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Greenbelt Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Hospital faces lawsuit after doctor falsifies credentials

When a doctor or other medical professional engages in negligent or reckless behavior that harms a patient, the hospital where he or she works may be sued for medical malpractice. Hospital negligence may occur when a hospital fails to verify the credentials of the employees they hire. Prince George's County hospital in Maryland is now facing a class action lawsuit after one of their OB-GYNS used false identities throughout his medical career.

In 2016, the doctor pled guilty to fraud for using various Social Security numbers and identities to apply for his medical license and certifications. The doctor also apparently forged or altered a number of documents relating to his medical career, including medical transcripts, his diploma, letters of recommendation and immigration documents. He was let go from the hospital after his indictment, but not before he treated numerous patients.

What are some of the most common doctor errors?

Most patients are in good hands when they go to the hospital for medical care. The doctors and other medical professionals that treat them adhere to an accepted standard of care and provide them with competent, if not exceptional, care. However, even the best physicians can make mistakes. According to NPR reports, these doctor errors are the third leading cause of death in the U.S.

When a patient first comes in to see the doctor, the doctor may misdiagnose them, or dismiss their symptoms. Failure to diagnose a patient early can lead to complications later on. On the other hand, some physicians do the opposite and overmedicate their patients or offer procedures they don't need. Prescribing the wrong medication or wrong dosage can also cause serious problems.

Delayed diagnosis and improper treatment may cause complications

If you undergo spinal surgery in Maryland, the surgeons operating on you have a legal obligation to treat you in accordance with the standard of care required for your procedure. A surgical error may occur when a surgeon fails to act as a reasonable surgeon in similar circumstances would act, and causes you harm as a result. A recent study investigated medical malpractice claims resulting from incidental durotomies, or unintentional small tears to the dura mater, the outer membrane of the spinal cord, that may occur during surgery. The study found that many physicians may be liable in cases involving delayed diagnosis and treatment, as well as improper durotomy repair.

Dural tears occur fairly regularly during spinal surgeries and, for the most part, will not cause any long-term problems if they are immediately recognized and properly repaired. However, in cases where there is a late-presenting durotomy or if the dural tear reopens after the surgery, the patient may suffer complications.

How do I prove fault in my medical malpractice lawsuit?

Anytime we go under the knife, there is a chance that something could go wrong. When a doctor or hospital acts negligently, that chance increases by a great deal. If a physician's surgical error has caused you an illness or injury you would not have had otherwise, you may be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against those responsible for your care.

However, proving medical malpractice in Maryland is not always easy. Many patients have lost cases because they could not adequately establish that the physician made a mistake and that their mistake caused the patient harm. A qualified medical malpractice attorney can assist you with your claim and give you the best chance possible at recovering damages.

Woman sues for negligence when donated organ causes cancer

When we think of organ donation, we generally think of all the Maryland lives that are saved by such a selfless act. However, not all recipients of donor organs go on to lead healthy, normal lives. In some cases, despite the donor's best intentions, the donor organ may be unusable due to existing disease or other medical conditions. It is up to physicians and other medical professionals to thoroughly test donor organs before transplanting them. This hospital negligence can cause a number of long-term health complications in the recipient.

One woman sued her local hospital after the pancreas she received was cancerous. The woman underwent a kidney and pancreas transplant in June of 2016. A few months later, the donated organs were removed once test results showed that the woman's new pancreas was cancerous. The woman reportedly was diagnosed with cancer and has experienced increased diabetic symptoms and has had to then have surgery to remove a fallopian tube and ovary, as well as her lymph nodes and bowel.

What documents do I need to file a medical malpractice claim?

If you were harmed by your physician during treatment or surgery, you may have a case against them and the hospital for medical malpractice. However, proving that medical malpractice occurred is notoriously difficult for patients, particularly those with serious health issues. In order to give yourself the best chance at financial recovery, it is recommended that you consult with an attorney as soon as possible after your injury.

If you decide to meet with an attorney after a doctor's errors caused you injury, it is their job to gather all the necessary information and prepare your case for mediation or trial. You can make the process easier by providing them with as much information as possible to help them build your case. First, you will need to provide them with your medical records or give them the contact information of all of the hospitals, clinics and medical professionals that have provided you with medical care. With your consent, your attorney should be able to access your records and use them to establish the quality of your care. These records should also include any mental health records, even if your mental health treatment is unrelated to the illness in question.

Who can I sue for a birth injury?

Many Maryland parents and soon-to-be parents hope that their newborns are born healthy. While some medical issues are beyond the medical professionals' control, many newborns experience illnesses and injuries that could have been prevented if those treating the baby had been more careful. People injured at birth may end up with cerebral palsy or a number of other physical and emotional disabilities that last a lifetime. When a birth injury occurs due to the negligence of one or more parties, a family may be able to sue for medical malpractice.

The first person you may think to sue is the doctor who was in charge of the birth. However, there are many other parties that could also be liable for the baby's medical issues including nurses, pharmaceutical companies and anesthesiologists. In many cases, you should consider suing the hospital where the injury occurred. Hospitals may be liable for many reasons. For one, hospitals can be vicariously liable for the actions of the doctors, nurses and other professionals working for them, as long as these employees were working within the scope of their employment. However, if a medical professional is negligent and they are working as an independent contractor, the hospital may not be liable for their actions.

How physician burnout negatively affects patient care

If you or your loved one is receiving medical care in Maryland, you should be concerned with the doctor's physical and mental health. A number of studies have shown that physicians experiencing "burnout" are more likely to make medical mistakes. Physicians who are eating well, exercising and sleeping well generally have better patient outcomes than doctors who are experiencing physical and mental exhaustion, depression and other health issues.

One study revealed a clear correlation between physician depression and the mistakes they make, including surgical errors, while treating patients. In fact, after studying pediatric residents in various training programs, residents with depression made six times as many medication-related errors as non-depressed residents. Another issue is that residents experiencing burnout think that they are making more mistakes than they actually are.

Misdiagnosis of Type 3c diabetes may be cause for concern

Any time a Maryland doctor misdiagnoses a disease, there is a risk for severe medical complications. The misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose diabetes is fairly common, particularly among patients whose diabetes is a consequence of pancreatic dysfunction. A recent diabetes study found that patients with diabetes of the exocrine pancreas, or type 3c, are often misdiagnosed as having type 2 diabetes.

Type 3c diabetes occurs when there is pancreatic inflammation, or part of the pancreas is removed, causing it to stop producing insulin. People with 3c diabetes are more likely to have poor glycemic control and therefore may require insulin therapy more immediately than other diabetics, so a failure to diagnose type 3c diabetes in a timely fashion can cause significant health problems, including kidney damage, as well as eye and nerve damage.

Study shows nurses with depression make more medical mistakes

When you go to a hospital for medical care, you expect doctors, nurses and other medical professionals to use their years of education, training and experience to provide you with the best treatment possible. When a doctor or nurse fails to provide you with adequate care, you risk facing serious injury or even death. If a medical error caused you harm, you or your family may sue all the parties involved in your care for medical negligence.

There are many reasons why a medical professional in Maryland may make a medical error. One recent study, published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, found that registered nurses who suffer from depression are more likely to make medical errors than those who do not have depression. Published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, nearly 1,800 survey responses from United States nurses were analyzed and it was discovered that nurses with depression had up to a 71 percent higher likelihood of reporting medical errors than other nurses. About half of the nurses in the study reported some form of medical error within the last five years.

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