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Post on 12-Jan-2017



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When Medical Malpractice Is Fatal

When Medical Malpractice Is FatalA Look At Why Malpractice Occurs, and What You Can Do About It


The Consequences of A Doctors MistakesIt comes as no surprise that doctors make mistakes. We all do. However, when medical professionals get things wrong, the consequences can be especially dire. A surprising number of deaths are caused by medical errors every year. In the following pages, well look at why these fatalities occur and what it means for victims of medical malpractice.

What is Medical Malpractice?Medical malpractice occurs due to a physician or health care providers negligence. Negligence is defined as the failure to follow the required standard of care. As you will see, this can include incompetence, negligence or general disregard for the well- being of patients. It is the responsibility of doctors and medical professionals to provide care to the best of their abilities and to do no harm to their patients.

Examples of Medical MalpracticeUndiagnosed or misdiagnosed conditions and diseasesMedication overdoses and prescription errorSurgical errorsInfection or illness caused by unsanitary equipmentFailing to advise patients about behaviors that could worsen their condition.

Medical Malpractice Is A Major ProblemPatient safety experts at Johns Hopkins analyzed data over an eight-year period and determined that more than 250,000 deaths each year in the U.S. are due to medical error. That makes medical error the third highest cause of death in the United States.


Common Causes of Medical MalpracticeDistractionFatigueLack of Education and ExperienceInadequate Attention Given to Individual PatientsInaccurate Medical Records

Emergency Room NegligenceSome of the most serious and urgent injuries and illnesses are treated in emergency rooms. Unfortunately, many hospitals have emergency departments that are understaffed and ill prepared to handle the high volume of patients that come through their doors. Some of the most common emergency room errors include:

Failure to diagnosisFailure to provide prompt treatmentFailure to assess patient chartsFailure to detect complicationsMedication errorsImproper monitoring of patients


Surgical ErrorsUp to 4,000 surgical errors occur every single year in the United States. Over half of these errors lead to permanent damage in patients, while approximately 16 percent result in fatalities. Surgical errors include:

InfectionSurgical Mix-Ups (Wrong site, wrong patient, wrong procedure)Improper administration of medications or anesthesiaCausing damage to organs or nerves because of misuse or mishandling of surgical implementsFailure to remove all surgical items from patients


Failure to Diagnose CancerWhen a doctor fails to identify the presence of cancer in a patient, the results can be disastrous. These failures often stem from negligence on the part of a medical professional. Errors include:

Failure to investigate suspicious skin growthsFailure to order a mammogram for patients with suspicious lumpsFailure to detect elevated PSAFailure to properly interpret imaging studies of a cancerous massFailure to interpret tissue samples that indicate cancerous cells 9

Birth InjuriesPerhaps the most tragic of all malpractice cases are those that resulted in fatal birth injuries. Birth injuries can be caused by:

Oxygen deprivation during labor and deliveryPrescription drugs (such as SSRIs) taken by the mother before or during pregnancyFailure to use proper delivery techniquesFailure to perform a C-section in a timely mannerImproper use of delivery instruments (such as forceps and vacuum)


Wrongful Death in Medical MalpracticeIf a doctor fails to give proper medical care and their negligence causes the death of a patient, surviving family members can file what is known as a wrongful death claim. These claims help grieving survivors recover losses stemming from outstanding medical bills, funeral costs, loss of income and other end-of-life costs.


We Can HelpIf you have lost a loved one or they have been injured due to a doctors negligence, the Philadelphia medical malpractice attorneys at Wapner, Newman, Wigrizer, Brecher & Miller can help. Contact us today to learn more about filing a wrongful death claim.

How Weve Helped Our ClientsMarc Brecher represented the estate of a 51-year-old man who presented to a hospital within 45 minutes of the onset of severe chest pain. The emergency room doctor promptly diagnosed that he was having a heart attack and paged the on-call cardiologist. However the on-call cardiologist did not timely respond to the page. The emergency room doctor then decided to give the patient a clot-busting drug, without consulting with the on-call cardiologist. The clot-busting drug caused a massive intracranial hemorrhage, which led to an irreversible coma and resultant death. It turns out that patients with heart attacks should not get a clot-busting drug if they present with very high blood pressure, which was present in this case. Brecher produced experts in the fields of cardiology, emergency room medicine and neurology to support this claim and obtain this substantial settlement.

Settlement in Deadly Medical Malpractice CaseWrongful death attorney in Philadelphia, Steven Wigrizer, a partner with Wapner, Newman, Wigrizer & Brecher, settled a medical malpractice case involving the death of a 39-year-old mother of five in which the defendants failed to properly diagnose a malignant melanoma. The defendants negligence resulted in a three-year delay in diagnosis, thereby allowing the cancer to progress from a curable stage to an incurable one.