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Louisiana Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Study show what never events could impact surgical patients

Hearing that a friend or a loved one is going to have surgery is a different experience than hearing that you need surgery. It no longer matter how simple or complex the procedure is, entrusting your life to a surgeon and a whole surgical team is a big deal and a major step for most patients in Louisiana and other states across the country. Human errors can enter any work environment; however, when they enter an operation room, it could mean surgical mistakes and even an injured patient.

According to researchers at the Mayo clinic in a 2015 study, surgical errors or never events have occurred 69 times in the 1.5 million invasive procedures performed over the past five years. Based on a system that was engineered to investigate military plane crashes, these researchers coded the human behaviors involved in these never events. The idea was that this would help identify any environmental, organizational, job and individual characteristics that could have led to these never events.

Why is it important for expectant mothers to have a birth plan?

We prepare and plan for what the future might bring. While what happens may not be exactly what we prepared for, having a piece of mind or certain expectations is sometimes better than going into a situation blindly. One of these situations is childbirth, and whether it is a mother's first child or not, she has likely prepared for her infant by reading books and seeking out advice from others. Although not all mothers-to-be in Louisiana and elsewhere have distinct and precise birthing plans, taking this step is often crucial.

Why is it important for expectant mothers to have a birth plan? In simple terms, putting a birthing plan in order allows for parents to have their wishes understood. Their doctor and any other medical professional interacting with a mother during labor and delivery will have a clear understanding what a mother wants and what a mother does not want.

Chest x-rays are not enough to diagnose or exclude lung cancer

Hearing the words, "you have cancer," is never easy. Therefore, patients in Louisiana and elsewhere rely on medical professionals to not only properly detect such an illness but also designate the appropriate treatment plan. But such steps are not available if a doctor does not initiate the proper tests, read the results correctly or even make an accurate diagnosis.

The failure to diagnose lung cancer is a concerning topic for those suffering symptoms that could designate a lung cancer diagnosis. However, a misdiagnosis could be a real possibility if a medical professional does not properly consider the medical history of a patient, order the right diagnostic tests or even consider the appropriate follow-up exams.

The wrongful death of a mother during childbirth

When a mother-to-be is preparing to give birth to her baby, she likely has a long list of concerns. Will the baby be born healthy? Will I deliver near my due date? What is my birthing plan? What will life be like when the baby is born? Will I get enough sleep at night? Do I have enough baby supplies? The concerns of a mother preparing to deliver often revolve around the health and wellbeing of the baby; however, the health and wellbeing of the mother should also be at the top of the list.

During the labor and delivery process, mothers in Louisiana and elsewhere focus on the infant, ensuring no complications arise. But serious complications could occur during the delivery of a healthy baby, and these complications could put the life of the mother at risk. Moreover, the negligence of a medical profession could generate these risks and could even be the cause of the wrongful death of a mother.

What is a commonly misdiagnosed disorder?

When a person is not well, they usually rely on a doctor to tell them what is wrong. Not only that, these people on their doctors to determine the best course of treatment. While it is likely that a treatment plan is appropriate for a patient, if a patient is not properly diagnosed, the wrong treatment plan could lead to a worsened condition.

What is a commonly misdiagnosed disorder? Thirty percent of patients admitted to the hospital with a diagnosis of lower extremity cellulitis are actually misdiagnosed. Based on a study conducted in Massachusetts General Hospital on patients admitted to the emergency department with a diagnosis of lower extremity cellulitis, the patients that were discharged with a cellulitis diagnosis were characterized as having cellulitis, while those provided an alternative diagnosis were considered having pseudocellulitis.

Helping you take action against a negligent nurse

Patients encounter nurses at different phases of healthcare. Whether it is during intake, surgical prep, post-op care of during a hospital stay, nurses take on a major role to care for patients with a wide variety of needs. The workload of a nurse can be tremendous and the work environment can be extremely fast paced; therefore, it is likely some errors and medical mistakes are made along the way.

While some of these medical errors are minimal and cause little to no harm to patients, a negligent nurse could be the cause of a major medial mistake that leave a patient injured. Patients in Louisiana and elsewhere should note that there are signs that a medical mistake has occurred, and the legal team at Vicent J DeSalvo is dedicated to proving such an event did occur.

Health literacy and fatal medical mistakes

Most people in Louisiana and elsewhere visit a doctor or a medical professional, relying on his or her medical expertise to determine what is wrong and what is the best course of treatment. And while these experts often know what is best for their patients, it is difficult for patients to fully understand what medical professionals have diagnosed, treated and prescribed. In fact, the value that medical experts have to offer cannot be fully experienced if a patient is unable to comprehend what is happening and what they need to do moving forward.

Such a scenario is called health literacy, and when patients have trouble understanding the medical conditions they have, the medications they are taking or the medical documents they are signing, this could lead to fatal medical mistakes. It should be noted, however, that a patient does not have to be illiterate or undereducated to have an issue with health literacy.

What is gross negligence and lack of informed consent in surgery?

When patients in Louisiana and elsewhere prepare for a surgery, they will sign numerous documents. These documents give the surgeon and their surgical team the right to perform a medical operation. After a patient becomes familiar with the steps involved and has read the terms of the document, he or she will sign it. But what happens if a surgeon doesn't follow these steps, misses a step or performs a completely different operation on a patient?

What constitutes gross negligence and lack of informed consent in surgery? With regard to informed consent, this refers to the right of a patient to receive information about his or her medical condition, treatment choices, risks associated with these treatment options and prognosis. This information must be presented to the patient in plain language terms so it can be easily understood, but a sufficient amount of detail must be provided so the patient can make an informed decision. If this information has been received and understood, any consent given thereafter is presumed to be an informed consent.

Holding medical professionals liable for the death of a loved one

It can be very difficult and emotional preparing yourself mentally for the medical procedure of a loved one. This is especially true if a family member is about to go under the knife for a serious operation that includes a multitude of risks. While the risk of death is always present for such complicated and major surgeries, one is never prepared to hear that a loved one did not make it through a procedure. It is even more shocking to hear that a loved one was lost due to a medical mistake made during a medical procedure.

At Vincent J. DeSalvo, Attorney at Law, our legal team understands that it is never easy to process the death of a loved one, especially when it happens suddenly due to the negligence of another. Therefore, our law firm is dedicated to helping families in the Baton Rouge area navigate wrongful death claims, helping them hold a negligent party accountable for their wrongdoing.

The importance of proper translations during medical diagnoses

When people in Baton Rouge are ill, they will want to fully understand what is wrong and how to treat their ailment. But what happens if a patient does not speak English well or not at all? A previous post discussed fatal medical errors arising from medical mistakes made during medical translations; however, this post will explore how improper translations or interpretations could lead to a misdiagnosis.

A professional interpreter or translator could encounter or communicate with a patient through various mediums. In some cases, this could be in-person but in others, it might mean speaking to a patient through video conferencing. No matter how patient communication is established, it is important that the quality of care is always kept in mind.

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