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Seattle Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Birth injuries: What is cerebral palsy?

Sometimes a baby is born with a serious and debilitating injury that doesn't heal or get better. Babies who are born with birth injuries may require special and costly medical care and other services throughout their lives. In some cases, these special needs children may never be able to live fully independent lives.

Due to the seriousness of many birth injury conditions, parents will usually want to know how and why the injury occurred. Take cerebral palsy, for example. This neurological disorder can permanently affect a baby's muscle coordination leaving a person disabled for his or her entire life.

Defining surgical never events

To say that something should never happen may seem quite drastic (after all, human error has to be accounted for in almost any situation, right?). However, in certain areas, that should not be an unrealistic expectation. Healthcare is certainly one of them. Many of those that our team here at Miracle Pruzan & Pruzan have worked with in Seattle have failed to have that expectation met due to a medical or (worse yet) surgical mistake. If and when you suffer due to a surgical error, you might justly question how such a blunder could have even happened. 

The healthcare community asks the same question. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the National Quality Forum has defined shocking medical errors that not occur under any circumstances as "never events." Since first establishing this list in 2001, the number of events included in it has grown to the point of dividing them into different categories. Surgical errors make up a category all their own. 

How do misdiagnoses occur?

When Washington state residents go to a doctor for medical attention, the possibility of being misdiagnosed likely isn't on their mind. Unfortunately, misdiagnoses do happen. If you have suffered because of a medical misdiagnosis, Miracle Pruzan & Pruzan, attorneys at law, are here to help you get the compensation you deserve.

Medical misdiagnoses can happen for a number of reasons. In some cases, it's because the symptoms of your actual ailment closely mimic the symptoms of another, possibly more common one. Signs that you might be at risk for certain infections or diseases could be missed in the face of other, more pronounced symptoms. Genuine mistakes can lead to you not getting the treatment you need as quickly as you need it.

Medical errors to be spotlight on the big screen

As medical science continues to make advances in what is possible, another trend sadly continues. Patients in Washington State become the subjects of medical errors. In some situations, if they are lucky, people experience no injury or negative consequences from these errors. In other situations, however, serious injury and even death can occur. A new documentary is being released that attempts to highlight the grave nature of this reality.

The film is titled  and includes a series of interviews involving people who have personally been touched by a medical error as well as medical or industry professionals. Among the topics brought to life is communication about medical mistakes. Reports indicate that historically medical personnel have been instructed or trained not to speak about errors. Today, however, the paradigm is starting to shift and doctors and other health care workers are actively encouraged and trained to do so.

Premature birth and its associated dangers

Expecting mothers in Washington always hope for the best for their child. While the state of modern medicine makes healthy labor very common, it's also possible for issues to occur during childbirth. The possibility of a premature birth is one thing to consider.

What is premature birth? The American Pregnancy Association states that any baby born before the 37th week of the gestation period is considered a premature baby. These babies often face a higher rate of complications than babies born within the normal and expected time frame. The earlier a baby is born, the more potential complications they could be dealing with. They can include:

  • Jaundice
  • Infection
  • Intraventricular hemorrhage
  • Immature lung, gastrointestinal, or digestive systems
  • Sepsis
  • Inability to retain body heat

Patient poll evaluates medical mistakes

Despite an understandable desire to trust wholeheartedly in the care provided by doctors, nurses and other medical providers, Washington State residents know that they need to be proactive about their health care. This means they have to be aware of the fact that mistakes can and do happen. A poll conducted of patients by a group at the University of Chicago took a look at just what people have been experiencing in terms of medical errors today.

According to Beckers' Hospital Review, more than one out of every five people polled stated that they personally had experienced a mistake made by a health care professional involving themselves. Of these respondents, 32 percent reported learning about the mistakes from their health care provider, hospital, clinic or other facility. Another 45 percent said that they were the ones who informed health care providers or facilities of the errors.

2 types of errors that occur in emergency rooms

The Seattle area is home to some of the finest hospitals in the country. Many residents and tourists go to the emergency rooms when they are suffering from serious ailments and life-threatening injuries. The professionals they must rely on for treatment are the ones that might cause them further harm. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states annually, emergency rooms see more than 141 million patients. Patients are so confident in health care workers’ abilities and commitment to their jobs that they fail to realize how tired and overworked these individuals are and the likelihood of mistakes occurring. High-stress levels also increase the risk of near miss events and errors in health care settings, states MSU Today.

Medical malpractice: Find out what happened to your loved one

Imagine you brought your husband or wife to the medical facility for a routine surgery, but something went wrong and your spouse died on the operating table. No one seems to know why and your doctor won't give you a straight answer. The only information you get is, "Sometimes things like this happen."

It's doubtful that you will ever rest until you find out what went wrong. And once you do find out what went wrong, you might want to pursue financial restitution to hold the at-fault doctors, hospital or medical attendants legally responsible for their negligence.

Study highlights lack of error reporting

If you are like most people in Washington State, you want to believe that those you look to for health care for yourself or a family member will always have the patient's and family's best interest at heart. In most cases, this is likely true but there are times when it may not be the case. A lack of putting the patient first may be evidenced in a number of ways and one of these is not just about making a mistake.

Becker's Hospital Review indicates that one problem highlighted in a study published last year involves the lack of reporting of medical errors. The study was conducted at four different children's hospitals around the country for a period of roughly eight months. It looked at both mistakes that were made and any adverse events that may have resulted and that were reported by families of the pediatric patients.

What should expecting mothers know about uterine ruptures?

Expecting mothers in Seattle like you all wish that their children are born in perfect health. Unfortunately, complications can occur and accidents can happen in the heat of the moment. Uterine rupture is one such possible childbirth injury that can have potentially catastrophic results.

MedScape takes a look at uterine ruptures in pregnant women, which is an uncommon but potentially deadly phenomenon in which the myometrial wall is breached during childbirth. This rupture can be partial, with the peritoneum still remaining intact. It can also be a full rupture, where contents of the uterus such as the fetus spill out into the peritoneal cavity.