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Ohio Medical Malpractice Blog

Did your doctor discharge you too quickly?

Doctors face pressure from multiple sides to get patients discharged quickly from hospitals. The HMOs striving to cut costs to the bone, the hospital administrators seeking to free up beds and the patients themselves and their family members who want them back at home.

For all of these reasons, it can mean that patients who are still suffering the effects of a critical illness can get discharged too early, potentially jeopardizing not just their recoveries, but possibly even their lives.

My doctor failed to diagnose my cancer: what to do

In the world of modern medicine, when cancer is detected early enough, Ohio medical practitioners can perform what people in the past would have considered a miracle. If doctors diagnose the cancer before it spreads or becomes untreatable, for example, many patients can expect a complete recovery.

Nevertheless, there are many cases in Ohio where doctors miss the telltale signs of cancer and other serious ailments. Perhaps your doctor failed to diagnose breast cancer before it metastasized into an uncontrollable and deadly disease beyond the scope of current treatment options. Delayed or failed diagnosis errors like this have lead to grave health consequences and even death in many cases.

Preventing medication errors

According to a report from the Institute of Medicine, 1.5 million people are injured by medication errors in this country every year. As of the 2006 report, those errors cost Americans $3.5 billion in wages, lost productivity and other medical expenses.

Most medications are administered by nurses. While some errors are located when they are prescribed, administration errors are not stopped until after the medication has been taken. These types of errors account for 26 percent to 32 percent of all medication errors.

Symptoms of birth injuries in Ohio

Birth injuries can be avoided, but there are instances where issues develop, especially if injuries are not treated immediately. Sometimes the injuries can be seen or found immediately, while other times the symptoms don't show until quite some time after birth. Here are common symptoms of birth injuries in Ohio.

Some of the most common symptoms that appear immediately in birth injuries include the following:

Failure to diagnose flesh eating-bacteria leads to patient death

Last April, a 43-year-old man visited the Holzer Clinic complaining of fever, chills, congestion, body aches, headache and a cough. He had a 102.2 degree temperature. The doctor prescribed the man Tamiflu after tests for strep and influenza were negative. He was then released and sent home.

Three days later, the man was seen in the Emergency Department at OhioHealth O'Bleness Hospital. The man complained of pain in his right lower leg and said that it had been swollen for several days. The doctors suspected the man had deep-vein thrombosis. He was given another prescription and sent home. The family had asked the doctor if the man could be sent to Columbia, but the doctor tending to the man said that it wouldn't be any use to do so.

Healthcare information technology linked to medication errors

Officials with the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority have been able to attribute precisely 889 medicinal errors between January 1 and June 30 of 2016 to some glitch in its health care-related information technology (HIT) system, a recent report shows. Among the three most common errors made by the HIT systems were a failure to record dosages, providing an extra dose and providing patients with the wrong dose.

HIT systems are heavily relied on in this technologically-inclined era for ordering prescriptions and tracking the administration of drugs. In fact, these systems have built-in mechanisms including such as drug libraries, bar code drug administrative system technology, and smart infusion types of pumps in place to try to avoid these types of errors from occurring.

Breaches of confidentiality are medical malpractice

When you think of medical malpractice, you might think of surgical errors or mistaking a patient's name. Maybe you think about a doctor who fails to diagnose a patient or one who ignores a patient's cries for help.

There are many other kinds of medical malpractice, though. One that isn't spoken about as often is a breach of doctor-patient confidentiality.

Avoiding injury from a pharmacy error

When your pharmacist makes a mistake it can be deadly -- there's a chance that the wrong medication could have no harmful effect on you at all -- but there's a much bigger chance that the wrong medication could interact badly with medications you're already taking, cause you a medical crisis or give you an allergic reaction.

A 10-year study on pharmacy errors concluded that slightly more than 75 percent of pharmacy errors were either the result of the wrong drug or the wrong dose. Of those people reporting injuries, 11.7 percent died.

Suing a hospital: What you should know

If a hospital is negligent, you may have the option of suing for compensation. Hospitals are only places, but the administration is responsible for the many things that go on there. You may be able to sue the hospital administration for a number of reasons.

For example, if the administration hires a doctor, it's supposed to do its due diligence in researching that doctor's license and experience. If it turns out that the doctor the hospital hired had lost his license in another state or was hired without the experience required in the field, you could pursue a claim for negligence.

Do medical providers tell you if they make mistakes?

You know that you're under the care of a medical provider when you go into surgery, and you know they usually do their best to prevent medical errors. Still, if a medical error occurs, will you know? You'll be unconscious, so it's up to the surgeon to tell you. As a patient, that may make you feel out of control, and you're right to be concerned.

Surgeons should tell you if something goes wrong. In fact, there are national guidelines that recommend full disclosure in the event of a medical mistake. Despite this, studies have shown that only around 55 percent of surgeons surveyed had ever discussed the error and if it was preventable with patients or apologized for the mistakes.

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