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South Carolina Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Cancer requires a timely diagnosis for effective treatments

Cancer is likely one of the most feared diagnoses that modern patients have to worry about when visiting the doctor. After all, there are many kinds of cancer, many of which have reputations for being painful and debilitating. More importantly, the treatments that come along with a cancer diagnosis can seem frightening to a patient.

Chemotherapy can leave somebody weak and result in a loss of both appetite and hair. Radiation treatments can impact appetite and further weaken a patient. Surgeries can take weeks to fully recover from, even if they are necessary for removing a tumor. Getting an accurate diagnosis of cancer is certainly frightening, but not receiving a timely diagnosis is a more serious concern for patients. After all, the cancer will continue growing, untreated, until you receive an accurate diagnosis.

What is the Nursing Home Reform Act?

When someone checks into a nursing home, they expect to receive adequate care and attention to meet their living needs. Generally, residents can expect to receive meals, medical care, bathing care and other services that they require to live a quality life. Unfortunately, not all nursing homes live up to their end of the bargain in this regard, and there are many cases in which nursing homes neglect their patients to such a degree that they are in violation of the law.

One of the most important laws that governs the activities of nursing homes is the Nursing Home Reform Act, which became law in 1987. This act details the kinds of services nursing homes have to provide their residents. It also creates a standard level for these services.

Bedsores are a potential warning sign of nursing home neglect

Not so long ago, some elderly patients couldn't avoid developing bedsores. Weight loss during aging would leave them particularly bony and susceptible to these developing bedsores. Thankfully, modern technology has made it much easier for nursing home aides and workers to provide adequate cushioning and relief to people who are immobilized.

Unfortunately, social perception has not caught up with this improvement and many people still assume that bedsores are a common and reasonable side effect of being bedridden. If you notice that your loved one has developed a bedsore while in a nursing home, that may be an early warning sign of neglect and inadequate care.

Emphysema and misdiagnosis: Why it goes undiagnosed

As someone who has smoked for many years, you knew that you were in trouble when the link to cancer and other illnesses was finally made. You'd struggled with weakness and dizziness for years. You were tired and pale.

You'd gone to the doctor, but no one at the time believed anything was a result of smoking. They told you it was probably because of age. Now, you have been diagnosed with emphysema and know that the disease has gotten much worse faster than it would have with a proper diagnosis years ago.

Nursing home neglect can cause serious injuries or death

Older adults are often incredibly vulnerable to mistreatment and abuse. Declining mental capacity combined with increasing physical fragility can make the elderly convenient targets for abusive people. If you have had to place a loved one in a nursing home or assisted living facility, you likely took time to find one with a good reputation.

Unfortunately, care facilities are only as good as the people they employ. In some cases, desire to keep overhead low can result in understaffing or inadequate vetting for staff members. This can lead to situations where residents experience abuse. Lack of staff can also contribute to neglect, which is often as dangerous as overt abuse when it comes to medically vulnerable older people.

Nursing home residents’ rights

When you place a loved one in a nursing home, you expect the staff and administration to do their jobs efficiently and with care. However, in many cases, nursing home patients suffer mistreatment or abuse, or do not receive proper care after injury.

The patients who live within a nursing home have rights that they deserve to keep protected, but often do not have the means to protect themselves, especially when it comes to protecting their rights against the people charged with taking care of them.

Can you sue a hospital for medical malpractice?

Suffering unnecessary harm in the course of receiving care at a hospital is potentially grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit, but it does not always mean that the hospital itself is a defendant. Only under certain circumstances does a medical malpractice suit involve the hospital. It depends on the nature of its business relationship with the parties directly harmed and any negligence on the part of the hospital.

If you suspect that your malpractice concerns may involve the hospital where you received care, be sure to look carefully at all sides of the experience through the eyes of the law. A poorly constructed claim wastes resources and opportunity while offering little in the way of protections for your rights.

Nursing home negligence can lead to injuries and deadly falls

It's never an easy decision to send a loved one, such as a parent, to a nursing home. You may have done your best to provide in-home care until you simply could not anymore. People with degenerative physical and mental conditions need extra support. Those with medical issues like dementia and Alzheimer's disease may also need more care than a family member can provide. Especially if you have a job and children of your own, the amount of care can quickly exceed what you can offer.

Nursing homes are supposed to be safe, clean and protected spaces for the aging and infirm. You must entrust the daily needs, as well as the emotional and social health, of your loved one to the care providers and administrators who manage the facility. Sadly, even facilities that look clean and have excellent records can neglect or abuse the people entrusted to their care.

Did a doctor’s negligence cause your child’s cerebral palsy?

Cerebral palsy is a broad term that refers to a number of different conditions that may affect an infant's brain function and bodily movements. The condition may arise a number of ways, both during pregnancy and during the birth process itself, and even after the child is delivered. In many instances, the condition is not the result of some environmental factor or mistake on the part of the mother, but rather negligence on the part of a doctor overseeing prenatal care or performing delivery.

If you suspect that your child suffers from cerebral palsy because of the negligence of a doctor, you may have legal grounds to pursue a medical malpractice suit. If successful, such a suit provides monetary compensation to cover the ongoing medical costs the condition incurs, as well as address the needless suffering the condition brings to both the child and to you as the parent.

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