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Medical Malpractice

When Are Anesthesia Errors Considered Medical Malpractice?

When Are Anesthesia Errors Considered Medical Malpractice?

By | Medical Malpractice, Medication Errors | No Comments

It’s estimated that there are well over 50 million surgeries performed in the U.S. each year. With a number like that, it’s extremely fortunate that medical technology has made anesthesia better and safer than it ever has been. However, even with modern technology, mistakes with anesthesia happen – and when they do, the results can be devastating, even permanent injury or death.

When an injury results from an anesthesia error, you may be entitled to compensation via a medical malpractice claim. However, not all medical mistakes are medical malpractice, so it’s important that you consult an attorney to help you determine how to proceed with your case.

In the meantime, it’s important for you to understand what these types of anesthesia mistakes look like and what their effects might be.

Types of Surgical Anesthesia

Anesthesia is used to prevent patients from suffering pain during surgery. Various forms have been used throughout the years. Currently, medicine uses three kinds of anesthesia:

Local anesthesia – This type of anesthesia is used to numb a specific part of the body and is generally used for less invasive procedures, like a mole removal or biopsy.

Regional anesthesia – This type of anesthesia numbs a larger area of the body. An epidural and spinal block are examples of regional anesthetics.

General anesthesia – This type of anesthesia causes the patient to be completely unconscious, so they are unable to feel pain.

Specially trained medical professionals administer anesthesia and monitor the patient during surgery. Mistakes can be made by anesthesiologists, but also by doctors, nurses, or any other medical staff member who is part of the medical team caring for the patient. When there is a breakdown in communication between these team members, or when a member is negligent in some way, errors can occur with serious consequences.

Types of Anesthesia Mistakes

You may think that anesthesia errors only occur during surgery, however, they can actually happen before, during, or after an operation or procedure.

Anesthesia mistakes that are preoperative include:

Failing to educate the patient about the possible risks of the procedure they are about to undergo

Failing to thoroughly review the medical history of the patient for potential complications

Failing to provide the patient with preoperative instructions (for example, not letting a patient know that they need to fast for a certain number of hours prior to the surgery)

Anesthesia mistakes that happen during surgery include:

Delaying the administration of anesthesia

Administering too much or too little anesthesia for the operation

Administering the wrong type of anesthesia for the surgery

Failing to monitor or administer surgical oxygen properly

Failing to monitor the vital signs of the patient

Improperly inserting the intubation tube

Using equipment that is defective or faulty

Failing to identify or treat developing complications

A member of the surgical team being under the influence of drugs or alcohol during the procedure

Anesthesia-related mistakes that occur after surgery include:

Leaving a patient sedated for too long

Leaving a patient who is still anesthetized unattended

Failing to provide post-operative instructions

Complications and Injuries Related to Anesthesia Errors

Errors involving anesthesia can cause a variety of complications and injuries. While some are minor and temporary, some can be severe, serious, and permanent. Complications and injuries include:

Preoperative pain that exceeds what the procedure itself should cause

Nausea and vomiting

Delirium or confusion

Injuries due to intubation

Anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction)

Respiratory issues

Nerve damage

Blood clots

Brain damage

Heart attack

Stroke

Death

Even when the best care is provided by medical staff, mistakes can happen. For anesthesia mistakes to be considered medical malpractice, it has to be proven that a medical professional failed to meet the accepted standard of care or that they behaved negligently, and that the error caused the patient injury or harm. Hiring an experienced medical malpractice attorney is in your best interest to help you prove these details.

If You Suffered Injury Due to an Anesthesia Mistake

If you or a loved one suffered an injury due to an anesthesia error, or you suspect that is the case, the Law Office of Joseph Osborne can help you determine how to proceed with your claim. Contact our office today for a free consultation and review of your case.

Can Cerebral Palsy Be Caused by Medical Malpractice?

Can Cerebral Palsy Be Caused by Medical Malpractice?

By | Medical Malpractice | No Comments

There is nothing more exciting for couples than the birth of their child. Their expectations for their new baby knows no bounds, but their biggest hope is that their child will be carried to term and born healthy. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen. There may be complications during pregnancy or childbirth that can cause a baby to develop cerebral palsy. Sometimes, those complications are a result of medical malpractice.

What is Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral palsy is a serious health problem often resulting from not enough oxygen reaching an infant’s brain during labor or delivery. Its impact on the child and parents is lifelong, emotionally and financially. While some babies are born with cerebral palsy through no fault of anyone, about 10 percent of babies born with it developed it due to medical mistakes. That may not seem like a big number, but to those affected by cerebral palsy, it’s huge.

Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder that impedes muscle coordination and body movement. While there are numerous factors that can result in cerebral palsy, regarding birth injuries and cases of medical malpractice, the most common reason is a deficient amount of oxygen reached the baby’s brain during labor or delivery.

Most children who have cerebral palsy were born with the condition, whether caused by malpractice or other factors, although it may not be diagnosed by doctors for the first few years of life. Cerebral palsy is considered a non-progressive condition, which means that it doesn’t get worse over time. It occurs in about three out of every thousand births in the nation.

When Medical Malpractice Leads to Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is often caused by hypoxia (insufficient oxygen to the brain), asphyxia (insufficient oxygen to the body), premature delivery, or trauma during birth. All of these causes can result from medical malpractice and mistakes made during labor or childbirth.

However, just because a baby is born with cerebral palsy, it doesn’t always mean that medical mistakes have been made. There are times that doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals act with the greatest care while attending to mother and baby, and there are still negative outcomes. But when medical negligence is the cause of cerebral palsy, these are the most common mistakes:

failure to monitor the fetal heart rate appropriately during labor and childbirth

failure to identify and treat infections in the mother during her pregnancy

failure to identify a prolapsed umbilical cord

failure to schedule and perform a cesarean section when the baby is too large to deliver vaginally

delaying a cesarean section needed due to an emergency

other negligence or mistakes in using medical instruments like forceps or vacuum during delivery

Once the baby is delivered and it is discovered that he or she has suffered a lack of oxygen, there is often still time to prevent cerebral palsy from developing if the doctor acts quickly. Time is critical – every moment that passes without the baby having enough oxygen increases the risk of cerebral palsy. One way that oxygen deprivation can be helped is with hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy involves the baby being placed in a chamber that is full of 100 percent oxygen, which floods the tissue and slows the trauma to the brain. This treatment can lessen or eliminate the baby’s case of cerebral palsy.

If a doctor doesn’t act quickly or opts to not use hyperbaric oxygen therapy (when it is available), then the subsequent case of cerebral palsy can be found to be the doctor’s fault.

Taking Care of a Child with Cerebral Palsy

Taking care of a child with cerebral palsy is costly, can take a toll on the family emotionally, and it often requires a lifetime of care. That care, which includes medical expenses, therapy, home care, rehabilitation, and more, can easily reach $1 million in a lifetime. If the condition was caused by medical malpractice, a lawsuit can be filed which holds the responsible party liable for his or her negligence and provides compensation to the child and the family.

If your child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, and you suspect that there was medical malpractice involved, contact medical malpractice attorney, Joe Osborne, at (561) 293-2600 for an evaluation of your case.

Is Nursing Home Abuse Considered Medical Malpractice?

Is Nursing Home Abuse Considered Medical Malpractice?

By | Medical Malpractice, Medication Errors | No Comments

When parents become a certain age, many children have to consider that they may require more care than they can provide for themselves. When they reach the stage in which they need help with taking care of themselves and doing daily tasks, it’s natural to turn to nursing homes for help. It’s expected that when an elderly relative has to be placed in a nursing home, that they will receive care with kindness and competence, and proper medical care. However, that isn’t always what happens. Some nursing homes do not meet the duty of care that is expected of them and this can result in personal injuries for their patients.

If you have an elderly relative who you suspect is not receiving the proper level of care in a nursing home and they have been injured, your first priority should be to get them out of the environment and into a safe one. The very next thing you should do is consult with a lawyer who is experienced with nursing home abuse cases to help you gather the necessary evidence to help you with a case.

When Is Nursing Home Abuse Medical Malpractice?

Typically, the reason that people move into nursing homes is because they are not able to take care of their medical needs (which are often increasing) on their own at home. One of the most important services that nursing homes provide their residents is medical care. Unfortunately, there are times when they don’t do so appropriately, and it results in injury. Your medical malpractice lawyer will have an extensive understanding of nursing home liability and be able to tell you when an injury sustained there is considered medical malpractice.

Some of the most common forms of nursing home abuse that are considered medical malpractice are:

Medication errors

Physical or sexual abuse of residents

Malnourishment or dehydration

Failing to obtain the care of a doctor or registered nurse to access residents’ medical issues or complaints

Unsanitary conditions that cause infections

Malfunctioning medical equipment

Untrained, or insufficiently trained staff

Many nursing home residents are already in a declining or fragile state, which means that any neglect or abuse that they suffer may lead to serious injuries – even premature death.

Keep in mind that if your loved one is injured at a nursing home, it’s likely that the facility’s administrators will be cooperative and seem understanding, taking action to correct any errors or misdoings. Remember, that even so, they are looking out for their own best interests, not those of your loved one. It isn’t uncommon for nursing homes to offer families compensation for an injury and asking them to sign documentation that releases them from responsibility for the abuse. If this happens to your family, don’t sign anything and seek help from a medical malpractice attorney immediately.

Get Help for Your Nursing Home Medical Malpractice Case

If you have a relative who resides in a Florida nursing home, be aware of changes in their physical and mental health, and if you suspect nursing home abuse, contact Boca Raton medical malpractice attorney, Joe Osborne, for help with your case. He will provide you with the guidance you need and will advocate for your loved one in a lawsuit if it is a case of medical malpractice. Call today at (561) 293-2600, to get started on your case. Don’t delay, you have a limited amount of time in which to file your claim.

When Are Birth Injuries Considered Medical Malpractice?

When Are Birth Injuries Considered Medical Malpractice?

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There is no more exciting time in a couple’s life than when they are expecting a child. It’s a time of anticipation, hope, and joy, as they await the birth of their baby. Fortunately, for most parents, pregnancies, labor, and delivery go smoothly and they bring home a beautiful and healthy baby shortly after it’s born. However, there are times that this doesn’t happen due to complications that put both mother and child at risk. If these complications are found to have been avoidable, and either mother or baby suffered injuries as a result, it may be a case of medical malpractice.

How Do Birth Injuries Occur?

While there are many ways that birth injuries can occur, they typically fall into one of two categories – either a medical professional fails to recognize or treat a condition, or there are injuries to the mother or child that are a result of negligent prenatal medical care.

The first category involves situations like a doctor failing to diagnose risky conditions like a mother’s high blood pressure, the misuse of medical instruments (for example, forceps or vacuum), not monitoring the baby’s heart rate correctly, or failing to perform a cesarean section when needed. In these situations, the doctors and other medical professionals involved may be held liable in a medical malpractice lawsuit.

The second category involves the prenatal care that the expectant mother receives. For instance, this may include situations like the prescription of medications that may be harmful to the mother or baby. If this occurs, the prescribing doctor, pharmacist, and even the manufacturer of the medication may be held responsible in a medical malpractice case.

When There is a Birth Injury to the Infant

If an infant is injured during childbirth, parents or guardians of the baby, together with their medical malpractice attorney, must bring the lawsuit against the responsible parties. They are able to ask for compensation for general and special damages on behalf of their baby. These include medical expenses, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life, and they can be for present and future damages.

The parents of the baby may also be able to seek damages for their pain and suffering due to the injuries that their child sustained.

When There is a Birth Injury to the Mother

If a mother is injured during childbirth, she can file a claim against the responsible parties. She too, is able to seek general and special damages for present and future damages suffered due to medical negligence or errors during delivery.

Finding Help for Your Birth Injury Claim

Proving medical malpractice in birth injury claims can be difficult. It requires knowledgeable medical malpractice attorneys with access to expert medical witnesses to review and evaluate medical charts and records.

Anytime that there is a birth injury that could have been prevented, the family may be entitled to a financial recovery for the financial and emotional burdens they have suffered as a result of medical negligence.

If you, or someone in your family, have suffered injuries that occurred during pregnancy, labor, or delivery in Florida, birth injury attorney, Joe Osborne, can help you with your case. Contact his office today at (561) 293-2600, for a review of your case and advice on how to proceed with your medical malpractice claim.

What is a "Never Event" in Medical Malpractice?

What is a “Never Event” in Medical Malpractice?

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Some errors that are made by doctors, nurses and other medical professionals are so serious that they are considered “never events.” When these types of mistakes are made, it is likely that you have a potential case of medical malpractice.

What is a Never Event?

Basically, a never event is a mistake that is so extreme, it is inexcusable. These are errors that should never occur, under any conditions, so they have been labeled “never events.” The following is a list of mistakes that are defined as never events:

Surgical mistakesErrors occurring during surgery that is considered never events include performing surgery on the wrong patient or wrong body part or leaving an item inside a patient’s body (for example, a surgical sponge, medical instrument, or medical device).

Product or device mistakes – Never events involving products or devices include the misuse of a device or the use of a contaminated device or drug that results in the death of the patient.

Environmental events – These never events include oxygen lines containing the wrong gas or no gas at all, electrical shock, burn injuries, and the use of restraints that result in serious injury or death.

Radiological events – When a metal object is introduced into the MRI area and the mistake causes serious injury or death, it is considered a never event.

Patient protection mistakes – When a patient who is unable to care for himself is discharged to someone who is not an authorized person, or the patient disappears from the medical facility, and there is a subsequent injury, disability, or death, it may be considered a never event. Additionally, if a patient commits suicide or attempts to commit suicide while being cared for in a medical facility, it may be considered a never event.

Medical care management events – Never events in this category are numerous. They may include medication errors or the unsafe administration of blood products that result in serious injury or death, harm to mother or baby during childbirth in a pregnancy designated low-risk, the loss of a biological specimen, artificial insemination with the wrong donor egg or sperm, or the serious injury or death of a patient due to a failure to provide adequate follow-up care. Other care management never events may include if a patient develops stage three or four pressure ulcers (bed sores), or if a patient suffers a serious fall while in a medical facility.

Criminal acts – If medical care is provided by someone who is impersonating a medical professional, if there is an abduction of a patient, or there is a sexual or physical abuse of a patient by a medical care provider in a medical facility, it is considered a never event.

The above are all situations and events that should never happen in a healthcare facility or setting. If they do, then the medical professional or entity can be held legally responsible for the event.

Find Help for Your “Never Event”

If you or a loved one has been a victim of one of the egregious mistakes mentioned above, you should contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. You are likely entitled to compensation for the injuries and damages you have sustained. Let medical malpractice attorney, Joe Osborne Law Firm  help you get the compensation you deserve.

What Do I Do if I Suspect I Am a Victim of Medical Malpractice?

What Do I Do if I Suspect I Am a Victim of Medical Malpractice?

By | Medical Malpractice | No Comments

Medical errors occur much more frequently than you probably imagine. There are many ways that it can happen, and you might not even be aware that you have been a victim. It is a reality that sometimes negative medical outcomes just happen, and no one is to blame. However, there are also many instances when patients suffer negative consequences due to medical mistakes that could have been prevented. How do you know which has happened to you or your loved one? First, you need to know exactly what medical malpractice is.

What Is Medical Malpractice?

When a doctor or other medical professional acts (or fails to act) in a way that violates the accepted “standard of care” in a medical situation, it may be considered medical malpractice. “Standard of care” refers to the accepted course of action that another similarly educated and experienced medical professional would have taken in a similar situation. When a doctor, nurse, EMT, pharmacist, or other medical professional deviates from that standard and a patient suffers injuries, they can be held liable.

There are two main points that have to be present in order for injuries to be considered medical malpractice:

A doctor or other medical professional made a mistake when he or she acted in a way that violated the accepted “standard of care.”

The mistake resulted in injury to the patient.

If both of those things happened, then there may be a reasonable basis to claim medical malpractice and to file a lawsuit.

How Do I Know If I Have Been a Victim of Malpractice?

Determining whether you have been a victim of malpractice or if you have suffered a negative outcome of medical treatment can be challenging. Usually, the process begins with you or a member of your family having a feeling that something about the treatment just wasn’t right. Doctors and other medical staff are not going to admit outright that they made a mistake, so it is often up to the loved ones of a patient to seek outside advice when they feel that something out of the ordinary has happened.

It’s important to remember that negative medical outcomes happen frequently, and they are not always attributable to a mistake made by a medical professional. There are always complications and side effects that can occur even when the very best medical care is provided. That is why it is important to understand the possible outcomes of medical procedures or treatment and to ask questions if anything isn’t clear.

Because determining medical malpractice isn’t always obvious, the help of a medical malpractice lawyer is often necessary to ascertain whether there was negligence. A medical malpractice attorney will employ the experience of a medical expert to review your medical records and establish whether you are a victim of malpractice or a complication or side effect of your treatment.

Getting Help for Your Medical Malpractice Case

If you or your loved one has suffered negative consequences after a medical procedure or treatment, and you suspect that it may have been caused by a medical mistake, contact Boca Raton medical malpractice lawyer Joe Osborne at (561) 296-2600 or complete the online contact form to get the help you need for your case. It may be that your injury was caused by a medical mistake and you could be entitled to compensation.

FDA Regulations on Transvaginal Mesh Products Increased

By | Defective Medical Devices, Medical Malpractice, Medical Products Lawsuit, Transvaginal Mesh, Transvaginal Mesh Lawsuit, Transvaginal Mesh Products | No Comments

Regulations on Transvaginal Mesh Products Increased by the FDA

Transvaginal mesh products have been used since the early 1990s with very little regulatory oversight. In the more than twenty years that followed, thousands of patients suffered unanticipated complicated and injuries due to the implant. As of January 4th of 2016 the FDA has announced that there are increased regulations for transvaginal mesh devices.

This has been a slow process for the FDA to take action. Studies conducted throughout 2008-2010 showed that the devices were becoming progressively dangerous for their recipients. The FDA even found that other natural means may be more effective than these artificial implants. Despite this information, manufacturers have knowingly continued to sell these dangerous implants. According to Boca Raton defective medical device attorneys, this knowing endangerment of consumers creates a great deal of potential liability for people that have received these transvaginal mesh implants.

These new regulations do not mean that consumers are out of danger. Some components of the regulations do not really impact the device manufacturers until 2018. Our leading Boca Raton medical device liability attorneys are concerned there will be many more innocent victims who receive these dangerous implants and suffer injuries as a result before the FDA protects them. Your only recourse is taking legal action to hold the manufacturers financially accountable.

There are 34 transvaginal mesh manufacturers in the United States. There are tens of thousands of potential victims that are suffering injuries from these faulty implants. Anyone that has one of these devices, even without current complications, is encouraged to speak with both a medical doctor and a products liability attorney to learn about their rights and options for ensuring their well-being.

You should be proactive if you have had a transvaginal mesh product implanted. At Osborne & Francis Law Firm PLLC, our Boca Raton transvaginal mesh device attorneys have already successfully recovered millions of dollars in compensation for these victims. Call us at 561-293-2600 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your legal options.