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Boston Medical Malpractice Law Blog

A ureteral injury can cause long-term health problems

If you are scheduled for gynecologic surgery, you understand that something has gone wrong. Fortunately, your medical team is confident that they can fix the problem through this type of procedure.

What you aren't counting on, however, is the fact that you could suffer a ureteral injury. As a serious complication of gynecologic surgery, this is not something you want to face. Even so, it comes about time after time. The seriousness of a ureteral injury runs deep. The end result could be the loss of a kidney, formation of fistulas, and in the most serious cases, death.

Do you fully understand your prescriptions?

You don't want to put anything into your body unless you know what it is and the impact it will have. This is why it is so important to understand your prescriptions. It doesn't matter if you are in the hospital, a nursing facility, or caring for yourself at home, any question related to a medication should be addressed in an accurate manner by a health care professional.

Take for instance somebody who is receiving treatment in a hospital setting. Since you trust your medical team, you may not check on everything they are giving you. Unfortunately, this can lead to a mistake.

Doctors can let prejudices affect their diagnostic acumen

At a recent meeting of the American College of Physicians in Washington, D.C., a clinical educator and internist with Boston's Tufts University School of Medicine stated that a percentage of diagnostic mistakes correlated to a doctor's attitude toward a specific patient.

He bluntly remarked, "My mother-in-law hates me. She's hated me for twenty years," noting that patients who remind him of the woman present an additional challenge for him. He added that it was vital to be aware of potential "meta-cognitive error[s]" and considering how a physician's thoughts and feelings can affect a patient's prognosis.

Do you know the possible causes of birth asphyxia?

The word asphyxia means a lack of oxygen. It doesn't matter how old you are, a lack of oxygen can cause a variety of damage.

As the name suggests, birth asphyxia is when a baby's brain and other organs do not receive enough oxygen. This can happen before, during, or following birth. Unfortunately, it can also happen without notice, meaning that the risk of injury is much greater.

What is Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy?

Any time the brain is deprived of oxygen, there is a chance that brain cells could be injured. While some are able to recover, others will die off. There are many causes of oxygen deprivation to the brain, including low levels of oxygen and/or reduced flow to this part of the body. This can happen to people of any age, but it is particularly worrisome in infants during the birthing process.

Known as Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy or HIE, there are two stages of injury. The first stage happens immediately following the loss of oxygen. The second occurs as normal oxygenated blood flow is restored to the brain. This is known as reperfusion injury, as toxins are released from damaged cells at this point.

What you need to know about placenta previa

Pregnancy is supposed to be one of the happiest times in a mother's life. The joy and anticipation of welcoming a little one into the world is something that overcomes many expectant mothers-to-be. However, when complications arise during pregnancy or delivery, the joy can suddenly turn to frustration and fear.

There are a number of medical conditions that can arise during pregnancy. Without proper diagnosis, it can mean trouble during delivery and danger to both mother and baby.

Surgical errors: When the surgeon leaves behind something

If you're like many people, you might wonder if your surgeon is going to leave something inside of you during your surgical procedure. This is a relatively rare occurrence; however, it can be a very costly mistake.

The most common item that's left behind? A surgical sponge. Nurses are supposed to count those sponges to make sure none are missing before a surgeon starts sewing a patient shut. However, when a sponge is out of sight and full of blood, it can be very difficult to locate. Most are left in the abdomen, pelvis, thoracic cavity and the vagina. These sponges can be prone to collecting bacteria, more so than a drill bit or a needle. Those are the other items that are commonly left in patients.

Mother seeks answers after overdose-related death

A mother is seeking answers after her daughter was found dead with almost 20 bottles of prescription pills surrounding her. According to reports, the woman committed suicide and did leave a note. She had a history of chemical dependency and was being treated by multiple physicians for numerous diagnoses.

Reports indicate that the woman was seeing a specific physician that prescribed many medications during his first month treating her. He also reportedly increased the doses on medications she was already on. Her mother raised questions about how a doctor who just started treating a patient could prescribe so many medications.

Study looks at breast cancer malpractice claims

A new study by the Doctors Co., and CRICO has found that the largest percentage of breast cancer malpractice claims are from patients who allege a diagnosis of breast cancer was delayed. Sixty-nine percent of breast cancer malpractice between 2009 and 2014 were due to an alleged failure to diagnose. The other 39 percent were due to the physician's alleged negligent treatment of breast cancer patients.

The study analyzed 562 malpractice claims filed by breast cancer patients. These claims came from the databases of both CIRCO and Doctors Co. Almost half of the 342 cases that alleged a delayed diagnosis involved radiology. However, the cases that involved radiology didn't mean that the radiologist was always at fault or negligent. In some of the cases, a primary care physicians or other members of the medical staff may not have read the radiologist's report correctly.

Doctors should be monitoring throughout pregnancy to avoid harm

When you are pregnant, it may start to feel like you are always at the doctor for routine checkups. As you get closer and closer to your due date, typically, the frequency of these appointments increase. Toward the end of the pregnancy, it is even normal to be seeing the obstetrician once a week.

While at time inconvenient or uncomfortable, these appointments are important. This is a time when the mother can bring up any concerns or symptoms and the doctor and nurses can monitor the pregnancy to make sure everything is progressing as expected.

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