circumstances were quite unique. The injury involved a new cauterizing medical device. Surgeons use cauterizing devices to close incisions by burning the tissue together in a process analogous to welding. The danger inherent with cauterizing devices is that unintended tissues can be burned which may result in injury or complications. In this case, the surgeon used a new version of a device which the surgeon thought had a zero burn radius (which the manufacturer’s website calls “thermal spread radius”). Only after the surgeon had burned the patient’s ureter did the surgeon research the device’s burn radius, which was actually from 2 – 5 mm. If the surgeon had known this, the surgeon would not have used the device so close to the ureter, and the patient’s injury would have been avoided. In addition, the doctor could have used a saline barrier, a physical barrier, a stent, or even a lighted stent (they even come in different colors) to show where the ureter was and prevent damage. However, the doctor chose not to. In very limited and unique circumstances, recognized complications can be medical negligence.

Yes. Proper positioning of the patient during surgery can be critically important because significant permanent injury can result from improper positioning including foot drop. For example, certain excision surgeries that lasted more than 9 hours with the patient in an extreme position known as a Trendelenburg position resulted in right peroneal nerve injury that caused the patient to suffer from foot drop thereafter. The Trendelenburg position is when the patient is placed on her back and her pelvis and legs are raised above her chest and head. Surgeons, anesthesiologists and nurses all share responsibility for ensuring surgical patients are placed in safe positions. When patients are under general anesthesia, they cannot feel the discomfort that dangerous positions cause nor can they report that discomfort to medical providers. If a patient is placed in a dangerous position for surgery, significant injury can occur especially the longer the surgery lasts. Each member of the surgical team usually is responsible for placing different body parts in the correct position with the surgeon generally taking responsibility for the patient’s legs. Misplacement of body parts can negligently cause injury as can misapplied restraints such as a leg restraint strap. That said, some pre-existing conditions pre-dispose patients to post-surgical nerve problems. A detailed review of the medical record must be done to determine if the pre-existing condition caused the injury or medical negligence.

ur indiscriminate overuse of antibiotic medicine has given rise to a super-bacteria known as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) that has developed immunity to many antibiotic treatments. Now, doctors and healthcare providers must diagnose and treat infections that can turn deadly much faster than previously known bacterial infections. If MRSA is not accurately diagnosed or treated, it can quickly progress into a flesh-eating infection, osteomyelitis or toxic shock death. The following points represent a small sample of the ways that doctors, nurses and other healthcare providers can commit medical malpractice when dealing with MRSA. 1. Patients with prior MRSA infections and history or recurrent infections of the soft tissues should be treated as if they are infected with MRSA until doctors are sure they are not. This is a “guilty until proven innocent” approach. MRSA is just too dangerous to treat this type of patient any differently. If these factors are present, they indicate that the patient is susceptible to MRSA. Since MRSA may advance more rapidly in already susceptible patients, all precautions should be taken. Such a patient should not be treated with cephalexin or other similar antibiotics. If an MRSA victim were treated initially with cephalexin, such a course only delays appropriate treatment and opens the door to the potential for unnecessary complications. 2. Normal infections can be treated with cephalexin. Such treatment is absolutely appropriate for non-MRSA infections. However, if a patient does not respond to that conservative treatment, doctors must either perform a culture or switch treatment to an MRSA-effective drug or take both steps simultaneously. Antibiotics that effectively combat MRSA are vancomycin, trimethoprim-sulfa, or linezolid. A failure to recognize an MRSA soft-tissue infection can cause the infection to progress past the point of treatment. 3. Failure to appropriately screen for pre-existing MRSA can lead to implant and wound infection. Experts now recommend that patients who receive medical hardware or prosthesis (including vascular grafts) should be checked before surgery for MRSA already living on the patient’s skin. MRSA on a person’s skin can be unproblematic. When MRSA moves from the skin into the body through a surgical incision, dangerous infections can arise. To prevent such infections, patients who are found to already have MRSA on their skin can either decolonize themselves or take MRSA effective antibiotics before surgery. 4. Once MRSA contaminates a patient’s blood, treatment must not be delayed. Several years ago, doctors thought bacteremia (blood infection) with Staphylococcus aureus was still considered a skin contaminant and not treated aggressively. A failure to recognize or treat MRSA bloodstream infections can be deadly. 5. Doctors, nurses and healthcare providers know that deep infections require draining. IF a deep MRSA infection is not drained, the results can be devastating. 6. Even powerful antibiotics like vancomycin have limitations and side effects. Doctors’ failure to appreciate them can lead to a poor outcome in MRSA patients.

In every medical malpractice case the plaintiff, the person alleging malpractice, must prove two things. First, the healthcare provider was negligent. This means the plaintiff must prove the healthcare provider did not follow the standard of care. That is the provider did not do what a reasonably prudent healthcare provider would have done under the circumstances. Simply the fact alone that the healthcare provider has made some mistake does not mean you have a medical malpractice case. This is because you must also prove that the mistake caused some type of injury. The plaintiff has the burden to prove that it is more probable than not the injury would not have occurred but for the mistake. In some instances, strokes can be avoided if a special medicine called a “clot buster” is administered within six hours of the onset of the stroke symptoms. This type of medicine is used when the stroke is caused by a clot which cuts off the blood flow to portions of the brain. Sometimes healthcare providers do not properly diagnosis the existence of the stroke or do not make sufficient inquiry into the circumstances to determine whether or not the onset of the stroke was within six hours. Thus, in some instances these “clot busters” are not administered when they should have been. However, there is still no case unless the plaintiff is able to prove that but for the failure to administer the “clot buster” medication it is more probable than not the stroke would have been prevented. Proving this element is difficult because the current state of the science is that even with the administration of the medicine the stroke injury could still occur. In fact, there is a Florida case which holds that because of the uncertainty of the benefit of the medication the plaintiff cannot prove that it is more probable than not the healthcare provider could have prevented the stroke with the administration of the medicine and thus could have prevented injury from the stroke. That ruling has been very damaging to stroke cases. Now, only the most severe stroke injuries are cases in which we can advise clients to file a medical malpractice suit. Additionally, the victim must have been otherwise healthy.

If your wife was left unattended during a stereotactic breast biopsy and was injured from falling off the table, that injury was the result of negligence.Hospital Negligent Resulting Brain Injury. At least one person must be with a patient at all times until the procedure is finished. A stereotactic biopsy procedure is not finished until the patient safely walks out of the room.

Doctors provide healthcare services that require very high skill level and personal responsibility. In order to avoid a doctor who is more likely than others to commit medical malpractice it is a good idea to inform yourself about the doctor’s background. This includes such matters as the doctor’s education, internship, specialty and whether the doctor has paid malpractice claims. It is also a good idea to know whether or not your doctor has a criminal history. You want to be confident that you can count on your Ormond Beach or Daytona Beach doctor. The Florida Department of Health provides a great deal of information about health care providers through its Division of Medical Quality Assurance. The Division has a Practitioner Profile available on the web that you can search easily. The Division has a guide at its website which will help you understand the Practitioner Profile. It is easy to use the Profile. Simply fill in the name of your doctor and search. The results are displayed in a list of doctors who have the same name. This list also indicates the name of the city in which the doctor practices. Click on the license number for your doctor and the doctor’s information will be displayed. There are separate tabs for categories of information: education and training, academic appointments, specialty certification, financial responsibility, proceedings and actions, optional information and license verification. Review the proceedings and actions section to determine whether your doctor has been required to pay a settlement or verdict in a medical malpractice case of greater than $100,000. This section also contains information about whether the doctor has a criminal history. The Department of Health does not verify all the information in the profile but does verify criminal histories at the time of the initial licensure and then updates criminal histories every two years with a statewide criminal background check.

A pregnancy after tubal ligation is the result of medical malpractice only if the surgeon improperly executes the procedure. No sterilization procedure is 100 percent effective. Having your tubes tied, called tubal ligation, fails at a rate of about only 1 percent. A specimen of what the surgeon cut should be sent to a pathology laboratory for tests to verify that the surgeon cut the fallopian tube and not another piece of the patient’s anatomy. If the pathology report indicates fallopian tube is present in the specimen, then no medical malpractice occurred.

It is rarely okay for surgeons to leave part of your gallbladder in you during a laparoscopic cholecystectomy (lap choly). Surgeons may do so to provide a drain to pass bile from your liver to your intestine. This is required in a small number of people who do not have cystic ducts. However, this departure from the standard lap choly must be documented in your medical records. If your medical records of the operation do not mention leaving part of your gallbladder in, then you likely have a valid medical malpractice case.

A ruptured or torn pubic symphysis or sacroiliac join is often the result of medical negligence. This type of medical malpractice injury most often occurs in conjunction with shoulder dystocia deliveries. When a baby’s shoulder is stuck in the birth canal, doctors and midwives often put the mother through a series of different positions to help free the baby. If the doctor or midwife gives incorrect instructions, fails to properly supervise the positions or if the doctor or midwife puts the mother into an incorrect position herself, then injury to the mother can occur. If you or a loved one have suffered this injury, you might not need a Florida medical malpractice lawyer, but before you talk to the insurance adjuster, sign any forms or hire a lawyer, get the free books available at this website.

It depends on the precise facts of your case, but transecting, or cutting, the wrong bile duct in a laparoscopic gallbladder surgery has been one of the most common surgical malpractice events for some time now. You very well could have a valid medical malpractice claim. Doctors and surgeons have a duty to identify the organs they are operating on before they make incisions. In addition, variations in anatomy mean that in some cases surgeons should take additional measures to identify which organ or anatomical structure is the correct one. One such procedure that surgeons can perform to identify proper organs in a gallbladder surgery is a cholangiography, which is the medical term for looking at the bile duct using x-rays. This procedure could have alerted your surgeon to the fact that he or she was about to cut the wrong organ.

If your injury was caused by what are called Bookwalter retractors, then your injury is your doctor’s fault. If not, then no. For example, abscesses and hematomas can injure the femoral nerve during a hysterectomy. These causes are not the doctor’s fault as there is nothing she can do about them. However, doctors know they should position the retractors correctly and have a duty to not only place them correctly but check the placement during surgery and adjust the blades accordingly. Correct placement of the retractor leaves space between the retractor and the psoas muscle. Lean patients do not have enough fat to prop up the retractor to keep it off the psoas so increased vigilance is called for with regard to lean patients. If the retractor is correctly placed it is impossible for the retractor to compress the psoas muscle and injure the femoral nerve. If you had a CT scan that showed you did not have a hematoma or abscess, then you are more likely to have been the victim of medical malpractice during this surgery. If you do not have diabetes, then you are more likely to have been the victim of medical malpractice during this surgery. Sometimes improper positioning can cause your injury. Were you placed in stirrups or laid flat? If you were in stirrups, your injury is more likely to have been caused by the retractor. Medical malpractice cases involve intense record review. All the facts must be ascertained and reviewed by a medical expert before a case can be commenced. The law firm of Zimmet & Zimmet practices only personal injury law. Your questions answered. Your options explained.

It sure sounds like it, but without a complete review of the records no one can be sure. If pulmonary embolism was identified in your wife’s medical records as a risk factor for her pregnancy or c-section and her report of lower leg swelling was ignored, those are strong indications that your wife’s death was caused by medical negligence.

he Punctured Bowel During Surgery or perforation in your bowel may or may not be the result of negligence. The answer most likely depends on the conditions the surgeon encountered in your abdomen. If you had scar tissue or other complicating factors from either endometriosis or adhesions, then the surgeon is less likely to have been negligent. The delay in diagnosis is more likely to have been negligent. However, each case must be reviewed on an individual basis because each situation is unique. You mention that you had abdominal pain and bloating. While those symptoms are normal, three days without diagnosis of bowel perforation is likely too long.

This type of rare and tragic incident is difficult to prevent because so little is known about anaphylactoid or idiosyncratic reaction. About 1 in 240,000 patients experience anaphylactic reactions from imaging contrast material. Some risk factors are known that increase a patient’s chances of having an adverse reaction to contrast material, but most people who experience adverse reactions do not have these risk factors. If your husband had any of the risk factors and the hospital or doctors knew of them, they may have been negligent in administering the contrast. Risk factors include:

  1. Previous anaphylactic reactions
  2. Asthma
  3. Food or medication allergies, or hayfever
  4. Multiple medical problems or an underlying disease (e.g., cardiac disease, preexisting azotemia, kidney disease, hypersensitivity)
  5. Treatment with nephrotoxic agents (e.g., aminoglycosides, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents) Advanced age
At the very least, doctors should ensure they have the patient’s informed consent to administer the contrast. Patients must understand that they risk death by consenting to contrast injections. Premedication should be administered for patients with the known risk factors listed above. Lastly, physicians must be on hand to direct care in the event of an adverse reaction and imaging personnel must be trained to recognize and treat such reactions.

Only a medical expert can say for sure, but it could be that your compartment syndrome was caused by pressure from a surgical restraint belt that was tightened too much over your thighs. Compartment syndrome can happen in any surgery, especially long ones like yours, but your situation definitely merits further exploration to determine if one of your medical providers breached the standard of care and was negligent.

Medical experts conclude that the bladder perforation itself is not likely negligence because it is an accepted complication of hysterectomy surgery. Nonetheless, you need to be informed that accidentally cutting a hole in your bladder is a potential complication of hysterectomy. What would more likely be negligence is if the surgeon failed to notice the bladder perforation and concluded the surgery without calling a urologist to repair the injury. The standard of care calls for bladder perforations to be identified in surgery and repaired while the patient is still under anesthesia. Bladder perforations are also called cystotomies. These recognized complications of hysterectomies are more common in hysterectomy patients who have had previous surgeries such as myomectomies and c-sections. These complications are also more common in hysterectomies performed through the vagina than through an open surgery. The repair can either be done vaginally or through an open abdominal surgery. Whichever technique is used, a urologist should be called into the operating room to perform the repair. Even with proper repair, post-operative complications can occur. Those complications do not necessarily mean the surgeon was negligent. A bad outcome is possible without negligence. However, if you are suffering or have suffered complications from bladder perforation during hysterectomy that were not identified and corrected during your hysterectomy surgery, then you are much more likely to have been the victim of medical malpractice and a thorough record review should be conducted by a qualified medical negligence lawyer.

The kind of medical malpractice case that occurs most frequently is a doctor’s failure to diagnose cancer. The most frequent kinds of cancer that are misdiagnosed are cancer of the breast, brain, lung – also ovarian and testicular cancer misdiagnoses are common.

When a doctor or other health care provider renders negligent care, it most often falls into one of three categories:

  1. Failure to properly diagnose a patient’s medical condition: health care providers are required to perform an appropriate amount and type of diagnostic testing within the appropiate time window so that results can be used to direct treatment in a timely manner. In addition, the resulting diagnosis must be disclosed to the patient.
  2. Failure to properly treat the patient: this does not mean that a bad outcome gives rise to a negligence claim. Ineffective surgeries are not always the result of medical negligence. Unless a patient signs a contract with a health care provider that guarantees success or cure, then bad results and failure to cure are not actionable medical negligence claims. A health care provider has the duty to recognize that he or she does not have the skill to treat a medical condition and either seek help or refer the patient to a specialist.
  3. Failure to obtain the patient’s informed consent: before examining, treating or operating, a health care provider must obtain the patient’s informed consent in most cases. This involves explaining the treatment, the acceptable alternatives and substantial risks of the treatment. Disclosure of small risks is not required. If this consent is not obtained, a doctor can still prevail by proving that a reasonable patient would have consented if given the information.

The simple fact that shoulder dystocia is not mentioned in the records does not mean you do not have a valid case. It is true that Erb’s palsy is much more likely to be the result of negligence if the birth involves shoulder dystocia. However, there are methods to prove shoulder dystocia when the condition is unrecorded. Many other descriptions in the medical records can indicate a shoulder dystocia delivery. For example, “slow body delivery” or “difficult delivery” both indicate that the baby’s shoulder was stuck behind the mother’s pubic bone. In Erb’s palsy cases, the presence of shoulder dystocia can indicate a higher likelihood of medical negligence because doctors sometimes pull on the baby’s head to deliver the baby. If the baby is stuck and the doctor pulls too strongly, permanent injury can be caused to the nerves running to the arm. Gentle pulling will not cause permanent brachial plexus injury, but anything more can cause significant injury to those nerves. The only situation when anything more than gentle pulling on the baby’s head combined with shoulder dystocia is not negligent is when the baby is in imminent danger of suffocating and must be delivered immediately. If your daughter had normal Apgar scores and no acidosis, then she was not in danger of suffocating and therefore, anything more than gentle pulling on her would be negligence. If the delivery involved shoulder dystocia and anything more than gentle pulling on her head, there is a strong chance that her Erb’s palsy was caused by medical negligence.

Retinal tears are a known complication of cataract surgery. So in short, not likely. Even the best eye surgeons have patients who experience retinal tears. Unless your medical records reflect a clear act of negligence, your case will be very difficult to prove at trial. When the defense lawyer questions your medical expert witness, the defense will be able to ask the expert whether they themselves have had patients who have experienced retinal tears. Since the complication is so common, the expert will likely answer yes. Then the defense will ask if the tear was a result of negligence to which the expert will most assuredly answer no. At that point, the defense will conclude with “since retinal tears occur in surgeries involving no negligence, you can’t prove that negligence was the cause of this tear, can you?” And that is the end of your case.

Your ultrasound radiologist likely committed medical malpractice. Ultrasound today is quite effective in detecting spina bifida and assessing its severity. There are telltale signs that alert doctor to the possibility of spina bifida. When reading an ultrasound, radiologists should look for the “banana sign” and the “lemon sign” which are indicators of open neural tube defects. Click here to view some example pictures of spina bifida sonograms If you received a blood test while pregnant, was your Alpha Fetoprotein level high? That is another sign that spina bifida should be investigated. There are several types of spina bifida. Spina bifida occulta is difficult to see on ultrasound. Meningocele and myelomeningocele are more pronounced and severe. When these more severe types go undetected, the child can suffer further harm from vaginal birth. At the very least, c-sections should be performed on mothers carrying spina bifida fetuses. If the defect is caught in time, prenatal surgery can effectively treat the problem. The Fetal Care Center of Cincinnati is one center that provides this service.

Experts have said that bowel perforation during surgery to tie fallopian tubes can be medical negligence under certain circumstances. If you have normal anatomy without adhesions, then you have most likely been the victim of medical malpractice. We cannot of course give full legal/medical opinions without knowing all the facts of your particular case, but we can provide general guidance in these types of situations. Unless some factor was present in your surgery to make it more difficult than a “normal” tubal ligation surgery, then mistakenly cutting a hole in your bowel or intestine is considered below the standard of care. Adhesions and abnormal anatomy are two of those factors. Adhesions are fibrous bands that form between tissues and organs, often as a result of injury during surgery. They may be thought of as internal scar tissue. Abnormal anatomy occurs when the shape, size or other feature of your organs or tissues differ from the norm so as to cause a surgeon to mistakenly identify it. An additional factor to consider in your case is the time at which the surgeon notices that she cut your intestines. If the surgeon did not notice the mistake and concluded the surgery, you were at much higher risk for infection from the contents of your digestive tract spilling into your abdominal cavity. That is likely to make the damage caused by the negligence significantly worse. However, if the surgeon noticed the mistake quickly and repaired it appropriately, you may not have a strong medical malpractice lawsuit because the surgeon was able to mitigate the damages. That said, every case requires individual attention to its unique facts. Nothing in this answer should be taken to be the final and definitive analysis of any potential medical malpractice scenario.

These cases must be examined on an individual basis as nerve damage can result even in the absence of negligence. Therefore, solid evidence of negligence is needed to prosecute these types of cases. In addition, we do not recommend pursuing a lawsuit involving ulnar damage or nerve palsy that is expected to clear up on its own. Examples of the type of evidence that could indicate negligence include:

  • Who positioned the patient on the table for surgery?
  • What position was the patient put in?
  • Was padding used? If so, what kind, where and for how long?
  • Were arm boards used? If so, for how long?
  • Were restraints used? If so, what kind, where and for how long?
  • How long did the surgery last?
  • How long was the patient under anesthesia?
  • Did any unusual events occur during the operation?
Tilted body positions during surgery have been found to increase risk for ulnar neuropathy on the contralateral side because this position turns the arm toward the body and increases the likelihood that the ulnar nerve will suffer crush damage.

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During delivery, moms may experience tears of the perineum (the tissue between the vagina and anus). Usually, such tears are relatively minor and do not cause significant damage. However, in 4 percent of childbirths, women suffer much worse tears called third and fourth-degree tears. During labor and delivery, obstetricians can make mistakes that cause third or fourth degree tears. Read a case study on third or fourth degree perineal tears. The tears that you most often hear about and occur most commonly are tears of only the vaginal skin. Since these tears do not extend deeper into tissue and muscle or further to the anus, they are easy to repair with a few stitches and heal relatively swiftly. Second-degree tears are worse and involve more repair and recovery because they go deeper into the muscle underneath the skin. Each layer of tissue must be stitched separately, first the muscle, then the skin. Third degree tears involve vaginal skin and vaginal tissue including muscle but also extend further down the perineum to the anal sphincter muscle that rings the anus. A fourth degree tear is all the above plus a tear through the anal sphincter. These tears require extensive repair and can be avoided in certain circumstances. Certain factors increase a woman’s risk for suffering a third or fourth degree perineal tear. These are:

  • A first time labor and delivery;
  • Previous third or fourth degree tears;
  • Assisted delivery, especially with forceps;
  • Episiotomies can actually increase your risk even though they are done to prevent tears. Some women tear after episiotomies which results in more serious tears than if the episiotomy had not been done;
  • Large babies;
  • Babies born face up;
  • A shorter than average perineum.
A shorter than average perineum. To reduce the risk of third and fourth degree tears, expectant mothers can massage their perineum to make the skin and tissue more elastic. Slow deliveries that are not pushed by the doctor or anyone else allow time for the perineum to stretch. During labor and delivery, obstetricians can make mistakes that cause third or fourth degree tears. Read a case study on third or fourth degree perineal tears.

Focal deficits or focal signs are also referred to as focal CNS signs. Doctors look for these signs in neurological exams to determine which part of the brain or central nervous system is the root cause of the symptoms. If focal signs are present, the symptoms are most likely caused by things like tumors or dying tissue than diseases like encephalitis or menengitis.

  • Frontal brain lobe issues are signaled my problems moving parts of the body
  • Parietal brain lobe problems are suspected when abnormalities are found sensing and feeling sensations from the skin or feeling the position of the limbs and pain
  • Temporal brain lobe issues are indicated by problems with hearing and memory
  • Occipital brain lobe problems are only indicated by problems with sight
  • Limbic System damage effects memory
  • Cerebellar problems are suspected when a patient has trouble with balance and coordination

cholangiography is a procedure used to identify the flow of bile in your body. It should be used in most gallbladder surgeries to identify anatomical structures so as to not negligently cut your bile duct. If your bile does not light up with contrast dye, then the surgeon should assume the dye was incorrectly injected into the common bile duct instead of the cystic duct.

HIDA scan is short for Hepatobiliary Imino-Diacetic Acid scan. It is also called a cholescintigraphy, hepatobiliary scintigraphy or hepatobiliary scan. HIDA scans allow doctors to understand how your body is using bile which is helpful to diagnose conditions like bile duct obstruction, bile leakage, congenital problems with bile ducts, gallstones and gallbladder inflamation (cholecystitis). Your liver produces bile, which aids in digestion. Bile is stored in the gallbladder until you need it to digest your food. Then your gallbladder releases bile into your small intestine. A HIDA scan can detect the flow rate at which your gallbladder releases bile into your small intestine. A HIDA scan uses radioactive chemical tracers to track the bile flow and does have some risks. You could suffer an allergic reaction to the tracers or you can develop a rash. Apart from that, bruising at the injection site is the only other common side effect. The radiation amount in the tracers is small and short lived. However, pregnany women should not receive HIDA scans. Tell your doctor if you are nursing an infant. You may have to stop for several days. HIDA scans will not interupt your day much as you can go about your daily routine immediately after the scan. Your doctor should ask you to take measures to ensure the tracer chemicals are disposed of properly. You should flush the toilet twice, scrub your hands with soap thoroughly after urinating and drinks lost of water to help flush the tracer out. HIDA results are available quickly after the scan. The tracer appears as a dark region. Lots of dark regions means free bile flow. Light regions may indicate a blockage.

nticoagulant medication is medicine that prevents blood clots. Normally, the ability of our blood to clot is a very important defense against bleeding to death. When we are cut, our blood thickens to for a clot and stop the bleeding. However, clots that form inside our viens or arteries can be deadly. Vienous clots can cause heart attack, stroke or embolism to name a few of the most deadly conditions. Some examples of anti-coagulants are Coumadin, ASA, Plavix, and Heparin. If you have been taking blood thinning medicine or anticoagulants and a new doctor fails to advise you to continue, please speak up and ask that doctor why. If they do not give a satisfying answer or are unavailable, speak with the doctor who originally prescribed it or any other doctor who is available. Discontinuing anticoagulants inappropriately can lead to serious illness and death. Doctors make mistakes and are fallible. No one knows your health like you. Question any decisions that don’t feel right to you.

ERCP, or endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, is a procedure used examine the openings of your bile or pancreatic ducts. An ERCP is done to help diagnose the ducts that drain the liver, gallbladder and pancreas in cases of persistent abdominal pain or jaundice, gallstones, problems with the bile duct or pancreas. It is also used to open a narrow duct or take a tisse sample or biopsy. In an ERCP, a tube is passed down your throat, through your digestive tract to your small intestine. There in the small intestine, dye is injected into the duct being examined and X-rays are taken. Additionally, an ERCP can fix problems for example by removing a gallstone. RESULTS Depending on how you were effected by medications used in the ERCP, your doctor can discuss the results with you immediately following the exam. Normal results show normal structure and size of bile ducts, pancreatic ducts and gallbladder as well as normal features and appearance of your stomach, esophagus and duodenum. Abnormal results occur when your bile ducts or pancreatic ducts are blocked or narrowed by gallstones, inflammation, scar tissue or cancer. Any inflammation, ulcers, infection or cancer indicate abnormal results. ERCPs usually takes between 30 and 60 minutes. You will be in the recovery room 1 to 2 hours.

Cardiac catheterization is also called a heart cath. The procedure itself involves inserting a catheter (a plastic tube usually) into a portion of the heart. Catheterizations are often performed to investigate the patient’s condition to either assess whether surgery is necessary or to prepare for surgery. In addition, once a catheter is in place, several other procedures can be performed such as angioplasty and angiography. The catheter is inserted into the patient’s artery through a small incision at either the wrist or thigh. A guide wire is then pushed up into the heart before the catheter follows the guide wire. Once in place, several investigative procedures can be performed. Heart caths are done to confirm suspected heart problems, learn more about the severity of the problem, determine the cause of shortness of breath or other signs of heart problems, and gather information in preparation for heart surgery. Heart caths carry serious risks including excessive bleeding, heart attack, stroke, damage to the artery at the insertion point, irregular heartbeat, allergic reactions, tearing heart or artery tissue, kidney damage, and blood clots If you are either pregnant or planning to become pregnant, tell your doctor before having cardiac catheterization performed. Blood clots are a potentially dangerous complication of hearth caths. Learn more about when blood clots are the result of medical malpractice in this Florida medical malpractice lawyer article. Other injuries after heart catheterization can also be caused by medical malpractice. They are discussed in this Florida medical malpractice attorney article.

LLudwig’s angina is an aggressive infection of the mouth floor and neck that can have very serious consequences. The most immediate threat the rapidly spreading infection poses is the possibility of restricting the airway and suffocating the victim. Now that antibiotics and aggressive airway saving procedures are widely used, Ludwig’s angina does not kill half of its victims as it did in the past but instead only about 8 percent. Nevertheless, if not treated early, serious consequences can result requiring multiple surgeries, feeding tubes, months of rehabilitation and neck scarring. More than 90 percent of cases result from dental issues, particularly infections of the second and third molar teeth of the lower jaw. The reason is that these teeth’s roots penetrate deeply enough to allow the infection to spread widely and rapidly. Other cases can be caused by broken jaw bones, tongue piercing, neck trauma and infections of the salivary glands or other areas of the neck and jaw. Though most cases involve healthy individuals, certain conditions predispose patients to Ludwig’s angina. Anyone with a compromised immune system is more likely to suffer from Ludwig’s angina. Immune systems can be compromised due to several factors including HIV, diabetes, organ transplant and alcoholism. In addition, acute glomerulonephritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, aplastic anemia, neutropenia, and dermatomyositis all increase one’s risk of developing Ludwig’s angina Symptoms include neck pain and swelling, often following recent dental work. Some will experience difficulty breathing. More than 95 percent of cases involve swelling below the jaw line on both sides of the jaw. Treatment requires airway maintenance and broad spectrum antibiotics including combinations of penicillin, clindamycin and metronidazole.

Medical malpractice or medical negligence is the failure of a health care provider to use the level of care, skill, and treatment which, in light of all relevant surrounding circumstances, is recognized as acceptable and appropriate by reasonably prudent similar health care providers. In layman’s terms, medical malpractice occurs when a health care provider renders services inferior to what another prudent doctor of the same type would have rendered in the same situation. To put it in the language of everyday situations, think of driving your car. A prudent driver would not run a red light because we know that the appropriate way to drive a car is to stop at red lights. Similar rules of appropriate behavior exist for doctors, surgeons, nurses and other health care providers. Surgeons should not operate without first performing certain tests. Doctors should not prescribe medications without first determining if it is appropriate for that patient. Nurses should not draw blood without first identifying a vein. If a health care provider fails to follow any of the standards that the medical profession has created, then that is medical negligence. Whether or not that negligence gives rise to a valid lawsuit is another question entirely. Many more factors come into play. Did the health care provider have a duty to that patient? Did the negligence actually cause the damage? Are the damages serious enough to warrant filing a lawsuit?

MRSA is the reason we should not use antibiotics unless we absolutely need to and the reason why antibacterial soap is so dangerous. Our overuse of antibiotics has led some strains of bacteria to become resistant and immune to certain antibiotic medicines. MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) is a bacteria that can be found in human nostrils and has become immune to common antibiotics. It is a strain of the common bacteria that causes staph infections. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus is most commonly found and most problematic in hospitals where patients often suffer from compromised immune systems and open wounds that allow easy entry points for Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. Healthy people often carry MRSA on their skin and in their nose without any infection. Symptoms occur when the bacteria enters the blood stream through wounds or gets past a seriously compromised immune system. MRSA usually first appears as small red bumps that resemble pimples, spider bites, or boils that may be accompanied by fever and occasionally rashes. Within a few days the bumps become larger, more painful, and eventually open into deep, pus-filled boils. If on the other hand, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infects vital organs, widespread bodily infection can occur called sepsis in addition to toxic shock syndrome, infective endocarditis (which affects the valves of the heart) and even flesh-eating pneumonia which are all very serious and even deadly conditions. Diagnosis of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus should be completed rapidly as the disease can progress to serious stages within days. While Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus is immune to many antibiotics, Vancomycin and teicoplanin can successfully treat MRSA infections.

The brachial plexus is a group of nerve cords that travel from your spine in between your collarbone and ribcage before reaching your arm. Because it’s the path runs through this small space between two movable bones, injury can occur if the bones pinch the nerve. Injuries can occur also as a result of excessive stretching of the nerve. It can be injured by falling onto your side, or traffic accidents, especially motorcycle or all-terrain vehicle (ATV) accidents. In addition, birth injuries as a result of shoulder dystocia can cause severe brachials plexus damage resulting in Erb’s Palsy.

High blood pressure is an emergency when it begins to cause organ damage. Symptoms include headache, chest pain, shortness of breath, swelling and seizure. Some of these symptoms mimic a heart attack. In fact high blood pressure can cause a heart attack among other injuries. A spike in blood pressure can cause stroke, aneurysm, coma and eclampsia in pregnant women. Emergency hypertension is relatively rare and often is caused by untreated chronic hypertension. Your doctor will treat your blood pressure spike with drugs to lower the pressure. However, doctors must be careful not to lower the pressure too quickly. In high blood pressure emergency cases, pressure should not be reduced by more than 25 percent within 2 hours. After a 25 percent reduction, the goal is to move the pressure toward 16/100 within at least 6 hours. If your blood pressure is reduced too quickly, your heart, brain or kidneys can be damaged by a lack of blood flow. No absolute numbers can be equated with a hypertensive emergency as everyone’s blood pressure is unique to them.

A 55-year-old man required a radical prostatectomy surgery to remove his prostate. However, the surgery left him unable to control his urination. In addition he experienced urine draining from his rectum because a fistula (passageway) had formed connecting his urethra to his rectum. Medical experts opined that the cause of the rectal drainage was most likely a missed injury during the surgery that allowed urine to move through the stiches in the bladder to the rectum. The fistula was repaired a year later because the surgeon misdiagnosed the drainage as diarrhea and avoided further discussing it. The repair, however, has left him unable to control his bladder, which could have been avoided if the original injury had been noticed allowing the surgeon to prevent the rectal drainage and subsequent repair. He also suffers from erectile disfunction and urethra scarring. However, both injuries are known complications of radical prostatectomies and are unactionable in a court of law.

Delayed glaucoma diagnoses are difficult medical malpractice cases. Doctors experience difficulty determining exactly how advanced glaucoma is and how rapidly it is progressing without proper testing over several years. Without being able to determine exactly how far along your condition is, any attorney would be hard pressed to prove what injury was caused by the delayed diagnosis. In your case, your condition is so advanced as to preclude laser surgery. Since you did not mention that your condition is too advanced for the classic scalpel surgery, I cannot advise as to that consideration. Doctors do not need to dilate your pupil to examine the optic nerve, but you state that no tests at all were done. I cannot offer legal advice without a thorough evaluation of all the evidence of your case, but your description sounds like serious negligence by your optometrist. Optometrists commit negligence in diagnosing glaucoma if they fail to measure intraocular pressure, measure your visual fields, and assess your nerve fiber layers. In your case, you report a failure do perform all three tests. The question then becomes: “What injury, damage or harm did your optometrist’s Medical Malpractice cause?”

Medical experts who have addressed questions like this said that ulnar surgery should not be done simply because the surgeon is already performing a carpal tunnel release and can more easily do a ulnar nerve surgery at that time. An ulnar transposition should only be done in certain situations: when the patient has a strong Tinel’s sign at the elbow, weakness in the muscles controlled by the ulnar nerve and loss of sensation in the area controlled by the ulnar nerve. Experts also said that transposition is quite aggressive and should usually only be done if the ulnar nerve seemed to dislocate when the patient bends the elbow. Ulnar nerve surgeries require large incisions and should not be done through a small incision such as is done with endoscopic carpal tunnel releases.

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