Common Surgical Errors: Understanding Medical Malpractice

Every medical professional should be aware of the huge responsibility they bare. Considering that they are responsible for the lives and well-being of millions of individuals they encounter through their days working in the field, it should be clear that the stakes are too high for any hapless mistake to occur. However, such expectations aren’t always met. It’s a given that medical professionals are also susceptible to human error. What’s unacceptable is if these errors result from negligence.

The personal injury lawyers at Russo, Russo & Slania, P.C. note that medical malpractice can result from minor mistakes to the most
catastrophic errors. To be recognized as a medical malpractice case, a mistake committed by a doctor, nurse, or other health care professional should have been born out of negligent and reckless behavior.

In surgery, this translates to outcomes that are outside the established risks associated with the procedure performed on the patient. A common surgical error that falls within this parameter includes doctors who don’t perform proper pre-operative planning and skips on familiarizing themselves on their patient’s medical history. It’s important that doctors are familiar with a patient’s entire medical history in order to avoid any treatment plans and procedures that may not work well with their current condition. Being neglectful during post-operative care is another surgical error that leads to serious consequences for the patients. Medical staff that doesn’t keep a close eye on patients in post-op care could miss signs of complications that need to be addressed immediately. Another common mistake that negligent surgeons make is accidentally leaving surgical materials inside a patient’s body cavity.

These common surgical errors can lead to outcomes that have serious consequences on patients. Surgical errors such as those mentioned above can lead to complications such infections, internal bleeding, stroke, paralysis, and even brain injury.

Capsizing and Alcohol Impairment: Two Major Reasons behind Boating Accidents

Capsizing and Alcohol Impairment: Two Major Reasons behind Boating Accidents

Boating seems to be one recreational activity where risk is minor – with all the waters surrounding the vessel, what harm could befall anyone if he/she falls overboard? On the contrary, like any other motor vehicle, if a boat operator fails to observe safety procedures, then he/she and all other boat passengers will likely find themselves victims of a serious accident.

The U.S. Coast Guard’s record for all reported boating accidents in the U.S. shows 651 fatalities and 3,000 injuries under recreational boating for the year 2012. Though these figures have been the lowest since 2004, these can still be significantly reduced since majority of these accidents are due to acts of carelessness or recklessness by the boat operator and/or passengers.

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the top causes of boating accidents are excessive speed, machinery failure, improper lookout, operator’s lack of experience, man overboard and capsizing; in all the accidents due to these causes, as well as those accidents due to other causes, the ones at fault were usually drunk boat operators or drunk boat passengers.

Capsizing is this leading cause of fatality in boating accidents. This usually occurs during nightfall, when both intoxication and the darkness begin to cause the operator make poor judgments, especially while anchoring, maneuvering, or docking.

The major factor behind many accidents, however, is alcohol impairment. Alcohol impairment, according to the the Boating Safety Resource Center, the U.S. Coast Guard’s Boating Safety Division’s official website, is the reason behind 1/3 of all recreational boating accidents.

Drinking liquor or alcohol while on sea can affect a boat operator’s balance, coordination, vision and judgment much faster than when these are consumed on land. This is due to the overall marine environment, where the boat’s operator and passengers experience the sun, wind, sea water mist or spray, engine noise, vibration and motion. Thus, due to alcohol, capsizing boats and drunken passengers falling overboard have been common cause-of-death reports.

Boating accidents, according to the law firm Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller & Overbeck, P.A., are often due to acts of negligence or carelessness. Due to this, the liable party, including the boat owner and operator face great responsibility is making sure that victims of their negligence are paid the compensation that they legally deserve.

A Discussion On Nursing Homes

Outside the hospital, a nursing home is the facility where a patient can receive the most extensive care. A nursing home, also known under the names Skilled Nursing Facility, Nursing Center, Convalescent Care and Long Term Care Facility, offers residents (who may be suffering from an illness, recovering from an accident, or senior citizens, at least 55 years old) skilled and custodial care (such as eating, bathing, toileting and dressing). Skilled nursing care, which includes medical treatment and monitoring, is provided by a registered nurse.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 15,700 various nursing homes all around the US provided services to approximately 1.4 million residents (this statistical information was made available last February 2015).

Nursing homes are primarily designed for the elderly who need a high level of medical care and assistance. Due to this, care for residents is entrusted to skilled nurses and trained staff members. Because of the uniqueness in patients’ medical needs, some nursing home facilities now also have units for patients suffering from Alzheimer’s as well as facilities for those needing short-term rehabilitative care (such as those recovering from an illness, a surgery or an injury).

Despite the necessity of housing their senior loved one in a nursing home, many families find this type of long term care facility financially burdensome, considering the cost of a semi-private room, which is at $222 per day, while the cost of a private room is up to $248 per day. While a long term care insurance policy would be a big help to augment family savings, families may have another source for financial benefits, namely Medicare.

According to, a senior adult requiring stay in a nursing home facility for 100 days or less may qualify for Medicare benefits, but only if he or she:

  • is 65 years old or is suffering from renal failure;
  • is currently receiving Medicare Part A benefits, which is Hospital insurance;
  • has undergone hospital confinement for at least three within the past 30 days;
  • has been determined (by a physician) to be in need of rehabilitation or skilled care in a facility that is Medicare-certified.

Those who qualify for Medicare benefits will be covered 100% for the first 20 days of stay in a nursing home; for the succeeding days, however, the patient will have to shoulder a part of cost incurred in the facility (patient may pay using his or her own money or avail of long-term care insurance benefits if he or she has a policy.

According to USA Today, quality reporting measures for nursing homes will be instituted in 2016, giving consumers a better picture of the care a specific nursing home provides to its patients.

Brain Injuries After Birth

Labor gets the potential to become very hard for mom, who often require the assistance of medical experts, for example, obstetricians. Furthermore, children are very delicate as of this early-stage of development and, therefore, are susceptible to injuries that can have lasting adverse effects on their health and progress. These medical individuals are responsible for ensuring that are dealt with promptly to get a delivery that is safe and securely. Nevertheless, they do not generally provide the persistent care they are required to provide and sometimes produce errors that trigger the little one to endure serious incidents.

Common Causes of Birth Injuries

The website of the cerebral palsy attorneys at the Driscoll Firm says that incidents often result when a young child is mishandled by doctors during supply or when an anesthesiologist incorrectly administers or sees the results of an epidural. These and other faults may lead to delivery injuries and these errors:

  • Applying an anesthetic incorrectly or failing to observe its outcomes – the mothers heart rate could shed, probably triggering brain damage and depriving the infant of air. Depriving the child may end up in mind damage and deprives the infant of air.
  • Jerking on the throat and the child’s arm inside the direction that is same causes harm to the nerves while in the upper arm, which may result in facial paralysis.
  • The injuries that develop from errors like these are the results of irresponsible care that will not be allowed happen or to continue during deliveries.

Managing Beginning Injuries

The nature of the injury may decide if a probable cure is for that situation or only if its indicators could possibly be managed. In any case, maybe you are facing medical expenses that are intensive to aid your youngster, which means you might find it within your greatest attention to contact a medical malpractice lawyer to aid establish if you’ve legal choice to pursue compensation.

Zofran Lawsuit

Zofran is a drug conventionally used to treat nausea and vomiting induced by chemotherapy treatments. While the drug is very effective for this purpose, it was recently revealed that it was being marketed off brand as a viable treatment for severe morning sickness in pregnant women. The drug has since been potentially linked to birth defects in the children of women who used the drug during pregnancy. The makers of the drug, GlaxoSmithKline, are being sued for damages by women who feel their children’s birth defects are the result of adverse side effects of the drug which they were not warned of.

Birth defects potentially resulting from the use of Zofran while pregnant include: congenital heart defects, cleft lip, cub foot, and cleft palate. Many allege that GlaxoSmithKline knew as early as 1992 that Zofran could potentially cause harm to the unborn children of pregnant users. The company continued to market the drug to pregnant women despite the knowledge of these risks, potentially endangering the children of these women without informing them of the risks associated with this treatment.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Zofran for the use of treatment for chemotherapy patients experiencing nausea and vomiting side effects. However, according to the website of Zofran attorneys at Williams Kherkher, “many argue that Zofran was never intended or approved by the FDA to be used by pregnant women for the purpose of mitigating the effects of morning sickness.” If this is true, GlaxoSmithKline had a duty to warn mothers of these risks, and a moral obligation to not market this drug for purposes they knew to be harmful. As a result, some children may be born with Zofran-related birth defects.

Preventing Auto Accidents through Safety Practices for Drivers

Despite the fact that it’s become an integral part of people’s daily routines, there are high risks involved in driving and commuting on the road. Unfortunately, auto accidents are among the leading causes of injury and death in the United States. In fact, according to data from the United States Bureau, there were 10.8 million vehicular accidents during the year 2009. Tragically, 35,900 of these cases resulted in fatal injuries.

Considering these numbers, it’s obvious that advocating for road safety should be considered a top priority, as personal injury attorney in Tennessee may be inclined to do. Aside from the work of government and non-government organizations alike, there are also practices that motorists can observe to meet this objective. Here are just a few of the safety precautions and strategies to observe when you’re driving down the road:

  • Use seatbelts properly: According to the CDC Injury Prevention and Control, correct use of seatbelts can reduce injuries resulting from accidents by half.
    Use car seats or booster seats to keep small children secure: The CDC also notes that due to the increasing rate of children using a car seat or booster seat, the rate of severe injuries sustained by children in auto accidents reduced by 17%.
  • Avoid driving while drunk: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that alcohol-impaired driving have caused more than 10,000 fatalities in the year 2012 alone.
    Avoid driving while sleepy or drowsy: Similarly, according to CDC and NHTSA, drowsy driving and falling asleep at the wheel leads to about 5,000 to 6,000 fatal crashes every year.
  • Drive with extra care during inclement weather: It’s not surprising that bad weather causes plenty of auto accidents on the road. Keep your car visible in the fog or rain by using your headlights and taillights properly.
  • Remain focused and keep your eyes on the road: It may seem obvious, but plenty of accidents have been caused by distractions like talking on the phone. Again, according to the CDC, it’s estimated that nearly one in every five car crash is due to distracted driving.

Clearing the roads of auto accidents might be a big task, but it’s not entirely impossible. As a driver, you should make sure to keep safety your number one priority. In case an accident occurs despite your best efforts, you can seek legal counsel and see what options you might find available. This is especially true if the accident you were involved with leads to injury. Just take note that your legal options may vary depending on which state you live. It’s best to seek out a lawyer who practices where you live.

Insurance Companies Acting in Bad Faith

Insurance companies are designed to protect their policyholders financially when their clients need them most. There is a paid-for promise and contractual agreement that the insurance provider will work with and compensate a client for the claims covered in their insurance policies. Unfortunately, some insurance companies practice bad faith insurance ethics that result in financial strains on the clients that are not receiving the proper compensation.

Bad faith insurance law exists to protect consumers from unethical insurance practices. Insurance bad faith occurs when the insurance provider deliberately deceives or refuses to perform a contractual obligation to the appropriate policyholder. Most United States jurisdictions protect policy holders from bad faith insurance through implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.

According to the website of Smith Kendall PLLC, bad faith insurance may arise during coverage disputes, deceptive trade practice violations, and insurance code violations. For example, an insurance adjuster may be negotiating in bad faith if insisting their policyholder’s claim is worth significantly less or offers a low settlement offer with specific reasons for the lower status. Bad faith may also arise if the company engages in fraud or blatant lies that impede the policyholder’s ability to pursue the claim.

When an insurance company breaches their contract, a tort claim may be filed with the breach of contract claim in order of the policyholder to receive the necessary compensation. In cases that are brought to trial, a settlement greater than the original policy claim is often reached to return damages caused to the client.

If you believe you are a victim of bad faith insurance, consult an insurance attorney in your state to discuss your legal options and receive compensation for the financial strain you have suffered.

Criminal Charges can Impact Your Divorce

A criminal charge can affect anyone’s daily life substantially. Criminal charges can damage a person’s reputation permanently. A sentence may seem fleeting in the long-term, but what happens when a parent with a criminal charge suddenly finds themselves in a child custody battle? These criminal charges suddenly are more substantial and may affect the outcome of a child custody case.

10 percent of divorces are contested and result in child custody cases to determine the living situation and visitation rights of the parents. Almost every child custody case is determined by what action would be in the best interest of the child. As the website of Brent Horst, Attorney at Law says, when a parent’s criminal record shows current or past charges against the individual, it is not bode well for them. However, a number of factors play into the decision the court could make such as the victim of the offense, the type of offense, the time frame of the conviction, the nature of the sentence, and the frequency of convictions.

Cases involving assault and battery, domestic violence, or child abuse will carry heavy weight in deciding a custody case. As a Houston divorce lawyer would know, the court, in aiming to protect the child, can and will set strict limitations for interacting with the child in these cases to protect the minor from becoming a victim of reoccurring violence from the parent. The court is legally allowed to assume that the actions were not isolated and therefore present a clear and present danger to the child. The may even terminate the parental rights to a child in serious cases.

Custody can also be made difficult if the crimes committed were related to drug and alcohol abuse. Driving under the influence is a serious crime that may result in harsher custody agreements. If the drug or alcohol related convictions are recent, courts may demand a hair follicle drug test to determine if drug use is still a concern. A positive drug test will often result in child visitations with required supervision. However, older cases that prove to be isolated incidents may persuade judges to be more lenient with their rulings.

Parental rights to a child are precious and should be protected. If you are currently involved in a child custody battle that includes a parent with criminal convictions, consult a family or criminal defense attorney in your area to discuss your options.

Trade Dress Law

Trade dress is a type of intellectual property that is protected by the law from copy or theft. Similar to a trademark, trade dress is the packaging, promotion, or any other element that is used to promote or sell a product or service. This could include the décor of a store, the likeness of a product, distinctive display cases for a product, or the environment of a facility.

It is important to register trademarks and trade dresses with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to receive a legally protect your product or ideas with federal courts. In order to receive a patent and the protection it provides, two things must be true: the trade dress must be distinctive or required a secondary meaning and unlicensed duplication of the product or trade dress must cause a likelihood of consumer confusion.

In order for a trade dress to be inherently distinctive, it must be unusual or memorable in such a way that consumers will identify the product or service as conceptually separable from similar offerings. The trade dress must also serve as a distinct identifier of the origin of the product.

Functional elements of a product cannot be trademarked or trade dress. An example of this would be a Tiffany & Co. jewelry box. The box itself is a functional vessel that cannot be trade dress. However, the Tiffany blue color and white ribbon that accompanies the functionality of the box are capable of trade dress to protect Tiffany & Co. from individuals looking to imitate and profit from the sales of a like item.

According to the website of Gagnon, Peacock & Vereeke, P.C., a trade dress infringement can cause lost profits, monetary damages, and statutory damages. If you believe that you are a victim of trade dress infringement, consult a, intellectual property attorney in your state to protect your product and ideas.

Zofran and its Possible Side Effects

Chemotherapy and radiation therapy can make the long road to recovery from cancer a truly miserable experience. When Zofran was created to help with the nausea and vomiting side effects of cancer drug treatments, it helped thousands of people. The drugs works by blocking serotonin the substance in the body that causes vomiting.

Common side effects of using the drug include headaches, lightheadedness, dizziness, or constipation. However, there are reports that women who took Zofran while pregnant are having children with serious birth defects. There’s a correlation between the drug and birth injuries that include cleft lips, cleft palates, and congenital heart defects. Zofran was previously prescribed to pregnant women experiencing morning sickness.

Ondansetron, the active ingredient in Zofran, was assigned a pregnancy category B by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This means that the use of Zofran should only be considered when the benefits to the pregnant mother outweigh the risk of birth defect to the infant. Animal studies of the drug did not reveal any indication that the Zofran causes birth defects. Currently there is no controlled data about human pregnancy and birth after the drug was taken, and therefore no substantial data as to side effects related taking Zofran while pregnant.

Zofran works by curbing the natural substance serotonin in the body. Drugs that are serotonergic are known to cause birth defects when taken by pregnant women during the most important stages of fetal development. The drugs Paxil and Zoloft are examples of this.

If your child was born with birth defects that you believe were caused by the use of Zofran while pregnant, consult a Zofran lawyer in your area to discuss legal options. The physical, emotional, and financial damages you and your child have suffered deserve compensation.

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