- Written by Marcus B. Boston
Because of serious chest pains one evening, a man goes to the emergency room. Once there, he explains to the staff that he has pains in his chest and pain in his shoulder area. He then further states that he has a family history of heart attacks. The nurse documents all of the patient’s complaints and sends the patient to the next treatment station.
Once at the next treatment station, the nurse began to take the patient’s vitals. After this is done, the nurse contacts the on duty doctor to let him know what is going on. It is here that the nurse also learns that the patient had recently eaten some “spicy food.”
Within a couple of minutes the on duty doctor arrives to see the patient. The doctor looks over the patient’s chart and begins to ask the patient about his symptoms. Because of the patient’s symptoms and family history, the doctor orders an EKG to be done.
Based on the reading of the EKG, the doctor concludes that the patient is not in any real danger and essentially finds that the patient is suffering from “heart burn.” As a result, the patient is discharged from the hospital with antacid medication.
The next morning, the man is found in bed non-responsive. He suffered a massive heart attack during his sleep and died. It is later discovered that the doctors at the hospital misread his EKG. If the EKG would have been read correctly, the doctors would have learned that the man needed medical treatment right away.
Has Any Of This Happened To You Or A Loved One?
• A loved one checks into a hospital for a “routine” medical procedure and dies during surgery?
• You have discovered a lump in your breast and have a family history of breast cancer, yet your cancer is still misdiagnosed?
• You learn that your baby is going to be large, yet your medical team in the delivery room is not prepared for a shoulder dystocia emergency, and now your child has a birth injury?
• During your gallbladder removal, your doctor cuts the common bile duct and does not repair it, causing you to suffer massive infection and/or sepsis?
• The patient advocate, employed by the hospital, is doing all he or she can to deflect blame from the hospital and direct it to you?
• Your doctor tells you to “just sign here” but has not explained hardly anything to you on the form he or she wants you to sign?
Situations like this happen in hospitals and medical offices throughout America, with Maryland not being immune. This is why it is important for Maryland medical malpractice attorneys to provide helpful information to families so that not only do they understand the medical malpractice process, but so that they are prepared to move forward in these types of cases to seek the justice they deserve.
One of the main reasons why medical malpractice cases can be a challenge is the fact that the public truly believes that doctors do the best that they can, and that they do not “mean to mess up.” This is one reason why doctors usually win close to 80% of medical malpractice cases when they are tried in front of a jury.
This is why it is not only important that Maryland medical malpractice attorneys take the time to screen these types of cases carefully, but spend time framing the issues in such a way that members of the jury can clearly see that the doctor needlessly endangered his or her patient.
Here at Boston Law Group, LLC, we make it our business to provide Maryland medical malpractice educational information to the public so that you are prepared for this process. We do this not only through our educational website, but though our books and numerous educational videos.
My Doctor Has Apologized To Me. Should I Sue?
The news media and politicians for that matter have done a masterful job in suggesting, and in some instances down right stating, that the reason we as Americans are paying such high premiums in health insurance is due to medical malpractice law suits and verdicts. Even though doctors win close to 80% of medical malpractice cases, the public at large does not know this.
Continuing to play on the fact that many people not only look up to their doctor, but believe that their doctor “means well,” doctors are being taught to apologize to their patients when the doctor has committed a serious error. The thinking is that if the doctor apologizes, then the patient will be less likely to sue or file a complaint on the doctor or hospital.
An apology is good and well, but it does not alleviate the doctor from departing from the good and basic standards of care. But remember, because of the public’s view of doctors, some doctors may be hoping that an “apology” is enough.
The problem with this way of thinking is that the patient is the one who will now have to deal with the complications from the medical error. The patient is the one who will possibly now need future medical care, thereby increasing their medical care costs. The patient is the one who will have to deal with the possible lost earnings as a result of the medical error. The patient is the one who will more than likely have a decrease in their quality of life…and the list goes on.
So remember, if your doctor is apologizing to you, this should be a red flag that you may need to speak with a Maryland medical malpractice attorney.
Why Should You Call The Medical Malpractice Trial Attorneys At Boston Law Group, LLC?
Because you are on the internet right now looking for the answers to your questions. Because your doctor may have told you that your concerns were “nothing to worry about” and you now know that this was the farthest thing from the truth. Because you want to know that you have done all that you can possibly do to ensure that you have not been the victim of medical malpractice.
Before calling, be sure to not only read our educational information, but be sure to watch our numerous videos which deal with medical malpractice issues here in Maryland. Not only do we have videos which explain this process, but we have videos which give you reasons why you should not file a medical malpractice suit.
“Representing victims of medical malpractice throughout Maryland and providing medical malpractice educational information to the public…it’s what we do!”
Please use our site to educate yourself on the following:
Medical malpractice is a term that is used a lot, but in many instances, people do not really know what it means. Just because you had a bad result during a medical procedure is not necessarily medical malpractice. In its basic terms you are trying to show that your doctor fell below the standard of care in your case, and this is what caused your injury.
SURGERY ERRORS OR SURGICAL ERRORS
Errors during a surgical procedure can have a devastating impact on a patient. To determine whether you have been the victim of medical malpractice because of a surgical error requires a thorough investigation and review of your medical records. Because surgery, by its nature is a procedure full of risks, just having a bad result of the procedure is generally not enough for medical malpractice. You must still be able to prove how your treating doctor fell below the standard of care, and how these actions or inactions caused your injury.
During a surgery to remove your gallbladder, cutting, burning, or injuring the common bile duct is an injury some experience as a result of the procedure. The standard of care in these types of cases is very clear. Although some experts may argue that cutting the common bile duct is a “risk” of the procedure, what is done after the bile duct is cut is very clear. In these types of cases, a doctor must do all they can to notice the injury to the common bile duct and repair it. Failing to repair the bile duct can lead to infection and or sepsis in the patient. These types of infections can lead to renal damage and other types of complications.
Many people do not know that doctors are taught how to get to the right diagnosis in a patient. What performing a differential diagnosis does is prevents the doctor from “guessing” on the patient’s diagnosis. This multi-step process prevents the doctor from “needlessly endangering” the patient.
EMERGENCY ROOM ERRORS
Doctors and nurses in emergency rooms must take the time to really listen to the complaints of their patients. Understanding a patient’s complaints and symptoms are an important way to get to the right diagnosis. Using methods like a differential diagnosis help ensure that doctors do not use “random guess work” in getting to the right diagnosis of the patient. In addition, patients must also be forthright with their complaints. The emergency room is not the place to play Mr. Tough guy or Ms. Tough woman.
When a patient presents to a doctor with symptoms which suggest a possible heart attack, doctors need to be sure to not only order the right tests to confirm or eliminate a diagnosis of heart attack, but doctors must be sure to read and interpret these tests correctly. Following the good and acceptable medical standard of care in this instance is a must.
FAILURE TO DIAGNOSE CANCER OR CANCER MISDIAGNOSIS
In many cases cancer is misdiagnosed due to a misreading of a scan or x-ray. This can be the result of a hand-off error, or a radiologist or other doctor just making a plain error in reading the scan. In addition, a cancer misdiagnosis can be the result of a doctor not listening to the complaints of his or her patient. Patients who are dealing with a breast cancer misdiagnosis have reported that their doctor just did not pay close attention to a lump in their breast.
One of the most difficult things to deal with for a parent is when a child is born with a birth injury or special needs. Parents are often confused as to what is the next step due to the fact in some instances hospitals and doctors provide very little information as to not only the injury, but as to the cause. A Maryland medical malpractice attorney can investigate and help you understand whether the doctors departed from good and acceptable medical care.
Shoulder dystocia is a delivery room emergency. What happens in a shoulder dystocia case is that the baby’s shoulder is trapped behind the mother’s pelvis during delivery. This can create panic in the delivery room because if the baby is not freed in time, he or she can die. Doctors are taught not to panic in these types of situations and use the multiple maneuvers they are taught to help free the baby. A very important fact regarding the use of these maneuvers is that pressure on the child’s head is not needed.
Erb’s Palsy is a type of birth injury. One of the main issues which have to be analyzed in these types of cases is whether there was a shoulder dystocia emergency present in the emergency room. Children who suffer Erb’s Palsy have an injury to their arm. This injury can sometimes be corrected through training exercises, but in some cases, the child’s arm will be paralyzed.
BRACHIAL PLEXUS PALSY
Brachial Plexus Palsy is a type of birth injury in which a child’s arm is injured during birth. Like Erb’s Palsy, Brachial Plexus Palsy can be the result of a shoulder dystocia emergency and complication during delivery. When the nerves in a child’s neck or shoulder area (the brachial plexus) are injured, injury to the child’s arm will be present. It is very important that when an injury like this occurs, parents get as much information as possible regarding their child’s condition, and future treatment.
Klumpke’s palsy is also another type of birth injury that a child can suffer. Like Erb’s Palsy and Brachial Plexus Palsy, Klumpke’s Palsy is a type of injury to the nerves in the neck or shoulder area. Mothers often complain of a shoulder dystocia complication during delivery. A proper analysis must be made to determine whether the actions of the doctors and other medical staff in the delivery room fell below the standard of care. When Klumpke’s Palsy is present, the child has an injury to usually the forearm and hand.
NERVE DAMAGE OR NERVE INJURY
Patients often complain of nerve damage after a surgery or other medical procedure. The issue is however, that a nerve injury can sometimes be an “inherent” risk to a surgery or medical procedure. To determine whether your nerve injury is the result of medical malpractice, you must also look at the type of procedure or surgery performed. Was the surgery an open procedure or was it a laparoscopic procedure (using cameras and video to assist with the procedure). Understanding these facts will help in determining whether your doctor broke the safety rules, or standard of care.
INFECTIONS AFTER COLECTOMY
A colectomy is a medical procedure done with patients who have colon issues such as irritable bowel syndrome, crohn’s disease, etc…Doctors can perform the procedure either laparoscopically (this is through the aid of cameras and video) or through an open surgery. Issues of medical malpractice usually occur when an injury to a part of the body occurs during the procedure and the doctor fails to notice the injury from the surgery. As a result, no repair procedure is done and the patient develops an infection.
MISDIAGNOSIS OF STROKE
Questions regarding a misdiagnosis of stroke usually revolve around whether the treating doctor paid attention to the symptoms and complaints of the patient. Doctors not only have to analyze the patient’s symptoms (facial drooping, slurred speech etc…), but doctors need to also ask questions regarding the patient’s family history. In addition, a differential diagnosis can be a very helpful tool the doctor can use to get to the right diagnosis.
An anesthesiologist is a doctor who uses drugs to monitor a patient’s essential bodily functions during a medical procedure. Because of the serious nature of this doctor’s job, the drugs used must not only be the correct amount, but the correct type. Organs such has the heart, lungs, liver, brain, etc…can be compromised if there is an error made by the anesthesiologist. These types of errors can not only lead to serious injury to the patient, but death can also occur. Your medical malpractice attorney will also be looking to see if communication errors were made between your doctors because this is a big cause of anesthesiology errors.
In cancer misdiagnosis cases, in many instances the cancer is missed due to an error made by a radiologist while analyzing a scan or x-ray. A radiologist is a doctor who reads and interprets x-rays and scans. These errors can not only happen due to faulty reading, but communication errors can also cause a radiologist to make an error. The actual scan(s) or x-ray(s) need to be reviewed by a medical expert to determine whether the radiologist in fact made an error.
When a gynecological error occurs, a patient can not only have the physical pain associated with the injury, but the patient may also suffer from mental anguish as well. Errors often occur when a doctor does not recognize an injury during a procedure, leading the patient to suffer serious harm. For example, during a tubal ligation, if an error occurs, a doctor must recognize the error and preform a repair right away. Failure to notice and repair the error may lead to infection and other serious injuries to the patient. If your doctor is negligent during these types of procedures permanent and irreversible harm may occur.