With approximately 251,000 people across the United States dying every year from medical errors and malpractice, hospitals and health care organizations worry about the costs of lawsuits. Unfortunately for the victims of medical malpractice and their family members, that means it can be hard to find out what exactly went wrong.
When you receive a diagnosis for a serious or terminal condition - cancer, Alzheimer's, ALS, etc. - your whole world changes. Many people decide to confront the diagnosis head on, agreeing to further tests, medication and treatments. Others sink into depression. Some even take their own lives out of a feeling of hopelessness.
Doctors and health care systems often rely on the expertise of medical device sales representatives to help them understand the benefits of certain devices before making a purchase. However, many experts are cautioning that doctors may be relying on these sales reps too much.
A recent report from ECRI Institute (formerly known as Emergency Care Research Institute), a prominent nonprofit organization that works to improve patient care, names infusion pump errors as the top health care technology hazard for 2017. The report should raise alarms, since infusions pumps enjoy widespread use in hospitals and are generally considered safe because of improved safety mechanisms.
Problems with prescription drugs are one of the most common sources of medical errors. Mislabeled medications, incorrect dosages and negative drug interactions can cause serious health problems up to and including death. However, if the unthinkable does happen and you are harmed by a prescription drug error, is it the fault of the doctor or pharmacist? In the case of problematic drug combinations and interactions, it may be both.
There is definitely an irony in life when you go into surgery to relieve a problem, only to find that the surgeons created a worse problem for you. This happens more often than the medical community would like to admit. The legal system recognizes this failure in the medical community and has been awarding steep judgments to encourage medical personnel to be more careful and diligent.
Use of electronic medical records (EMRs) has been increasing dramatically in the past decade or so as more and more physicians' offices and other health care providers make the switch from paper to digital records. The use of robotics during surgery has also resulted in a real-time record of everything that occurs during an operation. Patient monitoring also involves the use of electronic monitoring - for example, nurses often have to scan medications before they are administered
If you've ever experienced a medical issue after a drug interaction, you know firsthand how scary it can be. Drug interactions can range from mild, such as rendering one of the medications ineffective, to possibly fatal. You rely on your health care provider to pay careful attention to your medical history and any medications you are already on. But what happens when your doctor makes a mistake? Depending on the circumstances, you may have some legal options.
Brain injuries can be serious, traumatic, and life changing events. That is not only true for the people who experience them, but for the families of those people who often have to care for a loved one with a traumatic brain injury. In babies, brain injuries are even more devastating.
Although hospital dramas on television often overdramatize surgery and other medical treatments, the truth is that even the most routine surgery is complex and not without risk. As the patient, your body and your health are on the line, and you've placed your trust in your health care provider to do what's best.