News – Medical Malpractice Center https://malpracticecenter.com Facts, Guidelines and Laws Thu, 29 Jun 2017 23:27:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 New Bill Regarding Medical Malpractice Passes in Kentucky https://malpracticecenter.com/new-bill-regarding-medical-malpractice-passes-kentucky/ Thu, 16 Mar 2017 18:10:23 +0000 https://www.malpracticecenter.com/?p=596 On March 3, 2017 the state of Kentucky passed a new bill that would require any medical malpractice claim to be reviewed and scrutinized by a panel of expert advisors. This bill was finally passed by the Kentucky Senate just 2 days after it got passed by the House of Representatives. This bill will be […]

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On March 3, 2017 the state of Kentucky passed a new bill that would require any medical malpractice claim to be reviewed and scrutinized by a panel of expert advisors. This bill was finally passed by the Kentucky Senate just 2 days after it got passed by the House of Representatives. This bill will be sent to and finalized by Governor Matt Bevin.

This proposed law requires the plaintiffs to give the medical malpractice claims to be reviewed. They will then be submitted to a panel of expert advisors that will go through the case and determine if the claims are valid and have any merit. The advisory panel will then have to conclude if the claim is true or frivolous and will then give a conclusion if they should proceed with the case or not.

Many people who support this bill say that the 3 member panels will aid in weeding out false and baseless medical malpractice claims and lawsuits.

This is because these lawsuits raise the cost of malpractice insurance thus burdening the system of the court. However, people that were opposed to this bill said that they were concerned about the rights of people to a trial by jury that will not be given to them. This will delay access for them to court and ultimately might lead to justice being denied.

After the bill was passed, there were 2 more changes that were added to it and were approved by the Senate. The changes include that the review panels must issue their opinions on the malpractice claims within 9 months as opposed to the original 6 month time frame that was mentioned in the bill. This will allow the panel to go through a thorough investigation and research on their part so that the result comes in a timely yet effective manner.

Also, in the final version of the bill, the trial judges will be deciding on the admissibility and validity of the opinions of the advisory panel rather than just automatically accepting their conclusion. It is not to be mistaken that their opinions will be able to make the final verdict albeit, might have a huge impact on it. These new changes made by the House of Representatives had the supporters of this bill voice their concerns regarding its constitutionality.

A personal injury plaintiff’s attorney, Representative Chad McCoy asked his co workers in law to vote against this bill. He further stated that instead of an expert advisory panel he preferred an affidavit — a written statement confirmed by oath or affirmation –, for use as evidence in the court. It is also known as certificate of merit. This certificate is signed by an expert or professional attesting that the claims being made are valid, concrete and are not frivolous in any manner.

Pennsylvania and New Jersey do not have any review panels in the medical sector but they have statutes that allow them to have affidavits and certificate of merits in cases where there is medical malpractice involved.

This bill, as many people believe restricts them from making any medical malpractice claims. However, it just ensures to protect both the medical community and the patients from injustice. Therefore, people are not being discouraged to make any claims. People who have been injured due to any medical malpractice are always entitled to make any claims and file for lawsuits. This bill is only being implemented to flush out the false and frivolous ones.

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New Law Regarding Medical Malpractice in Florida https://malpracticecenter.com/new-law-regarding-medical-malpractice-florida/ Thu, 16 Mar 2017 18:09:38 +0000 https://www.malpracticecenter.com/?p=595 The Supreme Court in Florida has passed a new law that all hospitals must show records in any medical malpractice cases. The Supreme Court said that a constitutional amendment of 2004 includes a requirement of providing the medical records to the family of the patient. This aims to ensure the family of the victims are […]

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The Supreme Court in Florida has passed a new law that all hospitals must show records in any medical malpractice cases. The Supreme Court said that a constitutional amendment of 2004 includes a requirement of providing the medical records to the family of the patient.

This aims to ensure the family of the victims are given all the proof in order for them to be fully satisfied. If a hospital fails to do so or the records show otherwise, then they can proceed with any further actions.

The family of a woman had filed a claim against a hospital in Plant City, Florida citing neurological injuries. They claimed that the hospital’s medical practitioner was negligent in providing the woman proper medical care which resulted in her injuries. The administration of the hospital said that they didn’t have to submit any medical records or documents because of a 2004 federal law that ensures that hospitals get confidentiality if they turn over the information of any medical error on their own volition. The Supreme Court said that this law doesn’t forestall the requirements of the state for getting any medical information to be disclosed.

A medical malpractice attorney in Tampa stated that this was a crucial ruling for the patients. This is because if they suffer from any injuries due their treatment by the doctors and the hospital, they have the full right to have access to their medical records so that they are given their due compensation.

Patient safety is of utmost importance according to one of the judges in a Florida court and it should be ensured that the patient and their family are fully satisfied.

Another court Justice said that she expected the law to make the health care system better and improve quality and not to just provide protection to irresponsible medical practitioners. Many other judges have voiced the same opinions on this new ruling.

This new law works in favor for the both the patients and the medical practitioners. But since there could be discrepancies in details that can be overlooked, justice could work in favor of the wrong party. Doctors, nurses and other medical practitioners (such as paralegals) can act irresponsibly and be shielded from this because the court cannot take any action against them until they produce the medical records. Sometimes medical records don’t show everything and that could work against the patient. Alternatively, there are many patients who, despite the best efforts and no mistakes by the doctors, still suffer from inevitable injuries or health risks. These patients then take the advantage of the law and file a lawsuit against the medical practitioners, resulting in them to have their medical license and reputation in jeopardy.

But there are people on both sides of the spectrum who don’t view this law in favor for them therefore they have their reservations. This could delay justice to any of the parties and like they say justice delayed is justice denied. But the majority of the people are tilting towards the safety of the patients because this doesn’t improve the healthcare system in anyway. If anything, it just makes it more lax. Medical insurance was a hassle as it is and this new ruling doesn’t pass in favor for them either. But since Florida doesn’t restrict any damage caps for people so if it is proven that the patient has actually suffered from injuries or loss, he/she will be given the due compensation.

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Medical Malpractice Damages Being Capped by Lawmakers https://malpracticecenter.com/medical-malpractice-damages-capped-lawmakers/ Thu, 16 Mar 2017 18:08:58 +0000 https://www.malpracticecenter.com/?p=594 Doctors can finally breathe a sigh of relief knowing that a new legislation has been approved by the House committee that would protect them from any false medical malpractice claims from money hungry people. For doctors, it’s just not about money but also about losing a medical license that allows them to practice their hard […]

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Doctors can finally breathe a sigh of relief knowing that a new legislation has been approved by the House committee that would protect them from any false medical malpractice claims from money hungry people. For doctors, it’s just not about money but also about losing a medical license that allows them to practice their hard earned skills which they got after years of expensive medical school. This new law will serve to discourage people to make any false claims of medical treatment for the sake of winning a fraudulent lawsuit and entitle them to a huge sum of money.

The House Judiciary Committee approved the legislation with a very narrow vote difference. It was a narrow win, the decision made in favor by only a single vote. This new law will cap the damages that could make doctors, nurses, hospitals and other medical practitioners pay any money for the damages incurred. It includes people who have been insured by Medicare and Medicaid. People who are war veterans and are covered by their military health plan are also included. The new legislation pleased many lobbyists and also medical practitioners as it ensured their safety in the field.

The Health Coalition on Liability and Access which is an advocacy group consisting of medical professionals in various medical societies and associations also voiced their opinions on this issue. They stated that doctors are pressured into defending themselves more rather than focusing on their patients and their medical practice. They have to constantly worry about their decisions in front of the law and professional reputation when most of the accusations turn out to be false.

This legislation surprised many Democrats and their supporters because they believed that they were very close to fending off what they believe as usurping the rights of consumers. An executive at the Center for Justice and Democracy said that she was really shocked upon hearing about this new bill. She said the Democrats expected something along the lines of the Affordable Care Act as a replacement and not some separate bill regarding medical malpractice altogether.

Many other Democrats that were present at the hearing voiced their disapproval and concerns regarding this law. A representative from Michigan criticized this by saying that this law has done nothing but failed every time due to many problems arising from the fact that it treads on the rights of the state. This would prevent the people from accessing quality service and care from the medical community.

He further stated that this legislation would protect the pharmacy industry and medical instruments and machine makers that create and sell harmful products and medicines for the people.

Democrats and Republicans have long been arguing over the issue of medical malpractice and this new legislation furthers the divide between them. However, there have been many cases of medical practitioners finding allies within the Democrats as well. But regarding this new law, nothing can be stated.

This new law gives immunity to the pharmacy industry in which drug companies harm the patients with the FDA approved prescriptions. While the bill would help contain any economic damages if the claims are proven true, it would certainly make it harder for people seeking justice and compensation for any medical malpractice. This bill would cap the payment of a victim’s suffering and pain at $250,000. This would greatly affect people who are not working such as children and the elderly.

The new bill is being dubbed as unconstitutional and unfair by the Democrats and their supporters. This is because any medical practitioner can act irresponsibly and gets away scot free, leaving the victim without any justice.

However, amendments are being made to water down this legislation by many Democrats in order to preserve the rights of the people.

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Missed Cancer Diagnoses and Heart Attacks Make Up Most Common Medical Malpractice Claims https://malpracticecenter.com/news/12/09/15/missed-cancer-diagnoses-and-heart-attacks-most-common-medical-malpractice-claims Wed, 09 Dec 2015 21:37:57 +0000 https://www.malpracticecenter.com/?p=465 Medical malpractice causes frustration and fear for everyone involved. Whether you are the patient injured or made ill by a medical procedure, or you are the doctor accused of malpractice, you are faced with a great deal of uncertainty about the future. Medical malpractice cases might seem as if they are becoming increasingly common, but […]

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Medical malpractice causes frustration and fear for everyone involved. Whether you are the patient injured or made ill by a medical procedure, or you are the doctor accused of malpractice, you are faced with a great deal of uncertainty about the future.

Medical malpractice cases might seem as if they are becoming increasingly common, but this is not the case. There have also been changes made concerning the amount of award a victim can receive. Despite lawmakers taking action to control medical malpractice issues, there are still cases in which patients are injured and doctors are held responsible, and significant awards are paid as a result.

What are the Most Common Reasons for Medical Malpractice?

Some of the most common medical malpractice cases involve missed cancer diagnoses and heart disease. In a recent study published in the BMJ Open, Irish researchers looked at more than 7100 journal papers concerning claims of medical malpractice. Their goal was to review claims related to primary care physicians. More than 34 journal articles were included in their analysis of primary care malpractice, 15 of which were based in the United States, as well as British, Australian, French, and Canadian papers.

Researchers found the most common of medical malpractice claims was related to missed diagnoses. These claims made up between 26 to 63 percent of claims. Fatalities were the most common consequences listed, with as many as nearly 50% of the claims listed as fatality. The most common missed diagnoses related to cancer and heart attacks.

Second to missed diagnoses were drug errors. Researchers found that anywhere from 6 – 20% of claims included accusations of drug mistakes, with steroid preparation, anticoagulants, antibiotics, antidepressants, and antipsychotics making up the majority of issues.

Payouts are Not the Norm

In only about a third of the claims reviewed from the United States was there a payout to the victim. Approximately half of all UK claims resulted in compensation. This lack of compensation, despite the time and frustration invested in investigating a malpractice claim, leads many to believe that attorneys are the only ones who benefit in the end. Some call the system broken because it demands perfection from doctors and creates unrealistic expectations for patients.

Some doctors report that because of their risk for malpractice, patient care takes a backseat to their needs to practice “defensive medicine.” Fear of malpractice results in an increase in diagnostic testing, referrals, prescriptions, and avoidance of treatment. There is a movement within the medical community to encourage patients to question doctors about unnecessary testing because this lets both parties off the hook for malpractice. Doctors are able to make all possible recommendations and then patients are informed enough to make their own decisions about their care.

Even the Best Doctors Face Challenges

It comes as no surprise to many in the medical community that missed cancer diagnoses and issues with chest pain are the most common reasons for malpractice claims. Research shows these are some of the most difficult conditions to spot and many people who report problems to their doctors that could be related to these conditions are actually fine. A doctor’s most important task is determining which of the many patients they see complaining of symptoms related to cancer or heart attacks are actually facing a serious health crisis.

Experts recommend patients be attentive to the information their doctor provides and persistent if they believe there is a more serious problem than what a doctor initially diagnoses. There is no reason for patients to feel intimidated and everyone should take responsibility for his or her own health. There are many occasions when a wait and see approach is the right move, but patients need to know when to push their doctors for more, and doctors can avoid medical malpractice claims by paying attention to concerns and show patients respect.

Additional Source:

Misdiagnosing Cancer is More Common Than We Think

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What are the Most Common Reasons Doctors are Sued for Malpractice? https://malpracticecenter.com/news/11/21/15/what-are-the-most-common-reasons-doctors-are-sued-for-malpractice Sat, 21 Nov 2015 21:34:40 +0000 https://www.malpracticecenter.com/?p=464 Mistakes happen every day in life and unfortunately, when those mistakes involve medical care the outcome can be devastating. In most cases, medical mistakes are not the result of negligence or incompetence on the part of the care provider, but occasionally they are. Patients file medical malpractice lawsuits for a variety of reasons, but many […]

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Mistakes happen every day in life and unfortunately, when those mistakes involve medical care the outcome can be devastating. In most cases, medical mistakes are not the result of negligence or incompetence on the part of the care provider, but occasionally they are.

Patients file medical malpractice lawsuits for a variety of reasons, but many cases are closed without any financial settlement. Determining whether or not you have a potentially successful medical malpractice case takes some consideration, which could include a discussion with an attorney.

What are some of the most common reasons doctors are sued for malpractice?

Sparsely Completed Medical Records

Doctors and other healthcare providers must keep detailed records of a patient’s condition and treatment. Failing to do so can result in a malpractice lawsuit. If your medical records lack information about your doctor’s rationale for critical decisions, feature errors or omissions, are illegible, or include questionable alterations, you could have a case. Evidence of an altered record almost always guarantees a winnable case.

Inadequate Intake

When you visit a doctor or you are admitted to the hospital, someone must conduct an intake interview to collect your medical history. You are asked about family medical history, allergies, drug use, the names of your other doctors, and several other questions that alert doctors to any potential problems. Without written proof these questions were asked and answered, doctors could face legal action.

Lack of Follow-up

There are times when doctors take a wait-and-see approach to a medical problem, which often is the best option. However, if your doctor fails to observe and monitor a condition, or fails to document the reasons for being less assertive with treatment, it can result in serious consequences and subsequent legal action.

Failure to Obtain Informed Consent

Doctors must explain to you or the person responsible for your medical decisions the risks, alternatives, and expected outcomes of potential treatments. You or your medical guardian must sign a release form, but this form is virtually worthless without proof the doctor personally obtained consent through explanation of the procedure. Often, handwritten or dictated notes are more useful in a doctor’s defense than the standard consent form. The same is true if a patient refuses medical care. Doctors must explain the risks of refusing treatment, creating informed refusal and protecting the doctor against any consequences.

Mishandled Lab Studies

Many patients undergo lab and imaging tests prior to medical procedures. These must be assessed by a doctor in a timely manner and there must be some way to prove the doctor did review the material – such as a signature or initialed document.

Communication Problems

Miscommunication between doctors can result in mistreatment of a patient. Doctors must keep track of referrals and keep records regarding conversations with patients and colleagues, in order to prove there were no miscommunications concerning a patient’s care.

Medication Problems

Prescriptions and refills must be adequately documented. Failure to do this that results in patient injury leaves a doctor vulnerable to a medical malpractice lawsuit. To prevent problems, make sure charting is done properly and medication control records are easily accessed and reviewed.

Lack of Patient Education

It is a doctor’s responsibility to educate patients about their condition and treatment options. In addition to oral education, you should also receive written information about your medical options. Doctors must also document they have provided you with this information.

Lack of a Sound Doctor-Patient Relationship

Medical malpractice lawsuits are sometimes the result of a poor relationship between doctors and medical staff, and patients. Something as simple as poor phone etiquette or inattention to a patient’s concerns can result in a lawsuit.

Doctors and their staff need to treatment patients with respect. Though complaints about bedside manner, etiquette, and general treatment might not result in a successful medical malpractice award, it could shine light on other mistakes that could potentially result in scrutiny and legal action.

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What Patients Need to Know about Medical Malpractice https://malpracticecenter.com/news/10/15/15/what-patients-need-to-know-about-medical-malpractice Thu, 15 Oct 2015 21:27:23 +0000 https://www.malpracticecenter.com/?p=461 What Patients Need to Know About Medical Malpractice As much as patients wish to believe, and rightly often so presume, individuals generally approach US medical care as safe and patient actions as reasonable in adhering to the advice of a medical professional. Moreover, most patients feel confident submitting to the care of a given medical […]

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What Patients Need to Know About Medical Malpractice

As much as patients wish to believe, and rightly often so presume, individuals generally approach US medical care as safe and patient actions as reasonable in adhering to the advice of a medical professional. Moreover, most patients feel confident submitting to the care of a given medical professional with the confidence in the physician’s ability to perform their medical specialty competently. However, the reality is that nearly one (1%) of all patients in US hospitals endure some form of medical malpractice in their lifetime. Moreover, medical negligence claims have greatly changed the landscape of the medical profession over the past three decades, with patients frequently taking tot eh courts to endure their proper compensation for substandard or negligent medical treatment, including treatment for psychological, psychiatric, dental, or ophthalmological issues among others.

Medical Malpractice Is Much More Common Than Patients Often Realize

In fact, medical malpractice or accidents related to medical care causing death account for the third largest cause of death in the United States, with medical negligence being squarely cited as the cause in most, if not all of these medical mistake or accident related wrongful deaths. Moreover, non-fatal claims cases filed annually in the US amount to billions of dollars in claims settlements or trial verdicts each year in malpractice cases with causes of action involving medical negligence arguments supported by evidenced damage claims buoyed by a medical expert’s testimony.

Patients Can Take Steps to Protect Themselves from Medical Malpractice

Fortunately, patients can take some preventative measures to control their risks, while also taking additional steps to vitiate any outstanding risks currently jeopardizing the well-being of a patient. Awareness of some of the most troubling trends in medicine and knowing how to reduce your risk is one of the most important things you can do as a patient. Medical malpractice occurs when healthcare professionals deviate from the recognized standard of care. Every mistake made in healthcare is not automatically malpractice, but when a doctor makes a choice different than what is reasonably prudent or would not be a choice made by most doctors, and it results in an injury or illness, medical malpractice becomes an issue. The question is whether or not a doctor or another healthcare provider is negligent in hindsight during their treatment of a given patient, and in turn, whether these specifically identified acts of negligence were the proximate or direct cause of harms, losses, or other damages sustained by a patient.

The following attributes of advisable to any patient wishing to mitigate his or her risk for damages caused by medical malpractice, including:

  • Patients are strongly encouraged to remain as informed as possible about any prospered treatment beforehand, while also obtaining a second opinion in those instances of proposed medical care that would warrant doing so
  • Conducting independent external research on a given condition, the possible treatment options, and the relative reviews of a proposed provider online are some of the mechanisms by which astute patients seek to decrease their risks of becoming a victim of medical negligence
  • Documenting treatment, including all information provided by medical professionals beforehand, is helpful should later complications in treatment arise
  • Proposing concerns, misunderstandings, or serious reservations to a medical professional is a completely reasonable and encouraged practice among patients wishing to cut down their risks of medical malpractice damages

Though it might seem as if medical malpractice is on the rise, the total number of claims has decreased in recent years. In response to a previous increase in medical malpractice lawsuits, many states imposed limits on damage awards. This is unfortunate for those who face catastrophic injuries that create a need for lifetime care. However, exemptions and caveats under each state’s unique medical malpractice laws exist, and in turn, consulting with legal counsel when confronted with negligently performing medical professionals is strongly advised.

What Happens if Medical Malpractice Does Happen?

Moreover, there are ample remedies available, in most viable claims cases involving medical negligence and damages, to recover financially from parties found responsible for negligent medical care, including physicians themselves, but also, nursing professionals, hospital facilities, and the insurance policy writers for these medical entities. However, building a viable medical malpractice claims case often requires pre-filing work and coordination with legal counsel, which may be required to submit an affidavit of medical expert testimony to the existence of negligence in order to merely enter the suit into the civil courts.

How Can a Patient Determine If Medical Negligence Occurred during the Course of Treatment?

More than likely, though not guaranteed, should a medical professional cause additional damage or injury to the patient during the course of treatment, or otherwise cause harms unrelated to the original reason for seeking treatment, it is reasonable to suspect the existence of medical negligence. At this juncture, patients should consult directly with legal counsel, who almost universally will handle a medical malpractice claims case on a no upfront costs, contingency basis.

Noteworthy here, however, is the fact that adverse outcomes are not automatically proof of negligence. And if a healthcare provider warned patients amply of the risks of an unorthodox treatment or those associated with routine procedures, though relatively uncommon, and a patient provided prior informed consent, claims cases may be affected adversely, if existing at all.

Will Statutes of Limitations Apply in Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Filings?

In virtually all medical negligence related tort claims, a statute of limitations will exist in virtually all jurisdictions. In short, these statutes dictate the length of time that a patient has to file a lawsuit against a negligently performing medical professional. These timelines are highly state and case-specific, with each state incurring differing periods permissible before the statute of limitation tolls, and in turn, a patient may potentially be barred from recovery under applicable state laws. For this reason, with some states incurring statutes of limitations as short as less than one (1) year, patients that suspect medical negligence in damages sustained while under medical care should consult with legal counsel as soon as possible following any discovery of harm or damages in the aftermath of a medical procedure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Cancer Misdiagnosis: Getting a second opinion https://malpracticecenter.com/news/09/17/15/cancer-diagnosis-second-opinion Thu, 17 Sep 2015 20:53:51 +0000 https://medmalpractice.wpengine.com/?p=265 Have you recently been diagnosed with cancer? If that is the case, you may want to get a second opinion. Before you make any life altering decisions, you should definitely hear from more than one doctor. The main reason is that people make mistakes and there are a lot of unqualified doctors out there. They […]

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Have you recently been diagnosed with cancer? If that is the case, you may want to get a second opinion. Before you make any life altering decisions, you should definitely hear from more than one doctor. The main reason is that people make mistakes and there are a lot of unqualified doctors out there. They aren’t going to inform you that they really are not sure because that would ruin their credibility. They are the expert and they expect you to just listen to what they say. But what if they are wrong?

How Is It Diagnosed?

Most of the time, cancer is diagnosed and detected when a patient is being seen for another reason. It starts with a physical along with information about a patient’s history. Lab tests, including blood, urine, and stool tests will also be conducted to detect any abnormalities that may be cancer. If a tumor is detected, the patient may undergo a computed tomography scan, magnetic resonance imaging, x-ray, or ultrasound to find the location and size of the tumor. A sample of the tumor may also be taken so that the tumor can be removed and studied through a biopsy. The specimen is studied under a microscope to see if cancer cells are present.

The problem is that it really doesn’t stop there. If they do find cancerous cells in the body, the doctors still need to find out whether or not the cancer is localized or if it has spread to other parts of the body. Most of the time, if it is localized and early enough, the cancer may be destroyed or removed and the patient may be rid of the symptoms and considered to be in remission. If the cancer has spread throughout the body, it may be necessary to take further action to eradicate it.

What to Do Once You Get a Diagnosis?

A misdiagnosis of the severity of the case can be dangerous or deadly. If cancer cells are present in the body, you want to make sure that the best measures are taken to ensure that it is handled properly. You don’t have time to get it wrong because a wrong decision can lead to a deadly result. For example, if your doctor believes that the cancer is localized to one region and they treat that region and it really has spread to other parts of the body, you may choose a localized treatment option and that may allow the untreated areas to spread. Early detection is so important in beating this disease.

If your doctor informs you that they have found cancerous cells, you need to make sure that everything is done to find out the severity of the case. A second opinion may be the key that you need to make the right decision about how to defeat the disease.

What Are the Treatments for Cancer?

There are many different types of cancer treatments from surgery to remove the infected tissue to chemotherapy. It all depends on how aggressive the cancer is and how strong your body is. A harsh treatment plan for an unhealthy patient may cause results worse than the cancer itself. There is no real way to know what will work and how your body will respond. Your doctor may give you suggestions based on his experiences and knowledge with the subject but it is not the best idea to just get one opinion.

Remember that it is just your doctor’s opinion. He doesn’t have a crystal ball. He can give you a year and you live ten or the other way around. You need to get the most information that you can to make sure that you have made an informed decision. Don’t just get one doctor’s opinion. Get a second opinion or even a third opinion and use all of the information to make a decision that works best for you.

References

Treatments and Side Effects. American Cancer Society. Retrieved fromhttps://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatmentsandsideeffects/index

Understanding Cancer – Diagnosis and Treatment. Cancer Health Center. WebMD. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/cancer/understanding-cancer-treatment

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Cerebral Palsy and Birth Injury Malpractice: Just The Facts https://malpracticecenter.com/news/09/17/15/cerebral-palsy-and-birth-injury-malpractice-just-the-facts Thu, 17 Sep 2015 20:51:27 +0000 https://medmalpractice.wpengine.com/?p=264 When it comes to birth injuries, there’s one in particular that can lead to some rather nasty conditions for children. In the event of children being deprived oxygen during delivery – a very common birth injury – one such possible outcome is for the child to develop types of cerebral palsy thanks to damage sustained […]

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When it comes to birth injuries, there’s one in particular that can lead to some rather nasty conditions for children. In the event of children being deprived oxygen during delivery – a very common birth injury – one such possible outcome is for the child to develop types of cerebral palsy thanks to damage sustained by the brain from lack of oxygen. There are several different versions of CP that can affect a child, and in cases where the condition was caused by oxygen deprivation, this may lead to a case of birth injury malpractice against the doctor who delivered the child.

Diplegic Cerebral Palsy

While it’s hard to classify any diagnosis of cerebral palsy as “minor,” one of the most common forms of the condition, diplegic cerebral palsy, is usually one that causes the least severe types of damage to a child. Diplegic CP primarily affects a child’s ability to stand and walk, as it focuses on the legs; the signs of this form of cerebral palsy are relatively easy to spot, as many children will begin to show signs of being unable to crawl using their legs – or not crawl at all – in infancy. As children with diplegic CP continue to grow and develop, they may be slow to walk or even stand, and it’s not uncommon for children suffering from this form of cerebral palsy to be unable to stand unaided at the age of three.

While physical therapy can help children with diplegic CP regain use of their legs, many of these children will require the use of braces, crutches or even a wheelchair in order to move. Additionally, some children will have to endure several rounds of painful orthopedic surgery in order to have their range of motion improved or restored. This can be a determining factor when it comes to birth injury malpractice claims made on behalf of the child, as pain and suffering sustained by the child as a result of medical procedures deemed necessary to remedy the condition could be taken into account when it comes time to determining how much compensation the child and his or her family are entitled to if medical personnel present at the child’s birth are found to have been negligent.

The Statute of Limitations

In almost all cases of medical negligence, there’s a set time that you can bring a lawsuit against medical personnel that allegedly caused an injury either through action or inaction. These statutes of limitations are different from state to state in the U.S., but are typically around two years. However, when it comes to birth injuries, many jurisdictions will extend the statute of limitations to provide the parents or caregivers of children additional time to bring a birth injury malpractice case. Many states will provide for as long as eight years from the injury – or from when it should be apparent an injury has occurred – and many others will provide even longer in cases where birth injuries resulted in mental disabilities.

This is good news for parents or caregivers with children who have been diagnosed with cerebral palsy that might have resulted from a birth injury, especially since a CP diagnosis can take anywhere from one to three years to be made as the signs and symptoms of the condition develop. While not all types of cerebral palsy will be accompanied by mental disabilities, in many cases, the injuries that led to the physical limitations of CP may also have led to physical damage to the brain that could cause mental disabilities as well.

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25 Facts About Medical Malpractice https://malpracticecenter.com/news/09/17/15/25-medical-malpractice-facts Thu, 17 Sep 2015 20:49:49 +0000 https://medmalpractice.wpengine.com/?p=263 Medical malpractice is a huge safety concern in the United States and results in thousands of injury and deaths annually. 25 things you should know about medical malpractice. Medical negligence is the 3rd leading cause of death in the US. There are 80,000 to 100,000 deaths in the US annually as a result of an error […]

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Medical malpractice is a huge safety concern in the United States and results in thousands of injury and deaths annually.

25 things you should know about medical malpractice.

  1. Medical negligence is the 3rd leading cause of death in the US.
  2. There are 80,000 to 100,000 deaths in the US annually as a result of an error in diagnosis
  3. 195,000 patients die in hospitals each year because of preventable mistakes.
  4. $38.8 billion was paid out for misdiagnosis of a patient between 1986 and 2010.
  5. There are approximately 15,000 to 19,000 suits filed each year in the US.
  6. A study by the Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Medicine conducted a study in 2009 that concluded that the majority of medical doctors would face a lawsuit sometime during their professional career.
  7. Malpractice causes lots of stress for medical doctors. Stress can many times lead to early burn-outs of their careers as well as depression.
  8. 80% of the lawsuits brought to court end up with no payouts at all.
  9. The key to a medical malpractice case is that the medical professional must violate the general standard of care of a patient as set forth by the medical community.
  10. The level of medical care can change depending on the age of the patient and the location of the care.
  11. Three things any successful medical malpractice case must prove:
    1. The plaintiff’s attorney must show that there was a breach of duty causing a lack of medical care that another healthcare professional would have used.
    2. There must be an emotional, or physical injury caused by the medical professional.
    3. There must be sufficient evidence that proves the medical professional caused the damage.
  12. The injury or harm usually has to be substantial because of the high cost of litigation. There must be a considerable injury to the plaintiff.
  13. The person harmed usually doesn’t have to pay any costs up front. The legal firm will cover all costs then only collect any fees if the plaintiff wins. Upon winning, the legal firm will get a percentage of the settlement.
  14. Legal cases taken to court can take months or years to fight. There is a statute of limitations to file any injury case which is usually about two years.
  15. An expert witness will be needed to testify to your injury and also testify that the medical professional made an error that caused your injury.
  16. Both the plaintiff and the defendant will present expert witnesses. They can cost up to $1000/hour.
  17. Medical negligence can happen during the diagnosis, during the treatment, or advice for treatment after an illness.
  18. The majority of malpractice cases are because of misdiagnosis of an illness.
  19. Some malpractice cases are a result of sexual misconduct by the attending physician.
  20. Malpractice can also happen in patients who do not give informed consent. If a patient does not receive proper notification of all risks present in a procedure, he might have a case if something severe happens as a result.
  21. One out of every three patients will be a victim of an error during a hospital stay.
  22. Many lawyers like to deal directly with the patient before they obtain legal counsel so they can settle for less money.
  23. Both the plaintiff and the defendant must disclose all evidence before there is a trial. Sometimes an agreement can be made before a trial, and the suit may settle out of court.
  24. If the case does go to trial, the burden of proof is on the plaintiff.  The plaintiff’s attorney must prove that the standard of care for that particular instance and region and then also show the defendant’s care caused substantial injury.
  25. In the event of a trial, the case is decided by either the judge or a jury. Many times the losing party appeals the decision and prolongs the lawsuit even further.

As with any injury, the best advice to give is to consult an attorney. A legal professional will have the best chance of telling you if you have a case of malpractice or not.

 

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