Personal Injury

Stroke due to Errors Committed by Medical Providers

Posted by on May 11, 2017 in Personal Injury | 0 comments

During consultation visits with a doctor, the questions a walk-in patient asks usually center only on what their illness is and how frequently they should take the prescribed medicine; others go further and ask for an alternative diet, one that would keep them healthy and in good shape.

Patients naturally trust doctors, knowing that (doctors) are the experts when it comes to health. One reality, however, is the fact that even the best doctors can commit mistakes. Federal records actually show that more than a quarter of a million people die every year due to medical mistakes, making this the third major cause of death in the U.S.

Wrong diagnosis is among the many different results of medical mistake. Error in diagnosing a patient’s real condition is due to failure to correctly detect the warning signs of a real and more severe health condition, like one that can lead to a stroke.

Stroke, also known as Cerebral Vascular Accident (CVA), is due to a pause in the flow of blood to any area of the brain. This could be due to a blood clot in the blood vessels or a clot in the Cholesterol plaque. But before having a major or large stroke, a patient usually suffers a Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) first. TIA is what medical professionals identify as a mini stroke – some sort of a warning to a major CVA; it usually lasts for only about 20 minutes, as the flow of blood usually resumes afterwards.

A stroke can be prevented, but only if its symptoms are detected early and the patient given proper treatment and the correct medication. Failure to do these, however, can result to paralysis or patient death. In fact, according to the American Stroke Association, more than 500,000 individuals suffer a stroke every year. From the total, about 200,000 end up disabled, while the many more others end up dead.

Determining the symptoms of stroke, though, can be difficult due to the symptoms’ resemblance with other serious health conditions, like severe migraine attack or diabetic hypoglycemia. The presence of other warning signs, though, like unexplained severe headaches, dizziness, loss of coordination or balance, difficulty in understanding or speaking, difficulty in walking and in seeing either from one or both eyes, and weakness or numbness on only one side of the body, may be interpreted as signs of stroke; but to be more certain, requiring the patient to undergo more tests may be called for. These symptoms, especially TIA, should never be taken lightly. On the contrary, patients displaying these symptoms should be given emergency care.

According to McCutchen & Sexton – The Law Firm, after trusting your care to your doctor, you have every right to expect that your doctor would take reasonable measures to act in your best interest. If your doctor fails to provide you with the care you need, this trust would have been broken. More than this, your doctor’s malpractice would most likely impact your health and well-being rather significantly.

“Medical malpractice is defined as the failure to apply the degree of skill and learning ordinarily possessed and used by members of the same profession. This may include errors on behalf of the following types of medical providers:

  • Doctors
  • Nurses
  • Medical Technicians
  • Health Care Providers
  • Hospitals
  • Clinics
  • Nursing Homes

It is not the duty of the medical provider to cure or guarantee a positive outcome for the treatment, but rather to provide a standard of care that is accepted by the medical community. As such, a central aspect of establishing a medical malpractice claim will involve whether or not the provider caused damage by violating or breaching the standard of care.

The Boston personal injury attorneys air the same tone, saying, “stroke lawyers know that stroke is a common and potentially life-threatening occurrence for patients of all ages. Sometimes a stroke occurs without warning, but often there are warning signs or symptoms, such as headache, neck pain, weakness, or vision changes ahead of time. Some patients even have transient ischemic attacks, which may be recognized in time to prevent permanent injury or death. When stroke occurs, prompt medical treatment, such as tPA or other medications, or surgical interventions, may be able to minimize or prevent damage. Unfortunately, in some instances, medical providers fail to identify and treat strokes when they should. This failure can serve as reason to hold the responsible provider liable for your injuries.”

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How Safe Really are Nursing Homes?

Posted by on Nov 12, 2015 in Personal Injury | 0 comments

A study that was organized by the minority staff of the Special Investigations Division of the House Government Reform Committee revealed that, from January 1999 to January 2001, about 5,283 nursing homes in the US were guilty of as many as 9,000 acts of abuse against residents who basically depended on them even in the most basic of tasks.

Taking care of nursing home residents can be a very demanding task, especially in facilities where the number of residents is too many for the staff to handle. For American families, however, turning to a nursing home that will be able to ensure provision of the amount and quality of care and attention that their elderly loved ones need is very important.

The undue abuses suffered by elders in nursing homes, though, seem to be far from over. In 2005, workers from the Georgia-based Adult Protective Services of the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) said that the calls they received regarding vulnerable adult abuse numbered to 500 every month. In 2013, also in Georgia, 21 former and present employees, as well as the owner, of a nursing home for Alzheimer’s patients were charged with no less than 70 criminal offenses due to abuse of elderly patients.

Adult Protective Services workers are usually the first to respond to reports of neglect, abuse and exploitation of vulnerable adults. By elder abuse, NCEA’s Department of Health and Human Services means “any behavior or action within a relationship of trust that harms an older person.” A personal injury lawyer would point out that abuse can take many different forms: it can be physical, psychological, social, financial and, the worst and most humiliating of all, sexual.

Some of the specific acts of abuses that have been committed by staff members or nurses include: throwing water on patients or striking them; restraining patients using bed sheets; putting two diapers on patients so they don’t have to be changed often; repeatedly disregarding, yelling and/or habitual blaming, scaring or threatening, and humiliating elders; refusing patients food and/or water; not changing patients’ bed sheet; making elders fight against each other; refusing to treat bed sores; taking money from patients; and, molesting patients. All these and so many more, besides failing to keep some private and public rooms sanitize.

While many abuses have resulted to bodily injuries and mental or emotional anguish, some cases were serious enough to cause death. Many residents, it may be true, sustain injuries through their own fault; however, so many more get injured due to the reckless, negligent and abusive behavior of people hired and paid to care for them. Injuries caused by these types of behavior are called personal injuries and, under the law, people who suffer these have all the right to pursue legal action against the party guilty of the act and its injurious results.

Nursing home residents, however, seldom talk about the pains and injuries inflicted on them. This may be due to fear or embarrassment. Thus, the greater responsibility lies on the kin of elders, who should be totally observant on any signs of abuse. A sudden change in an elder’s behavior, like sudden display of low self-esteem, avoidance of eye contact, feeling of fear or disturbance, silence, or becoming withdrawn and depressed, can be hints that something is not right.

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