When it comes to medical care, patients expect physicians and other medical personnel to provide them with the utmost level of attention. The reasons for this are clear, as patients seeking medical care must necessarily place a significant degree of trust in their attending medical professionals. When a medical professional breaches his or her trust with a patient, and illness or injury results, the patient may have a medical malpractice claim. However, legal actions for medical malpractice can be quite difficult to pursue.
Types of Medical Malpractice in Arizona
Medical professionals of all types must maintain the standard of care that is expected of them. In general terms, this standard requires them to treat patients how other members of their profession would treat patients in like circumstances. A failure to maintain this standard can give rise to a medical malpractice action if it causes the patient to sustain an injury.
Where a member of the medical profession fails to diagnose, or makes an improper diagnosis, the patient may have a medical malpractice claim. Likewise, a medical malpractice claim may exist where a medical professional makes a prescription or surgical error. In addition to these general types of medical malpractice, medical malpractice claims can succeed where a failure to meet medical standards of care cause a birth injury.
Amputation can be one of the worst cases of medical negligence. The medical staff may have amputated the wrong limb, or a limb was amputated prematurely. Though it’s impossible to recover a negligently amputated limb, one can seek restitution against the party responsible for the negligent behavior. After getting in touch with an Arizona medical malpractice attorney, the injured party must show that there was medical negligence on the part of the doctor or medical staff, which resulted in the amputation of a limb.
Were there other less radical procedures that could have been done instead of amputating a limb? Your amputation may have been due to an improper diagnosis or from neglecting to treat a disease or infection. Having a limb amputated can affect the rest of your life, including your ability to work. If you think that your limb was unnecessarily amputated due to hospital negligence, you may be entitled to compensation.
Bed sores, also known as pressure ulcers, occur when a patient who is bed-ridden isn’t turned or repositioned on a regular basis. When a bed-ridden patient isn’t turned or repositioned, he or she can develop bed sores, which cut off circulation in a certain area and cause bodily tissue to die. In order to prevent bed sores from forming, medical staff must evaluate a patient’s risk level for bed sores.
Nearly all bed sore cases could be prevented if patients were repositioned often enough. When a member of the medical staff fails to turn the patient frequently, he or she may be held liable for medical negligence. There are steps the nursing staff can take to prevent bed sores from developing. Some of these steps include:
- Checking a patient’s skin on a daily basis.
- Using pressure-relieving pads and mattresses for patients who are at-risk.
- Patients should be turned and repositioned every few hours, or on an as needed basis.
- The staff should ensure that the patient’s skin is clean and dry.
- Patient should be kept well hydrated and receive proper nourishment.
Cerebral Palsy & Erb’s Palsy
Cerebral Palsy is caused by an injury to the brain. The most common reason infants develop cerebral palsy is because they are born prematurely and the brain hasn’t fully developed. Babies that are born in the proper time frame can also develop cerebral palsy if there is a significant lack of oxygen to the brain during delivery. Cerebral Palsy is characterized by stiffness in the arms and legs and can be associated with seizures and/or mental retardation. Since Cerebral Palsy comes with life-long consequences, it’s important to look at the facts and circumstances to determine if the hypoxia or asphyxia could have been prevented. Medical malpractice or negligence could be the cause of your child’s birth defect.
Erb’s Palsy is caused by an injury to the shoulder during child birth. An injury to the shoulder can tear or stretch an infant’s nerves, which controls their shoulders, arms, and hands. Erb’s Palsy occurs when the upper nerves are damaged.There are four types of Erb’s Palsy:
- Neurapraxia: The nerve is stretched, but not torn.
- Rupture: The nerve gets torn, but remains intact to the spinal cord.
- Avulsion: The nerve is torn away from the spine.
- Neuroma: Scar tissue around the injury forms and places pressure on healthy nerves, which prevents them from sending signals to the muscles.
Emergency Room Mistakes & Surgical Mistakes and Errors
Medical malpractice can be very common in the emergency room. Though the medical staff may do their best to prioritize each incoming patient according to their emergency, it’s not uncommon for a mistake to be made during the chaos. An Arizona medical malpractice attorney will come in handy if the hospital improperly discharges you, telling you that you’re fine, when a significant medical issue was overlooked. If a diagnosis or significant medical problem is overlooked, you may have a medical malpractice or negligence claim.
Mistakes are not only made when a patient is admitted to the hospital, but during surgeries as well. It’s often hard to prove a negligence case if it took place during surgery, because the only people present are the medical staff and the surgeon. Medical negligence can also occur after the surgery during post-treatment care. Such negligence can include failure to diagnose a complication following the surgery.
Failure to Treat Heart Attack or Stroke
Failing to treat a heart attack or stroke usually begins with a failure to diagnose the symptoms. When a medical professional fails to properly diagnose a stroke or heart attack, medical negligence has occurred.When a patient suffers from a stroke, their brain suffers from a lack of oxygen, which could lead to permanent brain and nerve damage. When a stroke is properly diagnosed, early treatment can restore proper blood flow and get oxygen back to the brain.
It’s not uncommon for a doctor to dismiss a patient’s heart attack symptoms as anxiety or digestion issues. When a patient reports symptoms of a heart attack, the medical staff should immediately begin treatment to avoid serious injuries. Some of these treatments include electrocardiograms, echocardiograms, coronary artery disease tests, cardiac enzyme tests, stress tests, and angiograms. Symptoms of a heart attack and stroke include, but are not limited to the following:
- Chest Pain
- Fainting or lightheadedness
- Arm, Back, or shoulder pain
- Shortness of breath
- Loss of motor skills
- Loss of senses
- Paralysis or weakness on one side of the body
- Diminished ability to speak
- Diminished mental capacity
When physicians and medical staff don’t devote their full attention to a patient, mistakes can be made. One of the most common mistakes is a misdiagnosis of symptoms. A misdiagnosis occurs when symptoms are present, but the doctor misreads them, or doesn’t acknowledge them altogether. A misdiagnosis can lead to more pain and suffering for the patient. The patient may receive the wrong treatment or the wrong drugs for their condition. Below are some of the most common forms of misdiagnosis:
- Cancer Misdiagnosis
- Stroke Misdiagnosis
- Heart Attack Misdiagnosis
- Infection Misdiagnosis
- Meningitis Misdiagnosis
Quadriplegia & Paraplegia
Paraplegia occurs when an individual suffers from a traumatic injury to the spinal cord, which can cause paralysis to the upper or lower extremities. Paralysis to both the upper and lower extremities is known as quadriplegia. Mistakes made by health care professions and surgeons can lead to paraplegia or quadriplegia. Some of the mistakes include:
- Cutting vital nerves
- An undiagnosed stroke
- Medication errors
- Anesthesia errors
- A failure to diagnose spinal or cervical tumors
A loss of mobility can greatly affect an individual’s quality of life. Other measures such as adaptive living quarters, other equipment, and medical treatments will add more financial strain to the individual.
See if You Have a Medical Malpractice Case Today
Sustaining injury is not by itself enough to successfully prove medical malpractice. Rather, the injury must be directly traced back to a medical professional’s deviation from the acceptable standard of care. Proving this in a court of law can be quite complicated, and expert testimony is always required, making these cases extremely expensive.
If, in fact, a medical professional breached his or her duty of care to the patient, and this breach resulted in injury or illness, then the patient deserves to be compensated.
Call Personal Injury Attorney Jared Everton at (480) 467-4392 to discuss your case today.
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