Medical Malpractice: Injured

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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

We rely on hospitals to make us well. But it doesn't always work out that way. And while hospitals and healthcare settings try their best to remain sterile and clean environments, infections can and do happen in hospitals. A Reuters investigative report found a crisis of MRSA and other drug-resistant staph infection outbreaks in U.S. hospitals, made even worse by lax reporting requirements.

So what happens if you get MRSA in a hospital or health care facility? Do you have any legal options?

There are an estimated 100 billion nerve cells throughout the human body. And with so many nerves, the potential for nerve damage is present in just about any surgical procedure, including plastic surgery.

While plastic surgery can create numbness and/or tingling afterwards and most patients experience some difference in sensitivity following surgery, what about more serious cases where pain or numbness seems never ending? If you suffered permanent nerve damage following plastic surgery, can you sue?

More Taxotere Cases Filed: Permanent Hair Loss Caused by Cancer Drug

Recently, lawsuits have been brought against the chemotherapy drug Taxotere, generically known as docetaxel. The manufacturer is being sued by cancer survivors for permanent hair loss. While the manufacturer has now updated the listed, known side effects, for all too many survivors, the update came too late. What makes these cases so compelling is that Sanofi-Aventis was aware of the risk of permanent hair loss, yet did not warn potential users of this risk.

While it is common knowledge that cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy will lose their hair, the expectation is that the hair loss is temporary. Taxotere users had that expectation because they were never warned about this side effect until the FDA forced a change to the label.

Dangerous Drugs for Pregnancy

Expecting mothers will do whatever they can to make sure their babies are born healthy and happy. But often, they don't know that certain drugs they are prescribed during pregnancy can cause harmful defects.

Sadly, there is a long list of drugs that were discovered to be harmful to pregnant women and their children. Most recently, researchers and the FDA learned a morning sickness drug called Zofran can cause including congenital heart defects, orofacial and septal defects, kidney malformation, and even stillbirths. Here's what you need to know about dangerous pregnancy drugs and what you can do about them.

Normally, the amount you could recover in a personal injury lawsuit would depend mostly on the extent of your injuries and the egregiousness of the plaintiff's negligence. The more medical bills and missed work you had, the more you would be owed. And the more careless or reckless the party responsible, the more they would be penalized. But many states have tried to place a hard limit on injury lawsuits, known as damages caps.

So what are the justifications for damages caps, and are they a good idea? A recent ballot fight in Arkansas can provide a good case study.

When to Sue for a Traumatic Birth Injury

In personal injury law, the acronym TBI used to refer exclusively to a traumatic brain injury. However, after Caroline Malatesta’s case, this may need to change. News broke last month of the $16 million jury verdict awarded to Ms. Malatesta as a result of a traumatic birth injury caused by her nurses’s negligence while she was giving birth.

A traumatic birth injury occurs when the mother is severely injured as a result of the birthing process. While medical malpractice is not a prerequisite for this type of injury, it stands to reason that when a claim for a traumatic birth injury is raised, it should be brought alongside, or as, a medical malpractice or medical negligence claim.

Gassy babies are unhappy babies. Hence the need for simethicone, the main ingredient in many infant anti-gas medications you could buy at a grocery store and pharmacy. But it turns out simethicone has a few other uses as well, like reducing bubbles inside the body that can impede visibility during colonoscopies and other procedures. So doctors started injected liquid drops of simethicone into gastrointestinal scopes during procedures.

The problem with that tactic, however, is that simethicone may not be easy to clean from the scopes, leading to infection outbreaks.

Our medical data is some of the most personal information that we entrust to third parties. Our medical records are sacred and their privacy is paramount. Which is why we have federal laws protecting the privacy of our medical records and requiring hospitals, clinics, and other health care providers to report hacked, lost, or otherwise exposed medical records. And those reports aren't good.

Since 2009, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has identified 1,634 breaches of patient medical information, and those are just the cases affecting 500 or more individuals. There could be thousands more medical data breaches (intentional and unintentional), possibly affecting your personal medical information.

Theranos Sued for Voided Blood Tests, Plaintiff Seeks Class Action Status

Theranos, the revolutionary blood testing company founded by Stanford dropout and Silicon Valley wonder Elizabeth Holmes, is having a bad year. The company is under investigation for securities fraud, in June its pharmacy chain partner Walgreens broke ties and shut down all of its Theranos blood draw centers, Holmes has been barred from owning or operating a blood lab for the next two years, and lawsuits abound.

The latest claim comes from a patient who says that his faulty Theranos blood draw results contributed to his having a heart attack. The plaintiff, going by RC, seeks class action status for his lawsuit filed in federal court in Arizona.

Medical Malpractice for Doctor's Use of Outdated Medical Equipment

When you go to the doctor or hospital, you probably don't judge the equipment. Unless you work in a field that deals with your particular injury or illness, it is unlikely that you know about the latest innovations in medicine. As such, you may not realize when negligence has occurred.

Medical malpractice can happen for all kinds of reasons, including using old and outdated medical equipment. This kind of negligence is often particularly difficult to uncover because it requires a certain expertise in order to understand how things went wrong and what might have been expected. Given this, we should be aware of the possibility of medical malpractice connected to equipment.