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Medical Malpractice Blog

Causes and symptoms of infant brachial plexus injury

Neonatal brachial plexus palsy is a type of injury that infants may sustain during birth in an Arizona hospital. It is a type of shoulder injury that happens when the baby's shoulders are stretched in a head-first delivery or pulled to the side. It may also happen if the baby's arms are raised and pressure is placed on them in a breech delivery.

Symptoms are generally seen at birth or immediately after. They may include an arm that is held straight against the body, a decreased grip or a lack of movement in the hand or lower arm. The treatment for mild cases might be exercise and massage. More serious cases might be treated with surgery. The prognosis is poor for babies who do not recover within three to nine months. There may also be complications associated with the condition. These include muscle contractions or tightness. There may also be temporary or permanent paralysis.

When durotomy leads to a malpractice claim

Arizona residents should know that durotomy, a condition where the outer membrane of the spinal cord is torn, is a common and sometimes unavoidable side effect of spinal surgery. Most of the time, surgeons will recognize the issue and repair it during the surgery. However, the dural tears sometimes go unnoticed or reopen after surgery. The complications resulting from this can prompt many patients to file medical malpractice claims.

A study published in the journal Spine has analyzed 48 cases of incidental durotomy. The patients were split evenly between male and female, and their average age was 55 years. In 60 percent of the cases, the patients reported physical weakness among their injuries, but 20 percent involved paralysis, brain damage or death. Patients' allegations ranged from delayed diagnoses and treatments to improper repairs.

Sepsis and septic shock can be life threatening

Sepsis and septic shock are potentially life-threatening complications that can arise from an infection. When an infection in the body goes untreated or mistreated, sepsis can set in and trigger inflammatory reactions throughout the body. These reactions can damage multiple organs and result in system failure when not treated promptly.

Sepsis alone is a dangerous problem, but it can progress to septic shock, which can be fatal. Early treatment and a little knowledge about sepsis and septic shock could save your life or the life of someone you love.

Doctor allegedly removes kidney rather than mass

Medical malpractice errors range from the subtle to the shocking. However, the facts alleged in one recently filed claim might leave Arizona readers especially puzzled.

Specifically, a woman from Iowa filed a lawsuit naming a South Dakota doctor along with his practice as defendants. The woman alleges that the doctor performed surgery on her in 2016 to remove a mass that had developed on her adrenal gland. Instead of removing the mass, however, the doctor allegedly removed one of the woman's kidneys. She says she suffers from fatigue, pain, mental distress and depression as a result of the erroneous procedure.

Taking steps to eliminate operating room mistakes

The nightmare scenario for Arizona residents coming out of surgery is realizing that they have received the wrong operation or that their situation is worse than before because of a mistake on the part of the surgeon. Thankfully, major mistakes only make up .03 percent of all operations in the United States. That being said, standards should be in place to make sure that mistakes of these kind never happen.

In 2015, a doctor who practiced surgery at Northwestern hospital for almost four decades founded the Chicago-based company SafeStart Medical. This company uses mobile devices as well as a patient and clinic portal that is cloud-based to make surgeries safer.

What are the risk factors of shoulder dystocia?

Shoulder dystocia is a birth injury that happens during delivery. Essentially, the baby's shoulder gets trapped in the birth canal of the mother, and if the doctor doesn't immediately resolve the situation, a tearing of nerve pathways in the shoulder can result. Paralysis in the baby's arm and hands is the common side effect. Sometimes, this paralysis is temporary and heals on its own with time. Other times, it's permanent.

In many cases, a skilled obstetrician can detect the risk factors of shoulder dystocia during delivery and perform an emergency cesarean section to circumvent the problem. The presence of certain risk factors before delivery can also point to an increased chance of shoulder dystocia.

Can art therapy help a person recover from a brain injury?

The most important part of any medical recovery after a traumatic brain injury happens during the immediate days, weeks and months following the accident. However, what happens after someone has stabilized and is now dealing with the permanent effects of disability, emotional challenges, cognitive difficulties and memory challenges? Is there still room for improvement?

According to many people who have suffered from a traumatic brain injury, art therapy can be very helpful. In fact, many military veterans with brain injuries are currently benefiting from different kinds of art therapy programs.

Study identifies genetic basis for infant seizure disorder

Scientists have discovered a genetic cause for some cases of early infantile epileptic encephalopathy, or EIEE. The results could help doctors in Arizona and elsewhere make more efficient diagnoses of the disease.

EIEE is a childhood neurological disorder that is characterized by seizures. It occurs in approximately 1.2 of every 1,000 live births, and it usually strikes during a baby's first few months of life. Babies with the disease can suffer as many as 50 seizures a day, and the condition usually leads to developmental delays, significant intellectual difficulties, psychomotor impairments and, in some cases, death. The condition has several known causes, including structural brain malformations and birth injuries. Doctors have also long suspected that there is a genetic basis for many EIEE cases, and the new study confirms that suspicion.

Hospital mistakes can increase in the afternoon

In what may come as surprising news to people in Arizona, the time of day when a person goes to the hospital may affect the quality of care that he or she receives. While some of these issues may simply reflect the body's natural rhythms, people depend on health care professionals for accurate diagnosis and precise treatment throughout the day. However, doctors, nurses and others are not exempt from the slump that many people feel at around 3:00 p.m. Productivity can decline at this time as people get tired, and fatigue among healthcare professionals can have serious consequences.

Anesthesiologists are some of the most highly trained professionals at the hospital, dealing with powerful drugs with all the precision required. However, in one study of 90,000 surgeries, anesthesiologists were found to be more likely to make medical mistakes during procedures that began around 3:00 p.m. or 4:00 p.m. While anesthesiologists were only 1 percent likely to make a mistake at 9:00 a.m., at 4:00 p.m., the same risk rises to 4.2 percent. The likelihood of a mistake causing harm to the patient also rose with the afternoon timing.

What is the infant mortality rate in the United States?

In the weeks before your child is born, it's natural to start feeling anxious and thinking about potential risks and complications. You don't want to stress yourself out unnecessarily, but you also want to know the odds of something bad happening. Understanding the risks can help you plan ahead and take steps to ensure the birth go as well as possible.

If your mind wanders to the worst case scenario, you may begin wondering what the infant mortality rate is in the United States. It has fallen historically, but where does it sit right now?

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