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Greenbelt Medical Malpractice Law Blog

How often does a surgeon leave in an object in the patient?

According to a relatively recent report on the issue, it is more likely than one might think for a surgeon to leave a piece of surgical equipment, like a sponge, in a patient's body following an operation.

A Maryland resident might think of these types of surgical errors as events that are easy to prevent and should really never happen if medical professionals are being careful. However, between 2005 and 2013, almost 800 people had foreign objects left in them after an operation of some sort.

What conditions are most commonly misdiagnosed?

Although the diagnosis of a medical condition always requires a Maryland doctor to use his or her knowledge and experience to make an educated guess about what is really going with an ill patient, there are some medical conditions in which failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis is more common than in others.

For instance, one of the most commonly misdiagnosed diseases is cancer of various types, with up to 44 percent of some types of cancer initially being misdiagnosed. Many professionals blame the high rate of diagnosis on incomplete or disorganized information.

Rudeness causes medical errors

Malpractice cases are often complicated and it is difficult to try and resolve the issue of how the harm was caused. A recent study has one simple answer, however. Greenbelt residents may be surprised to hear that patient rudeness can have a negative impact on health care and may cause a doctor's errors, according to a study published in the Pediatrics medical journal.

Physicians' emotional reactions to rude behavior may disrupt their judgment and may be responsible for almost 40 percent of medical errors. In fact, doctor errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States, which accounts to over 250,000 fatalities each year.

Different types of birth injuries

Many babies who are born in Maryland may end up suffering minor injuries during the birthing process simply because the process itself is rough and somewhat traumatic. Unfortunately, some birth injuries are more serious and may require treatment and rehabilitation to resolve. The most serious birth injuries can spell a lifetime of medical care,leaving the victim to deal with a permanent disability.

Many birth injuries happen in the course of a delivery that turn out to be difficult, either because the baby simply has a hard time getting through the birth canal or on account of some other reason. Fractured skull bones are possible birth injuries, as is bleeding on the brain. Although often bleeding in the brain is scary but not really serious, in some cases, the internal swelling causes other medical problems, such as seizures.

Medical malpractice payouts decreased in 2015 in Maryland

Although there is often talk, particularly among doctors and hospitals, about a medical malpractice "crisis" in which innocent professionals are getting financially drowned by meritless or marginal negligence suits, data suggests a slightly different narrative.

Moreover, this same data, which was recently unpacked and published, suggests that the likelihood of a doctors getting sued varies considerably depending on which state one is in.

Statistics demonstrate truth about cancer misdiagnosis

Last week's post discussed the potentially devastating impact a doctor's misdiagnosis of cancer, or even failure to diagnose cancer promptly, can have on a Maryland patient's quality of life or even his or her likelihood of surviving the disease.

One interesting statistic about misdiagnosis of cancer is that many doctors do not it believe it occurs as frequently as studies suggest it in fact does. While a clear majority of doctors thought misdiagnoses occur in at the most 10 percent of cancer cases, the research suggest that the rate of misdiagnosis is actually closer to 28 percent, and up to around 45 percent for some types of cancer.

Helping patients recover after misdiagnosis of cancer

As any Marylander who has watched television frequently knows from various public service announcements, the early detection of cancer is very important. In fact, for many types of cancer, a timely and accurate diagnosis can be the difference between a treatable illness and a terminal condition.

It is therefore essential that when a patient comes in for a cancer screening, the medical professionals involved in those tests conduct the procedures correctly and then interpret the results accurately. Not doing so often means a missed opportunity to diagnose and treat cancer, causing a critical and sometimes fatal delay in the patient's medical care.

Where do I start with a medical malpractice suit?

As the year begins, there are many questions that look to be answered in the coming years. Several topics are up for debate in the government, just one of them being possible tort reform. However, the subject of medical malpractice has stirred up some disagreements between Republicans in congress and experts in the medical field.

What is Erb's Palsy?

Among the many injuries that could occur to a newborn during birth, Erb's palsy is not uncommon. While the injury may occur naturally during a delivery, it is also not uncommon for doctors or medical professionals in Prince Georges to have played a role in the child's injury. So what is Erb's palsy exactly and how does it occur?

There are many alternative names and sub-divisions of the Erb's palsy disorder. For the sake of this blog, we will specifically discuss one of the most common forms, Brachial plexus palsy. This injury results in a weakness or paralysis of the arm when the muscles of the shoulder and upper brachial plexus, or upper extremity, is damaged. The brachial plexus connects the shoulder with the spine, arm and hand.

A doctor's failure to diagnose can lead to serious issues

Greenbelt residents may love their cars and when it causes problems for them, they take their car to a mechanic and trust their professional experience and training in diagnosing a problem and properly repairing it. The same holds true, of course for doctors. But the human body is far more complex than a car. And unlike cars, which have a finite number of makes, models, and identical parts that could fail, every human is different. What causes an illness in one person may not be the same for another person. And even when an illness is properly diagnosed, the treatment and prognoses often varies from person to person.

Similarly, if a car mechanic fails to properly "treat" a car, and the car owner drives away only to find the same clink or clunk while driving, the driver simply brings it back for further diagnosis and a new "treatment." But for patients who experience a doctor who fails to properly diagnose or treat an illness or injury, the repercussions could be far more severe, and possibly deadly.

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Law Offices of W. Scott Sonntag, P.A.
Maryland Trade Center III
7501 Greenway Center Drive # 460
Greenbelt, MD 20770
Phone: 443-718-9931
Fax: 410-730-1615
Greenbelt Law Office