Has Something Bad Happened While You Or A Loved One Is Under The Care Of A Doctor Or Hospital But You Don’t Know What To Do Next?
While in her first year of law school, Maryland medical malpractice attorney Renee Boston received a phone call. It was the type of phone call that we all dread. It was a phone call that informed her that her father had just passed away during a “routine” outpatient surgery. A husband, a father, still in his 40s, was no longer with us.
Renee and her family immediately began to ask questions. However, due to a lack of understanding of the process, the right questions were not asked. The doctors had informed Renee’s mother that she would be able to drive her husband back home that afternoon, but this did not happen.
Weeks later, the autopsy concluded that Renee’s father had died of a heart attack during the procedure.
- But what was the cause of the heart attack?
- Was it something that the doctor did or did not do?
- Was there an error made by the anesthesiologist?
- Were the wrong drugs used?
- Did a doctor miss a red flag in the chart?
When tragic events like this happen, many people feel intimidated and hopeless about everything. Add to this, sometimes doctors will do all they can to cover up errors and lead the patient and his or her family to believe that “nothing else could be done.” When in reality, the doctor departed from good and acceptable medical care.
The issues Renee and her family faced during this unfortunate time are issues many in Maryland face. If you are on our site right now because you know in your gut something went wrong, please use this information to educate yourself on Maryland medical malpractice law. You can also give us a call at 301-850-4832. We answer medical malpractice questions like yours all the time and we would be glad to hear your story.
Medical malpractice is a tern 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.
HEART ATTACK MISDIAGNOSES
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.
Boston Law Group, LLC represents victims of medical malpractice throughout Maryland. We can help victims in Prince George’s County, Montgomery County, Anne Arundel County, St. John’s County, Charles County, Howard County, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Calvert County, Harford County, Carroll County, Queen Anne’s County, Allegany County, Caroline County, Cecil County, Dorchester County, Frederick County, Garrett County, Kent County, Somerset County, Talbot County, Washington County, Wicomico County, and Worcester County.