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Seattle Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Get a second opinion to avoid a misdiagnosis

As a patient with an injury or illness, you want to make sure you get the right care to resolve the problems you face. You go to your medical provider, and you make sure that your provider diagnoses the issue. The provider sends out the findings to get lab results or the opinion of other medical teams, too.

The problem occurs when paperwork gets mixed up or when the wrong diagnosis is made based on the evidence. A patient could then go through an unnecessary treatment or a treatment that doesn't resolve the problems they're dealing with.

Surgical errors are "never events"

A major surgical error occurs when a surgeon fails to perform his or her duties according to generally accepted standards of good medical practice. At Miracle, Pruzan & Pruzan, we agree with hospital administrators and employees who refer to major surgical errors as "never events" because they should never happen in the first place. Nevertheless, the unfortunate reality is that "never events" do occur in hospitals around the country, including Washington. While they do not happen often, they happen more often than they should.

Even a prestigious medical facility like the Mayo Clinic is not immune; among 1.5 million invasive procedures performed there over the course of a five-year study, researchers identified 69 "never events." The most common "never event" to occur in the Mayo Clinic study was performing the wrong procedure, while the least common was putting in the wrong implant. Other "never events" tracked by the study included leaving foreign objects inside patients' bodies and performing surgery at the wrong location or on the wrong side.

Husband seeks justice for wife's postpartum death

Expectant parents in Washington State should be able to enjoy the day that they bring their children into the world. However, for some people, the very day that should be one of the happiest days of their lives can too easily become one of the most tragic if either the mother or the baby experiences difficulties during or after birth. Should such a situation occur, prompt and appropriate medical response can be critical. The lack of this response is something people should be able to seek compensation for but apparently, not everyone can do so.

In a story reported by Q13Fox.com, a husband and father has been searching for justice for four years after his wife died only hours after giving birth to their daughter. Both spouses were active military members at the time of the woman's death. The wife was a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy and the husband was with the U.S. Coast Guard based in Seattle. The baby was born at a naval hospital in Bremerton where the woman was considered a service member. If she had delivered her baby at a Coast Guard hospital, she would have been considered the spouse of a service member.

Preventable medical errors are more common than you think

Hospitals are places where people in Washington go to get better.  Unfortunately, that is not always the case. If you have a loved one who went to the hospital, then experienced a worsened medical condition and died, it could be the result of a doctor mistake. At Miracle Pruzan & Pruzan we represent clients who have lost a loved one due to a preventable medical error.

According to U.S. News & World Report, there are more than 200,000 preventable deaths in hospitals each year. Up to 20 times more patients may suffer from non-fatal errors. There are steps you can take to help stop them from happening to your loved ones.

Woman sues hospital for negligent credentialing

Patients seeking care at hospitals and medical centers in Seattle go in with one basic expectation: that the clinicians treating them are qualified to do. This may come from a handful of assumptions, among them being that a doctor would not dream of offering to perform a service they were not qualified to do, and that a facility would never open themselves up to liability by putting a provider in a position to do so. If and when those assumptions are proven to be false, one may wonder who is to blame: the doctor or the facility? 

At least in the case of an Illinois woman, it is the facility. The woman recently brought action against the hospital whose surgeon operated on the wrong area of her body. Surprisingly, the surgeon is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit, nor is the case deemed to be a medical malpractice claim. Instead, the woman is suing the hospital for negligent credentialing, claiming that had they properly investigated the surgeon's background, the fact that she was not qualified to perform the procedures that she did would have been discovered. Healthcare industry experts say that information regarding a doctor's background is available through state medical boards and national data banks, yet some facilities do indeed hire doctors without consulting such resources. 

What are possible dosing errors during surgery?

When you go in for an operation at your local Washington hospital, you want to feel secure that your surgery staff will properly administer any medication they need to give you so that you may complete the operation without a problem. However, as Elcam Medical points out, every year medical errors result in the deaths of 251,000 people, which include incorrect dosages of medication for surgery. These incorrect dosages can have serious or even fatal consequences.

Medical professionals administer anesthesia so that a surgery patient can be put under and not feel pain during the operation. However, if a member of the surgery team dispenses the wrong dosage to the patient, it can create serious problems. An excessive dose of anesthesia can more deeply sedate the patient and possibly put the patient into a prolonged coma, and can also create dangerous health conditions like nerve damage or heart problems.

Doctors may miss women's signs of a heart attack. Here's why.

People often assume that heart attack symptoms are obvious. Perhaps we've seen it so many times in the movies: Someone stops talking, grabs their arm and collapses. We feel like every heart attack looks the same and that it will be clear if someone is having one.

However, the reality is that symptoms often look different. There are a variety of factors to take into account, including gender. Symptoms can occur differently for men and women. Even when they're similar, each individual may have a rather unique experience.

How do medical misdiagnoses happen?

Washington residents trust medical professionals to do everything they can to help treat their conditions, catch problems before they become too big, and provide help. When that doesn't happen, Miracle Pruzan & Pruzan, attorneys at law, are here to help as you determine what move to make next.

The first thing to understand is that it can be difficult to prove whether or not a diagnosis failure was due to hospital staff negligence, whether partially or fully. There are some cases in which the symptoms simply don't present in a way that can be detected, even by professionals. Other times, symptoms may present so quickly or unusually that doctors or medical staff don't realize what they're looking at.

Maternal death and injury report triggers Congressional action

Many advances that have improved safety for mothers and babies during labor and delivery have taken place over the course of the past several generations. Because of this some people in Washington State might find it easy to forget that childbirth is a major medical event, one that may include complications and emergencies and the need for prompt response. A report published this summer by USA Today highlights that, despite medical advances, too many mothers die or experience serious injuries while giving birth to their children.

The report indicated that as many as 700 maternal deaths and more than 50,000 serious injuries to mothers occur every year. In response to these alarming statistics, the House Committee on Ways and Means has ordered the country's 15 largest health care systems to provide important documentation on this matter. One of the health care systems that is part of this investigation is Providence St. Joseph Health in Renton, Washington.

What can cause injuries at birth?

If your baby was injured during the labor and delivery process, you likely have a lot of questions, the biggest of which is ? Oftentimes, birth injuries come down to the negligence of the attending doctors and nurses.

According to FindLaw, birth injuries can happen for any number of reasons. If you want to file a medical malpractice claim, it is important to understand the more common birth injuries and how they occur.