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Greenbelt Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Don't navigate medical malpractice situations on your own

Visiting the hospital takes a tremendous amount of trust. While some visits may involve nothing but a simple checkup, others can be much more serious. Surgeries, diagnoses, medication... there are many situations that require the utmost care and focus on the part of the hospital staff. Most times, everything goes according to plan. Unfortunately, there are instances in which doctors make mistakes. These errors can result in a wide range of complications, some of which may be life-threatening.

If these wholly unfortunately events happen to you, you are not alone. Attorney W. Scott Sonntag has been assisting those involved in medical tragedies for more than three decades. Spanning a wide range of emergency situations including heart surgeries, brain surgeries, and many other medical procedures that involve a high level of risk, Scott Sonntag has the experience to know exactly what expectations are expected to be met in such medical cases.

Heart surgeon found negligent

Doctors in Maryland have a responsibility to their patients to provide them with the best care possible, in accordance with the accepted standards of the medical community. Doctors who fail to meet this criteria may be cited for medical malpractice. A prominent heart surgeon has been accused of negligence after a surgery left a patient in a coma.

The 70-year-old patient, who was admitted to the doctor's hospital with intense chest pains, underwent surgery in 2012 to replace his aortic heart valve, as well as repair an aortic aneurysm. As a result, the patient lost blood and ended up in a coma. He apparently remains in a coma, approximately six years later.

250,000 U.S. deaths caused by medical errors

According to a 2016 study conducted by researchers at Johns Hopkins University, over 250,000 deaths, or 9.5 percent of all deaths over an 8-year period, were caused by medical errors. Unfortunately, the actual number may be much higher, as other studies have found the number of medical error deaths to be closer to 440,000.

Determining exactly how many deaths are caused by doctor errors and other mistakes has proven to be a challenge over the years. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention determines death statistics using death certificates and only collects data for deaths caused by disease, morbid conditions and injuries. However, medical examiners and other professionals do not mention human errors and system failures on death certificates.

Victims of medical errors can sue for damages

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists, or CRNAs, administer anesthesia to patients under the supervision of a doctor. If an anesthesiologist fails to properly administer the anesthesia, the patient could suffer severe long-term consequences. In some cases, the patient may end up in a vegetative state for the rest of their lives or even die as a result of the anesthesiologist's medical negligence. If you or a loved one is a victim of an anesthesia accident, Attorney W. Scott Sonntag may be able to help you file a claim for damages in Maryland.

Doctors and anesthesiologists may make a number of mistakes when administering anesthesia. One of the most common mistakes is failing to properly monitor the patient while they are under anesthesia and afterwards. Anesthesiologists may also fail to properly administer the anesthesia by failing to give the patient the proper dosage or failing to account for the patient's allergies or other drugs in their system.

Couple recovers $32.9 million for newborn's injuries

An injury to a newborn during the birthing process can be a parent's worst nightmare. Any form of doctor negligence during the pregnancy and birthing process can result in serious birth injuries that can negatively affect the lives of the child and parents for years to come. A couple in the Northeast recently recovered $32.9 million after they filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the physician who helped deliver their baby for violating medical protocols.

The couple claimed the obstetrician, who delivered their son in 2012, placed forceps around the baby's head and pulled so hard that the baby's mother was almost pulled off the bed. The couple claims that this unnecessary force caused the baby to suffer a skull fracture and brain bleeds. As a result, the baby apparently has lifelong mental disabilities.

What documents will I need to file a medical malpractice suit?

If you or a loved one has been a victim of medical malpractice, you know how difficult the recovery process can be. Dealing with the physical injuries caused by a doctor's errors, as well as the emotional and financial challenges can be overwhelming for victims and their families. Fortunately, there is a way to hold medical professionals responsible for their negligent actions. Filing a lawsuit against the parties involved in your care can be the best way to recover damages for your pain and suffering.

Once you decide to file a medical malpractice lawsuit in Maryland, there are certain documents you will need to help prove your case. A medical malpractice attorney can review all the documents you provide and come up with arguments to use against the parties responsible for your injuries. Generally, your medical records will be the most useful documents. Medical records, mental health records and other similar documentation can provide crucial information about your medical condition, what treatments you received and when you received them and prescriptions you were given.

Filing a lawsuit for birth injuries

Maryland parents generally worry about the well-being of their children from the minute they learn they are expecting. Sadly, not all babies are born perfectly healthy. Some medical issues constitute as birth defects, which generally arise due to things that happened before or during the pregnancy. However, birth injuries, which may result in cerebral palsy, tend to occur during the child delivery process. In fact, many birth injuries are caused by a doctor's medical errors.

If your child was harmed during the birthing process, you may have a case for medical malpractice against the medical professionals in charge of your and your baby's care. For example, many malpractice cases arise when a doctor fails to properly evaluate or identify complications that appear throughout the pregnancy or delivery. Doctors also may fail to appropriately respond to the conditions that arise or negligently perform medical procedures during the birth.

Failure to diagnose sepsis leads to death of 12-year-old

We are the middle of flu season, and many doctors are getting used to seeing flu symptoms in their patients. However, in some cases, what appears to be a mild case of the flu could actually be something much more serious. Failure to diagnose a patient appropriately can have devastating results. A 12-year-old girl was recently misdiagnosed with the flu and ended up dead a few days later.

The girl first started to feel sick in mid-December. When her mother took her to urgent care, she was diagnosed with the flu and sent home to rest. A few days later, the girl went back to urgent care after she had trouble breathing. Tragically, her organs began to shut down and she passed away soon thereafter.

Medical malpractice is more than just making a mistake

When we see a doctor for a medical issue, we generally expect them to perform their jobs capably and fix whatever is wrong with us. However, many patients unfortunately come out from surgery or treatment only to find out that their health issues are far from over. In fact, some patients may find themselves in a worse position than they were before their treatment.

If your doctor made a mistake while treating you, you may be able to successfully sue them for medical malpractice. Merely making a mistake during treatment, however, does not necessarily qualify as medical malpractice. The mistake must have been significant enough to cause you to suffer harm or an injury that you would not have otherwise experienced.

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.

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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