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Medical Malpractice

Medical Malpractice laws are aimed at protecting the patient from negligent medical treatment. These cases usually arise when the patient has been injured due to the improper actions of a healthcare professional. Take note, though--these cases can also arise through the inaction of the healthcare professional.

Medical malpractice is governed by state law and each state varies. But the basics are the same: the healthcare professional owes a duty to the patient and that duty entails competence in performance. But in order for there to be a duty, there must first be a special relationship between the medical professional and the injured party. For example, a doctor in a restaurant owes no duty to help a stranger at another table who is having a heart attack, unless the doctor comes forward and agrees to help.


Recently in Medical Malpractice Category

Infant forceps injuries, sadly, still occur from time to time during the birthing process. The use of forceps has been disfavored except for when medically necessary due to the risks of injury. Unfortunately, forceps are sometimes needed to move an infant when they are in a bad position for birth.

When an infant is injured during the delivery, parents often don’t know what to do. The experience can be such an emotional rollercoaster of highs and lows. Finding out how or why is often secondary to figuring out how to move forward and care for an injured infant or child. However, if an injury was caused due to the use of forceps, speaking with an experienced medical malpractice attorney early on may be a good decision.

Dentists, like any other medical professional, are held to at least minimum standards of care for their patients. And it is comforting to know that performing a dental extraction on a patient while riding a hoverboard, filming the procedure, and then distributing the film with the quip "new standard of care" in fact falls far below that existing standard.

But that's not the only thing that got one Alaskan dentist in trouble, as he and his office assistant face a litany of felony charges.

Last week, a federal court judge in Pennsylvania awarded a massive $42 million verdict to the parents of a child severely injured during birth in 2012. The multi-million dollar verdict is meant to provide for the child who suffers permanent injuries that will require a lifetime of specialized medical care. Additionally, the award, which is being described as the largest ever medical malpractice verdict out of that judicial district, will be paid out by the federal government as the injury occurred at a federally funded facility.

The bulk of the award, $33 million, is to be set aside for future medical care, which could involve full-time institutionalization as an adult. The rest of the award is meant to compensate for pain and suffering, lost earning capacity, as well as past medical expenses.

In some ways, quality nursing care can be just as important to your health as the medical treatment you receive from a doctor. By the same token, however, injuries sustained from substandard nursing care can be just as serious as those from physician mistakes.

Here are some of the most common medical errors committed by nurses and their legal liability if it happens to you.

A doctor licensed by the state of New York is being sued by his former girlfriend due to allegedly drugging her with Plan B without her consent, or even her knowledge. Plan B is an over-the-counter birth control drug that allows a woman to take the pill after having unprotected sexual intercourse.

The civil lawsuit is seeking $5 million in damages as a result of the shockingly horrific conduct alleged. The complaint explains that the girlfriend found the box for the drug and asked her then-boyfriend about it, expecting to find out about an affair. However, as alleged in the complaint, he came clean and explained that he slipped the drug in her drink because he knew she would never agree to take it.

While silicone breast implants have been around since the 1960s, for a rather long stretch in the US, they were prohibited. However, after decades of debate and research, the government declared silicone implants to be safe for medical research use in 1992, and finally in 2003, for individual use.

Despite silicone implants being considered safe to use, there are still associated risks involved for individuals who choose to get them. Apart from the risks involved with the surgical implantation itself, complications can arise many years later. In fact, the FDA and medical experts recommend that individuals with silicone implants have them checked via mammogram or MRI every other year to detect leaks, ruptures, or other potential issues. Additionally, individuals with silicone implants should expect having to replace them every ten years.

Stem-cell therapy uses undifferentiated biological cells to treat or prevent injuries and disease. The most common type of stem-cell therapy is bone marrow transplants. Like any medical treatment, stem-cell therapy doesn't always work. But that didn't stop one controversial California clinic from touting a 100 percent customer satisfaction rating, a rating some of its less than satisfied customers claim they relied upon when shelling out up to $15,000 for ineffective treatments.

But that's not the only legal problem Stemgenex is facing. As it turns out, none of its stem-cell therapies are FDA approved.

The AARP Foundation has reported that the family of Bobby Glen Tweed has reached a settlement with the nursing home over the wrongful death action filed in Tennessee state court. Although the full terms of the settlement are confidential, the report explains that the family did secure a damages award.

The death of Bobby Glen Tweed was alleged to a result of strong psychotropic drugs that were misused on him, as they are on countless other Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. The psychotropics were allegedly used not for any medical benefit, but rather to make the 78 year old Mr. Tweed more docile or compliant.

What makes this case that much more appalling is the fact that the psychotropic drugs used here are, and were, actually linked to death in patients with dementia. Additionally, Mr. Tweed’s daughter, who held the power of attorney, was never consulted about the administration of these drugs for her father.

Insurance companies might be seeing fewer medical malpractice claims, but they seem to be awarding more money to the injured patients that do make them. A new study found that paid medical malpractice claims declined almost 56 percent between 1992 and 2014, but the average payout for a successful malpractice claim jumped over 23 percent, reaching $353,000 for the 2009-2014 time period.

So what accounts for the decline in claims and rise in payouts? And what does it mean for future medical malpractice plaintiffs?

Any surgery can be dangerous. First, a medical condition that necessitates surgery is generally a serious one. And even mild anesthesia carries risks. After that, a surgeon has to successfully complete the procedure, and then there's closing the wound up and recovery. That's a lot of things that can go wrong, causing serious and even life-threatening injuries.

Here are seven of the most common surgical errors that can lead to patient injuries, and when you might have a case for medical malpractice.