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Boston Medical Malpractice and Workers' Compensation Blog

Hospice patients face neglect and abuse, studies find

Hospice brings to mind a gentle, end-of-life transition into whatever realm lies ahead, according to the tenets of your belief system (or not).

But two recent reports on hospice care in the United States have revealed that some patients had nothing but a nightmare experience during their final illnesses while in hospice care.

Make sure that your midwife can handle all emergencies

Are you planning a home birth using a midwife? You need to be sure that the midwife you choose is prepared for all contingencies and emergencies that could occur during a home birth.

One of the possible things that could go wrong is you could hemorrhage after you deliver your baby. Your midwife should feel confident that she is able to staunch the flow of blood until you can be stabilized. Hemorrhages are scary events, especially in non-medical settings. You may need to be transferred to a hospital to get a transfusion, but the immediate focus is to stop the bleeding.

You can pursue workers' comp for heat-related illnesses

Now that summer has arrived, the temperatures will be getting even hotter as we head on into July and August. You may be longing for the cool sea breezes to be rolling in while you are toiling under the summer sun.

Working too many hours with too few breaks from the heat can sometimes lead to heat-related illnesses and injuries in those who work in the field of construction and other outdoor industries. Companies know or should know this and must take the steps to see that those working in the sun and heat get regularly scheduled breaks where they are able to cool down and rehydrate as needed.

Northshore psychiatrist has license to practice suspended

The psychiatrist who was accused by several patients and former staffers of taking inappropriate sexual liberties with his patients has had his license to practice medicine indefinitely suspended by the Massachusetts Board of Registration.

Recently, the Board announced the suspension of a Newburyport psychiatrist who was also a frequent contributor to Fox News "Medical A-Team." As we reported earlier, the doctor was accused of engaging in demeaning and inappropriate sexual relationships with patients who were seeking treatment for depression and other psychiatric conditions.

Is workplace fatigue a problem at your job?

How important is sleep and rest? If you ask a random person, the response may surprise you. Increasingly, society and even employers are putting an enormous amount of pressure on workers to be constantly on the go. There is a sense that, if you are not pushing your limits, then you are not fulfilling your potential. This line of thinking is not only tiring, it is extremely dangerous and even contributing to workplace fatigue, which increases the risk of workplace accidents.

This may sound scary, and it is. Even if you are well-rested and ready for the day, your fatigued co-worker could end up causing a serious accident. Keep the following in mind when considering how workplace fatigue affects your safety.

9 injured, taken to hospital in Boston train derailment

Last week, riders and at least one employee with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) were injured in a train derailment in Boston.

As reported by the Boston Fire Department, on Saturday, June 8, at approximately 11 a.m., the train car derailed near Kenmore Square in the tunnel. Because the derailment happened just before the start of Boston's annual Pride Parade and Red Sox game at Fenway Park, there were heavy delays.

Misdiagnoses are more common than you think

It's estimated that 12 million people in the United States get misdiagnosed each year. Roughly half of those cases of misdiagnosis can cause potentially serious harm to the patients. But even when a misdiagnosis doesn't result in a life-or-death emergency, there can still be serious consequences to the patient's health. Recovery can be delayed or harsh treatment like chemo can be ordered that can leave the patient infertile and suffering from many side effects.

Sadly, for about 40,500 patients a year in intensive care, the misdiagnoses will be fatal. How can they be prevented? At least according to one study, 96% of doctors believe many diagnostic errors are 100% preventable.

Is a medical professional to blame for your baby's birth defect?

Your pregnancy and the birth of your baby can be some of the happiest times of your life. But for some parents, those months are fraught with worry and illness. As the due date approaches, the parents might be fraught with trepidation that something may go wrong.

Ideally, if you are experiencing a high-risk pregnancy, your obstetrician is on top of the situation. They have run the right tests and taken all the proper steps to keep your pregnancy viable as long as possible to give your baby the best chance possible in life.

Critical charting errors can lead to medical mistakes

Perhaps there is no time that requires more trust than when you are in the hospital. If you are injured, having surgery or experiencing a medical crisis, you must rely on those with appropriate medical training to provide adequate care and monitoring of your condition.

Those at the forefront of this obligation are nurses. Most nurses are skilled and dedicated to their patients. Their diligence and attention to detail can make your hospital stay as comfortable as possible and may even hasten your recovery. However, it may only take one careless nurse to cause a domino effect of mistakes, especially if that carelessness is reflected in the nurse's charting of your care.

How do short-staffed nursing homes affect patients?

According to a report from last year, the majority of nursing homes underreport their short staffing issues to the relevant governmental oversight agencies.

It's not difficult to understand how being short-staffed on a shift can adversely affect the patients. After all, if nurses and aides aren't present, the residents may not get bathed, fed and diapered regularly. They may miss doses of medicine or be at risk of falls because they try to climb out of bed.