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Greenbelt Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Maternal infections can result in severe birth injuries

Expecting mothers often rely on their doctors to keep them healthy throughout their pregnancies to ensure that their babies are born healthy. However, if a doctor fails to diagnose a maternal infection it can travel through the mother's body and cause the baby to suffer a serious birth injury.

There are many reasons why a pregnant woman may be at risk for maternal infections. During pregnancy, a mother's immune system changes significantly to protect both mother and baby. However, because an expecting mother's immune system works in overdrive to protect both the mother and the baby, the woman may be more susceptible to infections while pregnant. In addition to changes in one's immune system, the hormonal changes an expecting mother experiences often affects the urinary tract and can increase the likelihood of urinary tract infections and yeast infections. A woman's lungs are also more susceptible to infections like pneumonia, as they contain additional fluid during pregnancy.

Medical malpractice damages: what can you recover?

People that have suffered an injury or illness because of a doctor's surgical errors deserve to be compensated for their injuries. By filing a medical malpractice lawsuit against the parties that caused you harm, you may be able to recover both economic and non-economic damages to help support you and your family during this difficult time.

Economic damages refer to the actual, out-of-pocket expenses related to your injury. In most medical malpractice cases, past and future medical expenses are particularly important. You may recover damages to pay for hospital stays and treatments you have already undergone, as well as any care you will need in the future. For future costs, the jury will estimate the expenses based on physician testimony and other evidence.

Jury awards couple $1.36 million following loss of fetus

Expectant parents are often filled with anticipation as they await the birth of their child. Tragically, some of these parents will never get to experience this excitement due to their doctor's errors. This was the case for a pregnant woman and her husband who filed a lawsuit against a health care facility and a doctor working at the facility following the death of their fetus.

The woman, 23-years-old at the time, reported to the hospital in 2012 suffering from a urinary tract infection and pain in her right side. She was given an ultrasound, which revealed multiple kidney stones. The doctor and hospital proceeded to discharge her within one day, though, despite a heart rate of more than 140 beats per minute, fever, and nausea. The doctor and hospital also apparently failed to give her antibiotics for the infection. The next day, she reported to the emergency room at another hospital with a rapid heartbeat and high fever, where she was treated for sepsis caused by the UTI. After seven days in intensive care, she recovered, but she lost her 14-week-old fetus.

Gross negligence may play a role in a medical malpractice claim

If a doctor breaches his or her duty to a patient by failing to adhere to the appropriate and applicable standard of medical care, then that doctor may be found negligent and held liable for any harm caused to the patient. Gross negligence refers to actions that go beyond standard negligence. Maryland doctors who are grossly negligent may act so recklessly that even the average person would be aware that their behavior is inappropriate.

If you and your attorney decide to file a medical malpractice claim based on gross negligence, you will have to establish the same four elements you would have to prove for a standard negligence case: duty, breach, causation, and damages. However, for gross negligence, both the physician's breach of duty to the patient must be extreme and obvious to non-physicians. For example, you don't have to be in the medical field to know that operating on the wrong part of the body or leaving a surgical instrument inside of a patient during surgery is a clear violation of the doctor's duty to his or her patient.

Survey: burned-out doctors twice as likely to report mistakes

Physician burn-out occurs when a doctor feels extremely exhausted and loses his or her ability to care about and connect with patients. According to a national survey, published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, many physicians are burned-out and making medical mistakes because of their condition.

Researchers surveyed over 6,000 doctors in the United States and found that more than half of them said they were experiencing burnout. These burned-out doctors are twice as likely to report errors as other doctors. Researchers found that the more tired a doctor is, the more likely he or she was to make a mistake when treating patients. The study also revealed one out of 10 physicians surveyed admitted to making a major medical error in the past three months.

Jury awards $135M in medical malpractice suit

When a doctor's act of negligence leads to a medical error, the patient is the one who suffers. Unfortunately, even the smallest error can cause severe illness, injury, permanent disability, or even death.

This is the situation in one case where a children's hospital and an orthopedic surgeon were recently sued for medical malpractice after negligent medical care reportedly left a young girl partially paralyzed. The jury awarded the plaintiff $135 million, which the plaintiff's attorney said was the largest single medical malpractice verdict awarded in the U.S.

Surgical error involving minor leads to lawsuit

For most parents, nothing is worse than seeing your child in pain. It can be even more devastating for parents to know that this pain was caused by a doctor's negligence and improper care. A father who found himself in this position is suing a hospital and a physician on the east coast after a surgical error caused his son significant pain.

Meditation can help resolve medical malpractice claims

Generally, when a doctor's negligence causes harm, victims immediately think of suing them for damages. However, going to court in Maryland can be a costly, time-consuming affair that victims of medical malpractice may not be able to handle. Fortunately, there is another alternative that can save victims time and money while still allowing them to obtain the closure and damages they need after such a traumatic incident. This alternative is referred to as mediation.

In a mediation, the victim of alleged malpractice and the doctors who are accused of acting negligently, as well as other parties responsible for the alleged malpractice, work with a neutral third-party in hopes of reaching to a resolution that all parties can live with. Mediation lets the disputing parties and the mediator control many aspects of the process, as opposed to litigation, where the judge makes the decisions.

Is the hospital responsible for my doctor's negligence?

When a patient is admitted to a hospital, it is unlikely that only one doctor will be responsible for their medical care. Whether a patient stays for a few hours or a few months, chances are that multiple doctors, nurses, anesthesiologists, technicians, and other health care professionals will interact with him or her in some capacity.

If a medical professional is negligent and causes harm to a patient in Maryland, then he or she may be held liable for the patient's damages. But these individuals are not the only ones who may be liable. Hospitals and healthcare facilities may also be held responsible for the negligent actions of their employees under certain circumstances. Even doctors can be held responsible for the actions of their staff. In legal terms, this concept is referred to as "respondeat superior," or vicarious liability.

"Dancing" dermatologist facing multiple malpractice suits

Many Maryland patients who undergo surgery are placed under anesthesia. As a result, they trust that their surgeon will be completely focused during the operation and will perform in accordance to the applicable standard of care. However, some surgeons are more interested in joking around and having fun than they are with their patient's procedure, as can be seen by one recent case. There, a board-certified dermatologist, known for sharing videos of herself singing and dancing during surgery, recently made national news when she was sued for medical malpractice by several patients.

The doctor apparently had a public channel on YouTube, where she would post videos of herself dancing and rapping with surgical instruments in hand and even while cutting into a patient. All the videos have since been deleted from the doctor's channel, but a news network apparently has since obtained video of the doctor engaging in questionable conduct while treating patients. In one video, the doctor allegedly zoomed in on a patient's bare buttocks while dancing along with her assistants, who sometimes served as backup dancers. Another video showed the doctor standing over a patient without a surgical mask or gloves. The doctor is accused of posting more than 20 videos to her channel for promotional purposes.

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Maryland Trade Center III
7501 Greenway Center Drive # 460
Greenbelt, MD 20770
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