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Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice

Language Barriers Pose Hurdle to Doctor & PatientsWhen lives are at stake, doctors cannot afford to be given a poor translation when attempting to understand what is going on with his or her patient and family members cannot misinterpret the instructions given to them. The quality of a patient’s life and his or her prognosis can be greatly diminished simply because there was a language barrier and this is why there needs to be a greater investment in interpreters by hospitals. Rather than hire these individuals, many healthcare providers have opted for less expensive and impersonal options that have proven to be highly ineffective and jeopardized the health of many.

Minor Misinterpretations Can Result in Major Medical Errors

One stark example of the devastation that can result from poor translation in a hospital setting comes from a baseball play who was severely injured when a medical interpreter mistranslated a single word used by his family to describe his condition. In the Spanish language, “intoxicado” means digestive irritation, but it was translated to mean “intoxicated” by the interpreter working with Willie Ramirez in 1980.

Those undergoing tonsil removal anticipate a very routine procedure with very few risks; and over 530,000 children undergo a tonsillectomy every year in the United States. This is why a family was devastated when a surgical error resulted in the death of their 9 year old daughter. The Detroit family is expected to file a lawsuit on the grounds of medical malpractice and wrongful death against the facility where the operation was performed and against the staff members who discharged the girl well before it was safe to do so.

Numerous Errors to Blame for Child’s Premature and Unnecessary Passing

Routine Tonsillectomy Demonstrates How Errors Can Impact Routine ProceduresAnyialah Gambrell required a tonsillectomy for a snoring problem that her family put off for years because they were ambivalent about the need for the procedure and whether it would be safe. Her doctor assured the family that the surgery would be routine and should last no longer than 40 minutes, but it went longer. After the two hour long operation, she was discharged before attending staff could be certain she was ready and died of complications a few hours after the surgery was completed.

Common Types of Pediatric SurgeryA pediatric surgeon specializes in the treatment of birth defects and childhood medical conditions through surgical procedures and ongoing care. Surgical errors occurring during these procedures may have a profound impact on the child’s physical and mental development and could severely alter his or her quality of living. The Chicago medical malpractice attorneys of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC work with families to ensure they can recover fair compensation when their child has been injured due to a surgical error so that they can continue to provide for the child’s needs throughout his or her life.

Procedures Performed by Pediatric Surgeons

In order to become a pediatric surgeon, doctors must be able to perform numerous types of procedures and treat a wide range of medical conditions. The conditions they may treat through surgery include the following.

All Patients May Not Do Well in Ambulatory CareRecent findings have suggested that surgeons may pressure anesthesiologists into performing inappropriate procedures or accepting ill-suited patients at ambulatory surgery centers. This practice may greatly increase the risk of mortality for patients and could reduce the quality of medical services. It is important that anesthesiologists hold their ground and properly assess patients in order to prevent undue injuries or fatalities. Ignoring patient risk factors when recommending or proceeding with surgical procedures is a common cause of medical malpractice and the Chicago surgical injury attorneys of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC encounter many cases that could have been prevented had patients been properly selected for procedures.

Valuable Data May Allow Anesthesiologists to Turn Away High-Risk Patients

Studies have revealed links between increased risk of mortality and hospital readmission with factors such as age, medical history and medical conditions. Those with certain health concerns or who were older displayed a greater chance of experiencing postoperative complications or being readmitted to the hospital than younger patients with fewer health complications. Certain health complications were more likely to increase risk than others.

Patients Risk of Dying May be IdentifiableA new testing system may make it easier for doctors to accurately assess risk in patients about to undergo surgical procedures so that they can communicate those risks more effectively. More accurate risk evaluation can also help surgeons plan ahead and put together a contingency plan they can fall back upon in the event things do not go according to plan. The Chicago surgical malpractice attorneys of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC often point out that poor communication between doctors and their patients about risk and the failure to make adequate preparations for patients with notable risk factors are common causes of medical malpractice cases.

Mortality Rate is High Among Certain Subgroups

While it is true that the chance of patient mortality during or following most medical procedures is miniscule, there are some subgroups that carry extremely high risk. Data has shown that these subgroups report mortality rates as high as 10%, making accurate risk assessment crucial to operative success. Not only is a better system of predicting risk essential to reducing mortality rates, but it is also vital to helping doctors communicate effectively with their patients.

Sanitation of Medical Equipment is Necessary for Patient HealthThe officials conducting a surprise spot check of California’s Huntington Hospital in August of 2015 discovered something much different than they were expecting when they found what they called a “‘top to bottom’ failure of patient safety procedures.’” This failure included a lack of proper sanitization of equipment, specifically with scopes used in procedures like gastric examinations. The unsanitary scopes were to blame for sixteen unreported infections between 2013 and mid-2015, eleven of those sixteen infections resulting in death.

The hospital violated California laws by failing to report the breakout of a drug-resistant infection. City health officials did not look into the causes of death of the eleven victims of the infection, and it was only listed as the cause of death for one of the patients. A medical malpractice lawyer for three of the patients (two of whom died) claimed that the patients’ medical records stated that they contracted an infection after a procedure which used a duodenoscope, the type of medical scope responsible for spreading the infection. Instead of citing this untreatable infection as the cause of death, problems such as heart failure and pancreatic cancer were named as the culprits.

A hospital spokeswoman stated that the facility took responsibility for what had happened and added that the scopes were a problem facing many hospitals. County officials alerted the city’s public health department to a possible outbreak of the infection in August of 2015 when thirty-five patients were suspected to have contracted it. The city’s investigation blamed the difficult-to-clean design of the scope, as well as the hospital’s lack of infection control, for the outbreak.

safe injection recommendations Substandard hygiene practices and safe injection recommendations provided by medical and nursing staff might be placing the health of all patients at great risk. A recent observation of New Mexico medical students working in various medical and nursing facilities throughout the state revealed sanitary policy and procedure failure rates of approximately 35 percent.

These high failure rates of medical teams failing to follow hygienic recommendations to locate and use alcohol hand rubs and disinfection protocols when injecting the patient were higher than expected. The study revealed that, overall, nurses were more likely to take every hand hygiene opportunity (75 percent) to create a disinfected barrier between the patient and staff / equipment / supplies, followed by doctors (61 percent) and finally medical assistants (48 percent).

The study revealed that even though nursing homes and health facilities had developed, implemented and enforced policies and practices, staff members still failed to wash their hands when necessary more than one out of every three times. The problems involving a failure to follow recommended injection safety protocols was also high. The observations revealed that approximately one out of every five times, the medical staff failed to disinfect rubber vials with isopropyl alcohol. In addition, nearly one out of every six times, the staff failed to follow hand hygiene protocols when handling injection supplies.