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Louisiana Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Helping take action after your new born suffers a birth injury

Whether you are preparing for your first baby or about to expand your family with another child, parents view the moments leading up until the birth of their child as both exciting and nerve wrecking. While any Baton Rouge parent expects the labor and delivery process to be completed with little to no issues, the unfortunate reality is that complications to arise during child birth. Moreover, if a medical professional does not properly respond to these complications, this could put a newborn in harms way.

A newborn is a very delicate yet resilient; however, when birth trauma occurs, an infant may not be able to recover fully. In some cases, acts of negligence during the child birthing process could result in serious birth defects, causing permanent injuries or even the wrongful death of an infant.

What errors occur due to the short staffing of nurses?

Whether you are being seen by your primary care physician, are going to urgent care or the emergency room or are being prepped for surgery, patients in Louisiana and elsewhere will likely have his or her first medical encounter with a nurse. These medical professionals provide important patient care steps in the beginning, during and after a patient is treated; thus, the actions and care by a nurse can be extremely vital. If steps are delayed or missed by a nurse or patient information is not properly communicated, the health and wellbeing of a patient could suffer greatly.

Because one nurse cannot be in multiple places at once, it is crucial that medical facilities, clinics and hospitals are adequately staffed with enough nurse to ensure quality patient care. However, the staffing of nurses is not always controlled by the number of patients at a medical facility but rather on the budget of the facility. This unfortunately could lead to short staffing and a reduced quality in patient care.

Rights after the loss of a loved one due to a fatal accident

Whether a loved one went in for a routine medical procedure or underwent a major surgery, any surgical procedure is consider a major event, even if the procedure is labeled minor or routine. While much trust is placed on the medical professionals that help throughout the surgical process, the unfortunate reality is that these medical professionals are still subject to human error, and these errors could unfortunately occur during a surgery. In some cases, patients in Louisiana could suffer devastating and even fatal consequences due to medical negligence and errors.

The loss of a loved one is a difficult time for any family, but for those suffering the loss of a family member due to a fatal medical error, it is likely that they will have many questions while they attempt to cope with the sudden loss. At Vincent J. DeSalvo Attorney at Law, our legal team is dedicated to helping Louisiana families find closure and understand their rights in the matter.

What are some contributions to negligent treatment?

Whether a patient is dealing with an ailment for a short amount of time or a long time, he or she relies on the expertise of medical professionals to determine what is wrong and what course of treatment is the best approach to take. While many residents in Louisiana experience correct diagnoses and successful treatment plans, some face unfortunate outcomes due to a misdiagnosis or the failure to diagnose. Whether it is due to medical errors or negligence, a misdiagnosis could cause a patient to suffer devastating or even fatal consequences.

Based on recent statistics, most Americans will suffer at least one medical misdiagnosis in his or her life. Moreover, diagnosis errors contribute to roughly 10 percent of patient deaths and 17 percent of all adverse events in hospitals. And in order to address and reduce the number of diagnostic errors occurring in medical facilities, it is important to understand how they happen.

Assisted deliveries could cause birth injuries

Many mothers-to-be in Louisiana devise a birthing plan that outlines what care they want when they labor and after their child is born. This tends to put both the mother and father at ease as they are preparing for the birth of their child. While birthing plans can go as schedule, unfortunately this is not always the case. Obstetricians might have to take additional or different steps to ensure a safe and healthy delivery. One way to address complications arising during the labor and delivery process is the usage of tools or instruments.

Instruments are commonly used to guide or assist a vaginal delivery of a newborn. And based on one review of 32 studies, assisted or instrumental deliveries occurred during the second stage of labor, frequently as an intervention to address a complication. While these tools or instruments could be very helpful and beneficial, in some case they have harmful outcomes for the mother, newborn or both.

Depression misdiagnosis common in children and adolescents

When children and adolescents are ill or are struggling with an unknown impairment or disability, parents in Louisiana rely on medical professionals to use their experience and knowledge to make a proper diagnosis. While common and obvious ailments are much easier to diagnose, some diseases or impairments have masked symptoms or symptoms that mimic other medical issues. This can present major problems, leading to serious diagnostic errors.

According to a recent study, there is a greater chance of children being misdiagnosed with depression than most parents think. In fact, it was discovered that most depression screening tools used for children and adolescents are inaccurate. Because doctors in the United States are increasingly encouraged to attempt to identify depression in children and adolescents, these diagnoses are sometimes made even if there are no obvious indications of the disease.

Who could be held responsible following a birth injury?

Planning and preparing for the birth of a child is not always an easy process. For some Louisiana parents, their pregnancies could have unexpected complications and problems. This could result in a pregnant mother requiring additional care and monitoring during her pregnancy or it could mean certain techniques or measures being used during the labor or delivery process. No matter the reason or type of care, when a medical professional steps in, he or she has the duty to properly care for the mother and her newborn. If a medical professional fails to meet this duty, this could mean harm to the mother or birth injuries to the newborn.

Who could be held responsible following a birth injury? During the labor and delivery process, various medical professionals as well as the hospital or medical facility are relied on to provide safe and appropriate medical care. If these terms are not met, and a birth injury claim results, this could mean holding several parties liable for the injuries and damages suffered. Whether it is due to actual care provided to the patient, communication errors or errors with monitoring the labor and delivery process, nurses, doctors and other medical professionals could be held liable for any harm caused to the newborn or mother.

Communication errors can lead to nursing errors

When residents in Baton Rouge are ill or injured, they will go to a medical clinic or hospital. Before being seen and treated by a doctor, a patient will spend time with a nurse. In fact, the time spent with the nurse is often critical for the care and the overall wellbeing for the patient, because the information gathered by a nurse is pertinent for the continued care of the patient. If patient care information isn't properly communicated from or to a nurse, this could lead to serious nursing errors.

According to a 2015 report, one-third of nursing errors was related to communication errors. In that report, out of the 23,000 medical malpractice claims filed between 2009 and 2013, patient claimed that they experienced some degree of harm due to nurse negligence in 647 cases.

Louisiana malpractice suit ruling reversed in favor of plaintiff

When a medical professional harms a patient, a patient must prove cause, liability and damages when filing a medical malpractice claim against a negligent medical professional or hospital. In most cases, this means showing that the medical professional failed to uphold his or her duty of care owed to the patient. However, if a patient is unable to present enough evidence to prove this, it might be difficult to be successful with a medical malpractice suit.

According to recent reports, a medical malpractice case that was initially dismissed on summary judgment by the Fourth Judicial District Court was reversed by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, and has since been remanded. The patient filed the original action for delayed treatment for an infection that resulted from his diabetes treatments.

When is an expert witness helpful in a medical malpractice case?

When residents in Louisiana entrust medical professionals with the lives of family members, they are under the impression that the doctors, surgeons, nurses and other medical professionals will uphold their duty of care while treating their loved one. While this is often the case, some medical professionals fail to uphold this duty, resulting this the death of a patient. Following a fatal medical mistake, the loved ones of the deceased may seek to hold the medical professionals liable. In medical malpractice claims, an expert witness is frequently used to do this; however, other information could be used to prove cause and liability.

When is an expert witness helpful in a fatal medical malpractice case? As the Supreme Court noted in a past decision this year, expert witnesses are not always required to prove that medical malpractice led to the death of a patient. In that decision, it was stated that testimony from an expert witness is used to help define the standard behavior so the court can then determine whether the medical professional properly performed the duty owed to their patient.

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