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Queens New York Legal Blog

How to protect against a surgical error

When you agree to a surgical procedure, you do so with the idea that it'll improve your health. So, the last thing you want to find out is that something went wrong

While there are risks associated with every type of surgery, even those that are deemed minor, some setbacks are avoidable.

What are the most common complaints about nursing homes?

Nursing homes often have complaints lodged against them. Residents deserve to be treated with respect and care, but some are left alone or not cared for appropriately.

Unfortunately, these residents aren't always able to speak for themselves. That's why family members need to look deeply into the standard of care at the facility they're choosing.

Marking a body part doesn't always prevent surgical mistakes

Surgical mistakes, such as wrong-site surgery, can have a drastic impact on a person's life. Imagine needing to have your left leg amputated and waking up to find that they accidentally amputated your right leg -- and that the left one still has to go in a separate procedure. This type of massive error is irreversible.

To prevent it, many medical professionals will mark a patient's body parts before surgery. It can be as simple as marking the leg that is supposed to be operated on with a marker. The surgeon then has one final confirmation that they're doing the correct procedure before they begin.

Nursing home abuse takes on many forms

Nursing home abuse should never be tolerated in any form, as it puts an already vulnerable patient at risk of serious physical or emotional injury or death.

If a loved one resides in a nursing home, it's critical to keep a watchful eye out for abuse. Neglecting to do so could result in something serious slipping past you.

How do you make a medical malpractice claim?

When you go to the hospital hoping for relief from an ailment, the last thing you expect is to end up with more issues than you had before. When a hospital fails to provide the appropriate level of care for your condition, that's a serious problem and something that does need to be addressed.

What should you do if you feel that you've been a victim of medical errors? You need to follow a few steps to work toward making a medical malpractice claim.

Distinguishing birth injuries from birth defects

Newborn babies can suffer from either birth injuries or birth defects, both of which could have a drastic impact on the rest of their lives. It is important to distinguish between the two in order to know what has happened and why, as that may guide any potential legal action moving forward.

Fortunately, in most cases, the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) notes that malformations and birth defects are "easily distinguishable" from birth injuries. They do add that a clinical assessment may be necessary in order to tell the difference between the two. With proper research and examination of the issue, though, it should be possible for medical professionals to make an accurate assessment.

If you sense that abuse is occurring, take steps to report it

When you got the call that your mom had been hurt in her nursing home, you didn't suspect anything unusual. You thought she must have forgotten to call for assistance or had slipped.

You were shocked when you went to see her in the hospital. She has bruises up and down her arm. She had the start of a bedsore under one knee. On top of that, she had a horrible head injury from falling.

Birth injuries: Newborn fractures may not be apparent right away

All expecting parents worry about the health and physical condition of their unborn babies. Most of the time, this worry turns out to be unjustified, much to the relief of brand-new parents. Other times, the worst fears of parents come true and their newborn suffers medical problems, sometimes due to one or more birth injuries.

Bone fractures are relatively common types of birth injuries, especially when the delivery is difficult. However, fractures may go unnoticed by the labor and delivery team. According to one report, birth injuries often result in broken collarbones in newborns. In many cases, it is the baby's parents that discover the injury when they feel the beginning of callus formations near the fracture.

A study shows that electronic medical records are often wrong

There's been an uptick in the use of electronic health records (EHRs) in recent years. Many New York doctors store patient records in these portals. They also rely on them for communicating with patients about test results and treatment options. Patients' increased access to their records has led them to discover errors in them. This discovery could adversely impact the diagnoses that doctors assign patients.

A recent Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) study captures how big of a concern EHR errors are.

How do informational errors cause emergency room negligence?

Hospital emergency rooms are often action-packed environments in which medical staff members must make on-the-spot decisions. Unfortunately, this kind of environment can lead to mistakes that harm patients instead of healing them.

In much of the research centered on medical mistakes in New York and other city emergency rooms, data errors stand out as a top cause of hospital negligence. How can making what seems like a simple error in processing or assessing a patient's information result in negligent injuries?

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