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Seattle Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Heart attacks in women may be missed

With the prevalence of heart disease in America today, it is important for people in Washington to have a good understanding of some of the signs of a potential heart attack. It is also very important for people to know that the symptoms of a heart attack often vary quite a bit between men and women.

In fact, the Women's Heart Foundation says that in many cases, a heart attack in a woman may be incorrectly identified as a panic attack. This type of misdiagnosis can have very severe consequences for people. The reason that this may happen is because some of the symptoms of a heart attack in women are very similar to those of a panic attack.

Doctor-caused cerebral palsy will impact your family for life

Pregnancy is a time of heightened emotions and physical strain. Many women spend these months dreaming of the child they will soon give birth to. Very few imagine that the child they are carrying will develop serious medical issues because of a doctor's mistake.

Unfortunately, it does happen. Doctors are humans and prone to making poor decisions, just like everyone else. In some cases, a doctor may choose to not monitor fetal vital signs early in labor, meaning that infant distress isn't discovered until it is too late. In other cases, delays and small mistakes can result in catastrophic medical damage.

Forgotten cellphone and pager contributes to baby’s brain damage

For all of the education and clinical training required of the doctors and surgeons currently practicing in Seattle’s clinics, hospitals and medical centers, it should be remembered that such professionals are still only human, and thus are subject to mistakes just like everyone else. The trouble is that their errors can have potentially devastating consequences that dramatically alter the lives of their patients. If and when such mistakes occur, those affected by them may not only want to know why, but may also be put in the position of being forced to seek compensation in order to effectively deal with the expenses that they produce.

The family of a young girl in Illinois is currently being made to deal with the consequences of a mistake made by one of the doctors tasked with her and her mother’s care during her delivery, even though his error had nothing to do with any care that they received. While she was still in labor, the girl’s mother and her attending nurse noticed a large pool of blood accumulating in her bed. It was later discovered that the child had suffered a fetal vessel rupture, which resulted in her losing almost 60 percent of her blood and caused her heart to stop. Even after her delivery, there were delays in her receiving more blood and being transferred to another facility. The net result was that the child suffered massive brain damage.

What are uterine ruptures?

While most expectant mothers in Seattle look to childbirth as a joyous experience, the fact remains that serious complications can and do occur. Such complications include uterine ruptures, which can have tragic consequences for both mother and child under some circumstances. To this end, being aware of this complication, why it occurs and how it can be treated is vital if you are expecting.

According to Healthline.com, less than one percent of women will experience a uterine rupture while giving birth vaginally. However, it remains a very serious complication due to the risk of bleeding. In some cases uterine ruptures can even prove fatal, with symptoms including delayed labor, abnormal heart rates and pain within the abdominal area.

Understanding never events in surgery

Washington residents are fortunate to have abundant health care facilities engaged in research and innovative treatments at their disposal. However, people should always remain aware that not every treatment, surgery or trip to the doctor will end well. Sadly, medical mistakes can and do happen all too often. When it comes time for a person to be on the operating table, understanding the types of mistakes that may happen is important.

WebMD explains that research shows as many as 4,000 surgical mistakes are made in the United States every year. In a given week, 20 surgeries may take place on the wrong body part or with the wrong procedure. Another 39 surgeries may find patients with surgical items left inside their bodies. Hospitals are only required to report errors that end up resulting in judgements or settlements.

Doctor found to be at fault in delaying baby’s delivery

Access to quality health care is something that almost everyone in Seattle has come to expect. That expectation comes without thought being given to one’s ability to pay. Resources are in place to help even those that are uninsured receive needed medical care. Often that care is offered at community hospitals and health clinics whose primary source of revenue comes not from payments, but rather public funding. Yet simply because the patients at such a facilities may lack the resources to pay does not mean that they should be afforded substandard care.

A medical malpractice lawsuit recently filed in Florida accuses a doctor at such a facility of performing such care. The lawsuit claims that the doctor did not heed a laboring mother’s request to assist her delivery via a C-section after her baby exhibited signs of distress. Instead, the doctor allegedly left her to treat other cases, and was even heard talking on the phone with his financial advisor. When the baby was finally delivered, prolonged oxygen deprivation had left him with brain damage. After hearing experts on both sides testify that earlier intervention could have helped the baby avoid brain damage, the judge hearing the case awarded the boy and his parents a multi-million dollar settlement. As the hospital in question was a community health center supported by federal funds, the U.S. government will ultimately be liable for the settlement.

Failure to diagnose cancer can lead to additional trouble

Even in today's age of advanced technology, medical malpractice remains a major problem throughout the United States.

Any type of medical professional can make a mistake. From physicians to surgeons, from nurses to pharmacists, a seemingly minor mistake can have a negative impact on a patient's health.

Are medical errors common in health care?

For many Washington residents like yourself, going into a medical procedure can bring with it feelings of anxiety and stress. Often, these emotions are tied to fear of the unknown, treatment and healing, and your level of pain tolerance. However, should you also be concerned about whether or not your health is in jeopardy at the hands of a professional? While doctors follow rigid protocols to secure each patient’s safety, medical errors are far more common than you may realize, and your awareness can help you take active measures to protect your safety.

Endocrine News suggests that a medical error is any type of mistake during a medical procedure that could cause you severe injury or death. Common medical errors include the following:

  • Incorrect diagnoses
  • Unnecessary blood transfusions
  • Wrong-site surgery

Soccer team and staff sued for not noticing player’s concussion

Athletes in Seattle may ultimately be more susceptible to injuries due to the physical nature of what they do. Fortunately, the organizations that they play for (particularly at the collegiate and professional levels) typically employ doctors and other healthcare professionals to evaluate injuries sustained during competition. The hope is that potentially major injuries can be spotted quickly before an athlete can return to action and risk hurting him or herself even further. However, if standard in-game evaluations are never conducted, and the players affected sustain further injuries, one could reasonably make a case for negligence against both the team doctors as well as the organizations involved.

Such is the claim being made by a former Major League Soccer player. In a lawsuit filed against his former team, its coach and trainer, as well as the team physician and his own private practice, they player alleges that he suffered a concussion during a match in 2009. Yet he claims that he was never evaluated on the sideline, nor was any follow-up testing conducted to determine if he had indeed sustained a concussion. Instead, he says he was sent back onto the field play too quickly, and as a result, developed worsened concussion symptoms. Those same symptoms prematurely ended his career, and continue to plague him to this day.

Common symptoms of brain aneurysms

While it’s reasonable to put one’s trust in Seattle health care workers, every day errors and oversights are made that can greatly imperil the health and well-being of patients. This is particularly true when it comes to brain aneurysms, as the symptoms associated with this disorder can mimic that of many other conditions. Accordingly, knowing the common signs of a brain aneurysm is essential to getting the proper treatment in a timely manner.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the symptoms one experiences are largely dependent on what type of aneurysm it is. For instance, bleeding or leaking aneurysms usually result in a headache of extreme severity that appears suddenly. The sudden onset of a severe headache is also associated with ruptured aneurysms, among many other symptoms.