Furr & Henshaw
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Medical Malpractice Archives

Narcotics abuse by medical staff can lead to medical malpractice

A recent study has revealed over 100,000 medical have problems with prescription drug abuse. The problem with any doctor, nurse, pharmacist or technician abusing such medications is quite obviously that it can lead to patient injury or medical malpractice.

More than 1 in 20 Americans misdiagnosed each year

South Carolina residents may be surprised to learn how frequently doctors make mistakes when diagnosing their patients' symptoms. A survey published on April 16 in the journal BMJ Quality & Safety reports that up to 12 million Americans, which equates to more than one in 20 adults, are misdiagnosed each year. The study was conducted by a Houston-based veterans affairs center that compiled research from several sources, including medical malpractice claims.

18 people exposed to deadly brain infection in hospital

South Carolina patients and family members may be interested to learn that a hospital in North Carolina may have accidentally exposed 18 patients to a deadly brain disease. According to the report, the disease in question is Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, which causes dementia and could result in death very quickly.

Breast augmentation surgery results in brain damage

South Carolina residents may be interested in a Florida medical malpractice case involving a breast augmentation procedure gone wrong. An 18-year-old Florida woman underwent breast augmentation surgery at a clinic for a discounted fee of $2,100 in August 2013. Shortly after surgery, she developed complications that left her in a coma for two months, and while she has since emerged from the coma, she is incapable of performing basic tasks on her own or caring for her young son, her family says. The clinic denies wrongdoing and alleges the woman withheld "pertinent medical information" leading to the poor surgical outcome.

Girl dies after medication error at dentist's office

South Carolina parents may be interested in the outcome of an incident involving a young girl who was reportedly over-medicated at a dentist's office. The girl passed away on Jan. 3 at Hospice Hawaii, one month after she went to a pediatric dentist for six cavity fillings and four root canals on Dec. 3.

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.

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Myrtle Beach Office
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Myrtle Beach, SC 29578

Phone: 843-213-6737
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