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Boston Medical Malpractice Blog

Do people often sue for a failure to diagnose?

If you've ever had a doctor fail to diagnose your issue properly, or diagnose it as the wrong disorder, you know how detrimental it can be. However, you be wondering if this is a common problem or if you really just got unlucky and your case is an outlier.

According to some studies, this issue is so common that it's the number one reason people decide to start medical malpractice cases. The study did count delays in diagnosis to get those stats, but that's close enough that the results are very telling.

Massachusetts hospital errors continue to threaten patient safety

Should your ability to get safe medical care depend on what hospital you choose? You may not even have a choice, depending on the circumstances. If you're brought to a hospital by ambulance in an emergency, it's unlikely that you have the luxury of stopping to ask the emergency medical technicians if they know the facility's safety ratings before they leave you there. Yet, your life may actually depend on that very information.

Hospitals in Massachusetts are required to disclose any "serious reportable events" to the Department of Public Health each year as part of an effort to maintain transparency and monitor the performance of each hospital within the state. A serious reportable event is any clear lapse or failure in health care that results in death or serious harm to a patient. That includes things like performing surgery on the wrong body part (or wrong patient), leaving a foreign object in a patient, giving a patient the wrong medication or wrong dosage of a medication, performing the wrong surgery entirely and giving a patient the wrong blood products.

Electronic records can be important evidence of malpractice

Electronic health or medical records are increasingly replacing paper files in doctor's offices nationwide. Designed to streamline patient medical care, they include everything from your vital signs taken by the intake nurse on the day of your appointment to the results of the lab work that you had done a few days later on your doctor's orders.

They are also supposed to contain other critical pieces of information: the tracks someone needs to follow if they want to understand why your doctor made one decision over another. Those tracks could become critically important if your doctor's decision turned out to be a mistake, leaving you with a worsened condition or a permanent disability.

What every office worker should know about repetitive stress injuries

Repetitive stress injuries (or RSIs) make it difficult for workers to complete their jobs without experiencing high levels of pain. These injuries account for approximately one-third of all time away from work. Since they often develop gradually before escalating, many individuals do not recognize their injuries as stemming from repetitive motions performed at work until much later. Learn to recognize the symptoms of common RSIs and find out what medical care you are entitled to by law.

Common repetitive stress injuries

There are hundreds of repetitive stress injuries that can afflict office workers. Some of the most common injuries include:

Gaps in medical cybersecurity raise frightening possibilities

In today's digital age, it seems we're constantly hearing about large-scale hacks that jeopardize our personal information and expose us to potential identity theft. Most of these hacks target financial data: credit card numbers, bank accounts and the like. As a result, the financial industry has taken decisive steps to improve cybersecurity.

The financial incentives for health care hacks

But the threat of security breaches also lurks in another area - the health care industry. Electronic medical records contain a wealth of sensitive patient data, including social security numbers and financial information. Over the last few years, several hacks into health care insurers have put millions of patients at risk.

Injuries that are common during childbirth

For a child, simply being born can be a very traumatic experience. Doctors are trained to help prevent injuries, but children are still hurt every month during childbirth. A few common injuries include:

1. Broken collarbones. The collarbone is also called the clavicle, and this is the most frequently broken bone in newborns. Thought children do heal quickly, special treatment can be needed.

Why social media could hurt your workers' compensation claim

The use of social media provides us with many positive benefits. It allows us to stay in touch and keep up with the goings on of our friends and family. Social media has become a catalyst for communication; people post pictures and updates about their life, activities they participate in, articles they're interested in, causes they support and any other facet of their life they feel like sharing. While sharing the happenings of your life can make for entertainment and interesting topics to discuss, it can also cause major problems, especially when it comes to workers' compensation cases.

The future of sanitizing robots

Those who are fans of movies like “Minority Report” and “I, Robot” may understand that robots are the future. However, they may not realize just how close to “the future” we are today. More than just machines that assemble parts (in factories), some robots could be valuable in preventing the spread of disease in hospitals.

Maintaining clean hospitals is critically important given that more than 1 million hospital based bacterial infections are reported each year. Additionally, these infections are responsible for nearly 100,000 deaths across the United States each year. This is one of the reasons why infection related deaths are one of the leading causes of death. 

Should you sue even after a doctor apologizes?

We teach our kids that they should say sorry when they hurt someone, or when someone is injured in the course of an accident. The same should apply to physicians who want to give alternative recommendations or express their sympathies when medical procedures go awry or don’t go as planned.

The Massachusetts legislature has adopted this sentiment, and the state’s apology laws that encourage physicians to express regret and sympathy when patients are injured due to medical errors. Aside from giving an avenue to humanize doctors, it also appears that apologies may help to resolve medical malpractice cases. 

When construction companies cut safety corners, it's the workers who suffer

A Boston-area construction company has recently come under scrutiny for ignoring safety regulations and repeatedly placing its workers in danger - ultimately, leading to a fatal accident last month.

The drain service and repair company was doing work in the South End when a water line burst, flooding the work trench with water. Two employees drowned. The company apparently didn't provide a trench box - an anti-collapse measure that would have saved the two men.