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Boston Medical Malpractice Law Blog

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.

Jury awards more than $1 million in medical malpractice case

A New London jury has awarded a woman $1.8 million dollars in relation to a medical procedure in which a doctor cut the wrong fallopian tube. The procedure was performed in 2011 at Lawrence Memorial Hospital. At the time, the doctor who made the error was only 18 months out of her residency.

While the procedure took place at Lawrence Memorial Hospital, the doctor is now working at Mount Auburn OBGYN, located in Arlington, Massachusetts.

Avoiding medical errors in the emergency room

The Doctors Company recently conducted a study about medical malpractice claims in emergency medicine. Of the 332 claims that were reviewed, 57 percent were due to failure to diagnose. The conditions that were not allegedly diagnosed included:

-- Myocardial infarction

Screening for gynecologic cancer isn’t always enough

There is no denying the fact that many doctors understand the important of screening for gynecologic cancer. They realize that this type of cancer is on the rise. They also realize that it can be fatal if not diagnosed early.

While medicine has come a long way over the past few decades, there are no effective tools in place for all types of gynecologic cancer. For this reason, it is essential that doctors have a system in place for pinpointing symptoms.

Study: E-health records could be missing important information

In 2009, the federal stimulus law required nearly 6,000 hospitals and over 500,000 doctors in the U.S. to have health information technology systems and e-health records. Those that did not would be subject to Medicare reimbursement penalties. However, a recent study by the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute found there could be many e-health records that have "significant missing data" for patients who had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder or depression.

The study examined the records for over 5,500 patients who were assigned to Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates for primary care and who were covered by Harvard Pilgrim health insurance. Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates was one of the first to implement e-health records.

3 things to know about anesthesia during delivery

While many women will envision their ideal delivery situation, not all birth plans go as planned. Rather, emergencies can arise during delivery, where the focus becomes keeping mom and baby safe.

In these situations, while not common to use, there are circumstances where medical professionals will call for the use of general anesthesia. Here are four things to know about using general anesthesia during delivery.

Do you understand facial nerve palsy?

While many parents have heard of facial nerve palsy, few fully understand what this entails. In short, this is a type of birth trauma that leads to the loss of controllable muscle movement as the result of pressure on a particular nerve before or during birth.

The cause of facial nerve palsy can be related to many things. While the cause is typically unknown, there are situations in which a poor decision by a doctor causes this condition. For example, a delivery with the use of forceps may lead to this health condition.

Predicting the long-term outcome of a head injury

The Glasgow Coma Scale is used to predict how an individual will fare after a head injury. The patient is evaluated using three parameters. The score from each one is added together to provide a total score.

People who suffer a severe head injury with a GCS score below eight do not have good prognoses. About 30 percent die and 17 percent will suffer moderate to severe disabilities. Twenty to 30 percent of these patients will have a good outcome long-term.

A surgical error can happen during any procedure

There is no denying the fact that some procedures are more risky than others. However, here is something to remember: A surgical error can happen during any procedure, regardless of the facility or medical staff.

You do your best to choose the right hospital and surgeons for your procedure, but sometimes this is not good enough. Through no fault of your own, a mistake is made that puts you in a worse position.

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