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Boston Medical Malpractice Law Blog

How to make going under anesthesia less scary

Some people become nervous when they hear that they or a loved one will have to undergo anesthesia for a medical procedure. Sure, anesthesia can be higher risk for some patients, but it is a common medical treatment that most medical professionals should be able to administer without great risk of harm. 

Tragically, anesthesia errors do occur and threaten the well-being of patients. WebMD offers the following safety tips that patients can follow to help reduce the risk of something going wrong while under anesthesia:

How poor management can turn a good doctor bad

What do we expect from doctors? The primary expectation is that they can diagnose and treat our health problems. And the ability to do that is no small feat. A recent report about the business behind being a doctor, however, warns that perhaps we need to expect more in order to feel we are getting the best medical care. 

More goes into being a doctor than the strictly medical-related work. Whether doctors work in a big Boston hospital or a small private practice, they have to work within a professional community and administrative system. A Mayo Clinic study suggests that poor business and management skills might negatively impact a doctor's or medical facility's ability to best help patients.

Miscommunication plays large role in medical malpractice cases

When facing any type of medical situation, it is common and normal to rely on medical staff to communicate with not only you - but also with each other. After all, they are the doctors and nurses -- and therefore -- they should be the ones staying on top of possible complications and treatment. It should not be up to the patient to make sure the medical staff is properly communicating with each other.

Unfortunately, communication fails in hospitals and doctors' offices more often than most people may realize. According to a recent study, which analyzed nationwide data from 2009 to 2013, this failure in communication -- between not only medical staff and patients, but also between medical personnel -- has led to close to 2,000 patient deaths and $1.7 billion in medical malpractice costs.

February marks awareness month for heart health

Just about every month marks an awareness campaign for some important health or safety matter. But the month of February is significant because it is American Heart Month. If we don't have healthy hearts, our quality of life is severely diminished. Not only that, but heart disease is our country's top killer. 

As the leading cause of death, particularly among women, there must be a consistent and collaborative effort within American society to effectively combat heart disease. Defensive action includes doctors properly diagnosing and then properly treating heart disease. Improvements must specifically be made regarding the care of women with heart problems.

Study blames 1/3 of medical malpractice cases on 1% of doctors

If you read medical malpractice blogs like this one long enough, you may come to the conclusion that incompetent doctors, nurses and anesthesiologists are everywhere. The truth is, most medical professionals are highly skilled and dedicated to their profession. They do their best to avoid errors and provide patients with the best possible care.

A new study published in the latest issue of the New England Journal of Medicine claims that a tiny minority of U.S. physicians are committing a big chunk of the medical malpractice in this country. Specifically, about 1 percent of doctors paid out a third of all compensation to malpractice victims from 2005 through 2014, Medscape says in an article about the study.

Determining if negligence contributed to a birth injury

Learning that a newborn baby has health problems can be devastating for any parent, whether the condition is temporary or permanent. There can be a lot of waiting, unanswered questions and time that a baby cannot be with the parent while doctors and nurses work to provide treatment.

Once the urgency of the situation has passed, parents don't need to wait any longer to assess their legal options and get the answers they need. In cases where negligence or recklessness contributed to a birth injury or defect, parents can be in a position to file a lawsuit against the appropriate party to hold them legally and financially responsible for damages.

Advancement in brain injury technology could save risk, money

Brain injuries are getting more attention these days than they have in the past. This is thanks partly to big personal injury cases tied to NFL players and their head injuries, and also to Hollywood recently having released a movie about the subject. 

But traumatic brain injuries can happen in a variety of ways, not just on a sports field. TBI's are life-changing to anyone who suffers from them, and they can make for expensive, distressing medical treatments. Scientists claim to have found what they think might be a less expensive, less intrusive medical treatment for brain injuries.

Trouble with basic left-right concept can lead to medical trouble

A Dr. Gerard Gormley is noted for his focus on a problematic issue that might surprise some: right-left confusion. Gormley's research suggests a frightening statistic: about 10 percent of people struggle to tell right from left. 

Sure, many might think this is a basic concept that is and should be learned at a young age. Rather than simply judging the problem as a ridiculous one, however, it is important from a patient safety perspective to take the reported right-left confusion seriously. 

Talk to your doctor about cervical cancer

It can seem like there are so many potential health problems to worry about that there is just no way you can avoid every medical issue. And for the most part, that is true. We all get sick. Hopefully, the sickness we suffer from is relatively minor. 

Some people, unfortunately, will suffer from more serious health conditions. When there is a chance to avoid those issues, patients and their doctors should do everything in their power to do so. Cervical cancer is a condition that can generally be prevented and successfully treated.

Important basics about cerebral palsy, part 2

In a recent post we began a discussion about cerebral palsy, a common neurological disorder among children that stems from a brain injury or malformation. The condition can develop through no fault of anyone but there are also cases that might have been prevented through better medical care. 

No matter the reason for cerebral palsy, it is crucial for parents (and their doctors, of course) to know the signs and symptoms of the disorder. Cerebralpalsy.org addresses how early detection and treatment can benefit a child's quality of life. The following are some of the common symptoms and signs of the condition:

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