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Injury Law Blog

Medical providers need to take responsibility for errors

When a medical team is taking you into an operating room, they should have all the information they need to keep you safe. They should know the procedure. They should know your allergies and intolerances. They need to know who you are and any information about you that could complicate the procedure.

When communication is good, that's how things are. Surgeons do their work without errors. They close up the patient. The patient generally gets better and moves on with life.

What can you do after a wrong-site surgery?

Imagine waking up from surgery to remove a diseased kidney only to be told that the surgeon accidentally excised the healthy organ and left the diseased kidney in place. Now, you are facing a lifetime on dialysis.

How could this have happened? Unfortunately, wrong-site surgeries happen with alarming frequency. This umbrella term includes surgeries:

  • Performed on the wrong patient
  • On the wrong side of the patient's body
  • On the wrong body part
  • At the wrong level of the correct site

Electric shocks: Potentially fatal workplace accidents

You were working the same as any other day when you heard something unusual whirring nearby. It was only a few moments later when one of the large machines in the vicinity jammed.

It was always your job to repair the machines, so you got to work. You told your co-workers that you'd be working inside the machine and that it needed to have the power cut off. They agreed and said they'd do it. They motioned that they'd turned if off before you stepped inside to find the problem.

New tool unveiled for brain injury patients

Part of the reason why traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are so serious is that the chances of recovery may be unknown. In the past, doctors' predictions on unconscious TBI patients' recovery chances have been little more than a coin toss.

All of that may now be changing thanks to Israeli researchers at that country's Weizmann Institute. There, a neurobiologist co-authored a study that determined that patients in varying stages of unconsciousness can still respond to various scents. The degree of their unconscious responses turns out to be a valid indicator of whether they will ever recover from their comatose states.

Hypoxia: A damaging but preventable injury

There are many birth injuries that can have a lasting impact on infants, but one that can be a direct result of negligence or errors is hypoxia. Hypoxia occurs when the brain does not receive enough oxygen.

Hypoxia can occur naturally, but it may also be a result of mistakes made during a woman's pregnancy or delivery. Some common causes of hypoxia include:

  • Infections
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Cardiovascular collapse
  • Shoulder dystocia
  • Brain blood vessel abnormalities
  • Placental abruption
  • Umbilical cord injuries
  • Oxygen deprivation

What is the difference between nursing home abuse and neglect?

Would you know if your elderly family member was being abused in their nursing home? You might think that you would, especially if they appeared bruised or had other suspicious injuries.

But what about neglect? Could you identify signs of nursing home neglect?

Living with a brain injury? Hold the responsible party liable

A brain injury suffered in a serious car crash can change your life. You may have lost certain functions, such as being able to speak or remember well. You might have weakness or have become blind because of damage to the brain.

Every brain injury is different, so there is no single treatment plan or outcome that can be expected. This can be difficult for you to deal with as you try to navigate your new life.

Losing a loved one is hard, but there is help

When an injury is bad enough, there are times when people cannot be saved despite the efforts of the medical team. Take for example a case where a patient has a serious neck injury. If the spinal cord has been severed high on the body, it may be very difficult to save the person's life. Even if it's possible, they may have no control over their organs or body. It's difficult to imagine.

Losing a loved one after a complex and catastrophic injury is hard, and you may not be sure what to do. It's okay to take some time to think through what you'd like to do next. If your loved one was hurt as a result of a car crash, boating accident or other situation, you may be able to seek compensation from the at-fault party.

Navigating your FELA claim in real time

Most people who get hurt on the job can apply for workers' compensation benefits. However, railroad workers must instead file a Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) claim instead of workers' comp.

One thing that you need to understand is that, like many aspects of the federal government, FELA claims typically can take longer to resolve than workers' comp claims do. Below are some highlights of the FELA claims process.

If you're a victim of a wrong-site surgery, you deserve support

Waking up from a surgery and learning that you had an operation on the wrong area of your body or finding out that you need a second surgery to remove an object left inside you can be horrifying. You put your life and health in your medical team's care, and you expected them to treat you appropriately.

Unfortunately, medical errors and surgical errors are fairly common. In one poll, the orthopedic surgeons that were interviewed discussed the kinds of errors they saw being made during surgery. In 59% of those cases it was wrong-side surgeries that happened. In 23% of cases, it was wrong-site surgery. In 14%, it was completely the wrong procedure. In another 5% of cases, the wrong patient had been operated on.

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