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Indianapolis Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Did something go wrong during the assisted delivery of your baby?

The most dangerous times of any airplane flight are during takeoff and landing. The remainder of the trip is ordinarily uneventful with the exception of some turbulence. What does an airplane ride have to do with your pregnancy? Most mothers in Indiana would agree that the most dangerous time of any pregnancy is labor and delivery.

Under normal circumstances, this is when you face the highest chance of something going wrong. Your doctor probably always keeps the possibilities in the back of his mind, even if you had a picture-perfect pregnancy (try saying that five times fast!). Depending on the circumstances, you may need an emergency C-section, or your doctor may opt for your permission to perform an assisted delivery.

Medication errors can occur in a variety of ways

Medication is a common tool used by medical professionals to treat a wide variety of conditions and symptoms of those conditions. When used correctly, pharmaceuticals can have profoundly positive results. Sometimes they can even eliminate symptoms and entirely cure certain medical conditions.

On the other hand, medication errors can be extremely harmful or deadly. This is why medical professionals need to take extreme care when prescribing and administering medication.

Birth injuries and hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy

It may be scary for expecting parents to think about, but the fact is that birth injuries are a reality in the medical profession. While some of these injuries are unavoidable, a significant portion of them are preventable when appropriate medical care is given to mothers and their babies. Yet, far too often medical professionals make errors, whether through inattention, mistake or downright recklessness. When this happens, innocent children can suffer injuries with life-long ramifications.

Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy is one way that a baby can suffer serious harm. This medical condition occurs when the brain is deprived of oxygen, causing brain cells to die. Once these cells die, they release toxins into the body. The culmination of this process can leave a child with long-term disabilities, including cerebral palsy. Although certain treatment, referred to as "cooling treatment," can reduce the risk and severity of symptoms, this option must be quickly identified and utilized if it is to have any success.

Harmed by a misdiagnosis? Legal help is available

Last week on the blog, we discussed breast cancer diagnoses and the importance of ordering and properly interpreting cancer-detecting tests. Patients are completely reliant on medical professionals to make an accurate diagnosis and prescribe an effective course of treatment. When doctors fail to do so, the results can be nothing short of tragic.

A misdiagnosis or wrong diagnosis can allow a disease like cancer to spread, thereby leading to a worsened medical condition. Such medical negligence can also lead to a decreased chance of survival. Even those who are fortunate enough to fight off their disease in spite of a doctor's error may still suffer from a decreased quality of life.

Missed diagnosis can result in more advanced breast cancer

Some forms of cancer are more common than others. While this is frightening in one way, it may be comforting in another in that it means that medical professionals should know how to more accurately diagnose and treat those more common forms, thereby leading to positive outcomes.

Unfortunately, though, this isn't always the case. In fact, sometimes doctors fail to live up to their duty of care by failing to even administer routine tests that would lead to the detection and effective treatment of deadly diseases, including cancer.

Was the doctor wrong about your condition?

If you've ever gone to a hospital emergency room for an adverse health condition, you know how stressful such situations can be. If you happen to arrive at a time when it's busy and there are numerous other patients, some possibly in line to see a doctor before you, it can be quite a chaotic, unsettled atmosphere. If you're not feeling well, it's understandable that you want a doctor to examine you as soon as possible in order to obtain a diagnosis and treatment plan.

ER doctors often work under stressful conditions. They also often have to make split-second decisions, sometimes in life or death situations. When you seek medical support at an Indiana hospital, you can reasonably expect that the doctor tending to your needs will act according to accepted safety standards and regulations to determine the cause of your ill health and to recommend treatment. What if the doctor is negligent and commits an error that causes you injury?

Medical malpractice may cause cerebral palsy

Hoosiers who are expecting the birth of a child can find themselves excited and anxious at the same time. While some of these nerves are tied to life changes following the addition of a new member to the family, other times they are related to concerns about medical treatment. After all, the type of medical care received during labor can have a profound impact on the health and well-being of both mother and child.

Sadly, some children are born with cerebral palsy. This medical condition causes impaired movement, abnormal reflexes, rigidity or floppiness in the limbs, sudden and involuntary movements, and/or difficulty walking or maintaining posture in a child due to brain damage. Cerebral palsy sufferers can experience poor muscle coordination, including in critical functions such as swallowing, as well as speech difficulties and seizures.

Anesthesia administration and anesthesia errors

Anesthesia has become a common part of the healthcare industry. It is used to numb the body and relieve sensations that may give way to pain. The administration of anesthesia is very controlled in hopes that a patient receives no more than is necessary to achieve the desired effect.

These drugs can be administered in one of three ways. The first is called local anesthetic. Here, a patient remains conscious during a procedure, and anesthetic is typically injected to numb the area where the procedure is to occur.

How is prostate cancer diagnosed?

There are a number of deadly medical conditions out there. Cancer is perhaps the scariest amongst them. Fortunately, many forms of cancer can be effectively treated if caught early enough. This, however, requires quick and accurate diagnoses, which is why it is important that doctors live up to the duty of care they owe to their patients. A failure to diagnose can lead to a worsened medical condition, a decreased chance of survival, and even death.One treatable type of cancer is prostate cancer. There are many ways that an individual can be screened for and diagnosed with prostate cancer. As far as screening goes, a doctor can conduct a physical exam or a blood test. These screening techniques are used to identify abnormalities that can then be tested for cancer.There are also a number of tests to determine whether or not an abnormality is cancerous. Ultrasounds, for example, can allow a doctor to obtain a full image of an abnormality within the body to better determine its cause. A biopsy allows a doctor to remove and actually test the tissue to determine if it is cancerous. If prostate cancer is detected, then additional testing can be conducted to determine how aggressive it is within the patient.If caught in its early stages, prostate cancer can sometimes be effectively treated an even beaten. However, far too often medical professionals fail to make accurate and timely diagnoses. Sometimes they even order the correct test to diagnose a medical condition but then fail to accurately read those test results. Regardless of how it occurs, medical malpractice is unacceptable. Those who have been harmed by hospital or doctor negligence should consider taking legal action to impose liability and recover compensation for the damages that have been unfairly imposed upon them.

Medical apologies: Patient and physician perspectives

When you seek medical treatment at an Indiana doctor's office, hospital or outpatient facility, you have the right to reasonably expect that those to whom you have entrusted your health will act according to accepted safety standards and state regulations that govern medical care. You understand that doctors are human beings who are capable of error. However, wouldn't you expect a doctor who makes an error regarding your health to at least apologize for his or her mistake?  

Many Indiana medical patients who suffered injury because of medical negligence have filed lawsuits against those deemed liable. A majority of them say their primary motivation was to try to make sure that such incidents did not happen again to other medical patients. Many doctors say they are hesitant to admit their mistakes, much less to apologize, because they think it might adversely affect their careers.  

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