Furr & Henshaw
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medical malpractice Archives

What parents need to know about anesthesia errors

Anesthesia, used routinely when patients need to be calm or asleep during an operation or medical treatment, helps block pain and motion. While it's common to use anesthesia before your child goes into surgery, there are some things that can affect the way it works. Here are a few quick facts that you should know about anesthesia.

Proposed federal regulations would make it harder to bring a medical malpractice claim

Lawmakers in Washington have proposed a number of ways to reduce what they perceive to be wasteful spending. Among proposals that some experts consider particularly troubling is placing caps on medical malpractice payouts and making it more difficult for patients to prove malpractice occurred in the first place.

Bullying in hospitals may pose safety risks for patients

South Carolina residents may be interested to hear about information that suggests that bullying between doctors and co-workers may pose safety risks for patients. In a survey of over 4,500 health care workers, 77 percent reported disruptive behaviors among doctors and 65 percent reported disruptive behaviors among nurses. Nearly one-third of those same workers said that such behaviors contributed to patient deaths, and more than two-thirds said that they led to medical errors. In one case, a perfusionist claimed that a cardiac surgeon clenching his fists and yelling at him menacingly made him feel threatened and traumatized him. A perfusionist is the person who operates the heart/lung machine during an open-heart surgery, so having his or her focus is extremely important in an operation. The Indiana Supreme Court later upheld a $325,000 settlement for the traumatized perfusionist. The tension between doctors and employees can potentially lead to more medical errors, which can, consequently, lead to more medical malpractice lawsuits.

Why hospitals can be dangerous

South Carolina residents going to a hospital for medical care may feel that they are completely safe, but the unfortunate truth is that, according to the Institute of Medicine, about 100,000 people die from medical errors in the United States every year. In addition to instances of medical malpractice, people may end up being misdiagnosed, given the wrong type or amount of medication or put through unnecessary tests.One of the leading causes of harm to patients in hospitals is misdiagnosis. If someone's medical issue is not correctly identified, it is not going to be treated properly. Doctors need to be proactive about figuring out what patients are suffering from instead of just ruling out what they do not have. Related to this is being given the wrong type of medication or the wrong dosage. Even if someone has been diagnosed correctly, they may not end up getting the medication they need.

Medical malpractice suits against hospitalists more common

According to a senior vice president with The Doctors Company, which is the largest U.S. provider of medical malpractice insurance for physicians, hospital-based physicians face a higher number of malpractice claims than primary care physicians. Medical malpractice claims against hospitalists also tend to carry a higher dollar value. This disparity between physicians working in different environments has led insurance companies to craft separate policies for the approximately 35,000 hospitalists.Why are hospitalists, who receive the same training as other medical doctors, at higher risk of malpractice suits? Medscape Today suggests several reasons for the difference. When patients are admitted to a hospital, the hospitalist generally takes over the role of the primary care physician. Primary physicians build relationships with their patients by learning how they communicate and gathering background information. Hospitalists lack these resources, which is a problem often compounded by greater job stress. The stress factor was highlighted by a Johns Hopkins survey of hospitalists. It showed that 40 percent of doctors believed hospital admittances routinely went above safe levels. Almost as many doctors claimed this occurred once per week.

Medical bill issues affect victims of medical malpractice - Part II

Yesterday we began a discussion about medical bills. We noted that medical malpractice awards are structured to cover the cost of care for patients who have been harmed. One of the primary reasons that these award amounts must be as high as they are is that the line by line medical costs for patients are too often inflated past recognition. This places stress on patients trying to pay these bills and on the American economy that must absorb the effects of an unbalanced medical care system.

Medical bill issues affect victims of medical malpractice - Part I

A TIME Magazine cover story about medical bills has recently received a great deal of media attention. The American public is quite familiar with the fact that the cost of medical bills is causing even insured Americans to lose their financial footing. However, the TIME story makes clear that it is not just the bottom line medical costs that are harming Americans at nearly every income level but also the line by line costs.

Med mal case before the Supreme Court could affect awards

Last month, the United States Supreme Court heard arguments in a case that could affect an untold number of Americans. The case before the court centers on a girl who is deaf, blind, mute and cannot walk, crawl or even sit without assistance. When the girl was being delivered, she became the victim of medical malpractice which resulted in her current physical state. She and her parents were subsequently awarded $2.8 million in a malpractice settlement.

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Myrtle Beach Office
1900 Oak Street
PO Box 2909
Myrtle Beach, SC 29578

Phone: 843-213-6737
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Phone: 803-250-6829
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