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New Jersey Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Can EMR Software Increase The Likelihood Of Medical Errors?

Since the advent of the personal computer, digital record-keeping has become the norm in nearly every service industry across the nation. The use of Electronic Medical Records (EMR) is now standard operating procedure in hospitals, clinics and urgent care facilities no matter the size of the organization or the complexity of the condition.

But, can the benefits of digital record keeping actually create their own set of dangers?

What Is Polypharmacy?

In a previous blog, we discussed polypharmacy and how it related to the potential for loss of balance and slip-and-fall accidents. In this blog, we'll discuss the dangers of combining medications and the hazards patients face with this growing trend.

Lung Cancer Can Be Cured

In the 1990's two Mt. Sinai physicians started a program for CT screening of long term smokers and discovered that early diagnosis of a malignant lung lesion could lead to definitive treatment and a cure for the patient.

When Is A Fall Considered Medical Negligence?

The injuries resulting from a slip-and-fall accident can be dangerous in any setting. From slipping on a wet spot in your corner grocery store to tripping over a section of broken sidewalk, an individual can tear ligaments and break bones. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for individuals to fall while under the care of a physician or emergency room nurse. If you have fallen in a hospital or healthcare facility, can this be considered medical negligence?

Could sub-standard care have led to the fall? Was a missed diagnosis to blame? Are there certain elements that might point to medical negligence rather than simple carelessness?

Could Better Communication Prevent Wrong Site Surgery?

One element of surgical errors that seems – on the surface – easy to prevent is the notion of wrong-site, wrong-procedure and wrong-patient surgeries. Often abbreviated as WSPE, this form of negligence can lead to life-changing medical errors such as the removal of a healthy organ or the amputation of the wrong limb. Various root cause analyses of WSPEs highlight a prominent underlying factor that can prove deadly to thousands of patients each year.


Did You Get Sick Because Of Your Nurse’s Scrubs?

Medical facilities go to great lengths to prevent cross-contamination and ensure their patients can recover in a safe, sterile environment. Medical negligence, however, remains a very real crisis in hospitals in New Jersey and across the nation. Unfortunately, negligence, malpractice and prolonged illnesses can come from truly unexpected sources.


Surgical mistakes are often very expensive for the victim

Going under the knife for surgery is a dangerous proposition. People can and do have severe adverse reactions to anesthesia, which can sometimes be fatal. Each human body varies from the next, so the potential exists for severe bleeding due to an unusually placed artery or vein. Any surgery can result in complications, including infections. Then, of course, there's the worst-case scenario, which is that your surgeon can make a mistake while you're in his or her care.

All kinds of mistakes happen in the operating room. Sometimes machinery, tools or cotton swabs get left in a patient after surgery. These items can cause infection or septic shock. In some cases, they can physically damage tissue and organs nearby. Surgeons could perform the wrong procedure or even operate on the wrong part of the body. When these mistakes happen, second surgeries are often necessary to correct the initial mistake.

Mistakes with medications can have serious consequences

Modern medicine can provide many people with improved health and longer lives. Medications and prescription drugs have a lot to do what that. Certain medications can kill cancer, stave off blood clots or strokes, or control a lifelong viral infection. Others can help you process sugar and fight off bacteria that won't die on its own.

Modern drugs can save lives and extend lives. However, when they get administered improperly, the results can be devastating. One common source of medication complications is the dreaded drug interaction. Another is when a medical professional accidentally gives someone the wrong medication. These mistakes can have life-threatening results for patients, and, in some cases, may constitute medical malpractice.

Birth injuries can cost parents for the rest of their lives

When people think of pregnancy, labor and birth, the images are often ones of familial joy and the triumph of modern medicine. Healthy mothers cradle newborns - exhausted but full of love. Many times, that is the outcome of the labor and delivery process. However, not every expectant mother is that lucky. Not all babies end up being perfectly healthy after birth.

Sometimes, things go wrong during labor and delivery. It could be unpredictable, like the umbilical cord getting wrapped around the unborn baby's neck or pinched as the child enters the birth canal. The mother or the baby could have a negative reaction to a medicine administered as part of labor. Something could cause the infant to go into distress, and monitors could fail to notify medical professionals in time. When these things happen, the new baby may end up with serious birth injuries, some of which can persist for life.

How can you prove that a mistake happened in the hospital?

Thousands of people every year end up injured, sickened or killed because of mistakes that happen in hospitals. Many times, the patients and families involved in these dilemmas do not even realize a medical mistake was the cause of their situation. It can be hard for those with limited medical knowledge to determine the cause of an unexpected and negative outcome to medical treatment.

Electronic medical records have helped a little with transparency. Patients may have an easier time getting ahold of their records and reviewing them. Similarly, hospitals’ best practices and other policies may be available online or by request. That can make it much easier for patients to compare their treatment with optimal practices for similar situations. When they notice a deviation, they can address it with a doctor to find out what happened.

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How Our Medical Expertise Helps You

Any lawyer can win damages in egregious cases such as operating on the wrong body part. Many firms have the resources to hire experts. But few lawyers truly understand the medical science of medical malpractice litigation. As a result they may fail to recognize a viable case, unwisely pursue a weak case, or stumble in cross-examination of those medical experts.

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