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phoneDistracted doctoring is a growing patient safety issue that can jeopardize patient health. While smartphones can undoubtedly offer improved communication and quick data access for medical professionals, these devices can also be a distraction. If you or someone close to you has suffered harm due to distracted doctoring, you may be entitled to compensation for your harm. At Arfaa Law Group, our highly skilled Baltimore medical malpractice team can help you navigate these challenging cases.

A doctor engages in “distracted doctoring” when he or she takes attention away from a patient. As doctors use more devices, the potential for distraction grows. In fact, it has become more and more common for medical professionals to be texting, surfing the Internet and even posting on Facebook while busy in surgery. Consider the following. In a 2010 peer-reviewed survey of 439 medical practitioners involved in performing cardiopulmonary bypasses, more than 50 percent admited to using a cellphone during the procedure. Specifically, nearly half acknowledged sending text message and nearly a quarter reported to accessing email while performing the surgery.

In addition to affecting individual efficiency, smartphones can also interfere with highly technical medical equipment. These devices can introduce viruses and bacteria into the space, which can pose infection hazards. To minimize some of these risks, some medical facilities have chosen to limit the use of electronic devices in certain settings.

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stethoscopePhysician burnout is an increasingly common issue in healthcare that can seriously jeopardize a patient’s health. If you believe that you suffered harm due to a medical professional’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your harm. At Arfaa Law Group, our seasoned Baltimore medical malpractice team can help you understand your legal rights and options. With extensive experience, we understand the nuances of this area of law.

Physician burnout is a serious epidemic in the United States. Burnout among physicians generally refers to a loss of enthusiasm for one’s work, a decline in satisfaction and joy and an increase in detachment, emotional exhaustion and cynicism. In short, burnout is a state of chronic stress. According to one study, nearly two-thirds of U.S. doctors experience burnout, depression or both. These results are consistent with a prior study conduced by the Mayo Clinic that found that about 46 percent of the 7,200 doctors surveyed showed signs of burnout. The rate was 10 percent higher than the rest of the population. Research shows that doctors who suffer from burnout take less interest in their patients, are less empathic and are more prone to mistakes.

Burnout is often the underlying cause of medical mistakes that can lead to serious patient harm. If a doctor’s error, misconduct or wrongdoing causes patient injury or death, that doctor may be liable under a medical malpractice claim. Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional, by act or omission, fails to adhere to the accepted standard of practice in the medical community and causes injury or death to the patient. In all medical malpractice cases, the doctor’s deviation from the appropriate standard of care must have been a direct cause of the patient’s harm. In other words, a harmless error is not compensable under the law. To establish medical malpractice, the plaintiff must demonstrate the following criteria:

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hammerWhen you seek medical attention of any kind, you expect to receive competent care. If you or someone close to you has been injured due to a medical professional’s negligence, you may be able to recover compensation through a medical malpractice claim. At Arfaa Law Group, our skilled Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys understand this area of law and can help you explore your legal rights and options.

Medical malpractice laws are always changing, and it is imperative for your attorney to be aware of legal developments that may affect your case. Consider the following. A pending decision by Maryland’s highest court could change the standard that jurors will be instructed to use in assessing these cases.

For over a century, negligence in Maryland medical malpractice cases has been guided by the “reasonably competent” physician standard of care – a standard of which juries and judges are informed through expert testimony. However, in the case of Armacost v. Davis, a Baltimore County Court judge permitted jurors to also consider what a layperson would deem reasonable under the circumstances.

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surgical lightingCosmetic and plastic surgeries are more popular than ever. These procedures are intended to improve people’s appearances, yet they can do more harm than good when not performed properly. If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries as a result of medical malpractice during cosmetic surgery, you need to reach out to a skilled Baltimore surgical malpractice attorney who can help.

Last week, we covered the story about the “dancing doctor” from Georgia. This week, we dive deeper into one of the patients she hurt.

One 54-year-old woman was left brain damaged after undergoing cosmetic surgery just weeks before her wedding after going to the medical spa and cosmetic surgery center of Dr. Windell Boutte. While she initially went for Botox and anti-wrinkle treatment, the staff recommended a procedure that would give the bride-to-be a flat stomach prior to her wedding. Boutte’s website promoted her as a “doctor to the stars.”

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surgeonWhen you undergo surgery, you expect to receive competent care. Unfortunately, not all patients receive the level of care they are owed. If you or someone close to you has suffered an injury due to a surgeon’s negligence, we can help. At Arfaa Law Group, our Baltimore surgical malpractice attorneys will help you pursue the compensation you deserve for your harm. We understand this is a stressful time, which is why you can expect the utmost compassion from our entire team.

Earlier this month, a Georgia doctor made headlines for singing, rapping, and dancing during plastic surgeries. Dubbed the “dancing doctor,” Dr. Windell Davis-Boutte can be seen in one video cutting into a patient’s abdomen in sync with the beat of O.T. Genasis’ song “Cut it” as she sings along. In another video posted to the doctor’s public YouTube channel, the Atlanta-based board-certified dermatologist dances with surgical tools in each hand but without a surgical mask or gloves. She then leans over the top of a patient’s bare buttocks as she raps, her assistants act as back up dancers, and the camera zooms into the patient’s bare buttocks. The videos have since been deleted.

Now, Doctor Boutte is facing at least five malpractice lawsuits. She has reached four settlements. Female patients claim they have suffered infections, disfigurement, and even brain damage following procedures performed by Boutte. An attorney representing three women in cases against the dermatologist says nearly 100 other women have contacted her office to claim they also suffered injuries under the doctor’s scalpel. At least two former patients said they identified themselves in the doctor’s videos.

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babyHaving a baby is supposed to be one of life’s most joyous moments, but it can quickly become devastating if anything goes wrong. If you or someone close to you has suffered a fertility issue that you believe was caused by a doctor’s negligence, you need to reach out to a skilled Baltimore birth injury attorney who can help.

Recently, a couple in their 30s was having difficulty conceiving a child. They consulted an obstetrician and infertility doctor. The couple and the doctor agreed to use a gestational carrier. The couple picked a surrogate and sent the candidate to the fertility doctor for medical screening. The doctor informed the couple that everything was clear and did not indicate that the surrogate had any kind of condition in her medical history that would interfere with the pregnancy.

The surrogate gave birth to the couple’s child 25 weeks after developing preeclampsia during the pregnancy. The newborn child developed sepsis and died just three weeks after birth. The couple filed a malpractice claim against the fertility doctor, stating that the doctor failed to scrutinize the surrogate’s medical records prior to clearing her.

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diagnosisNo one wants to be a victim of medical malpractice. While most doctors and medical professionals try their best to make a proper diagnosis, some make errors or miss things that can lead to serious harm. At Arfaa Law Group, we represent victims of medical malpractice, including cases of failures to diagnose or misdiagnoses. With years of experience, our Baltimore misdiagnosis attorneys understand how to protect your rights at every step of the way.

Errors relating to diagnosis were the largest source of medical malpractice claims between 2013 and 2017, according to a recent report published by malpractice service providers Corveys. The study reviewed 10,618 medical malpractice claims over the four-year time span. It found that 33 percent of malpractice claims were related to patient diagnosis, and half of those claims involved poor clinical decisions. Diagnosis-related malpractice claims beat out all other reasons for malpractice claims. While other causes of medical malpractice claims have decreased over the years, diagnosis-related claims have not.

There were many reasons for these types of errors. Approximately 33 percent of diagnosis-related claims took place due to the doctors failing to assess the patient properly, whereas 52 percent of the claims involved mistakes relating to lab testing. Physicians selected the wrong test, inadequately performed the test, or misinterpreted the results. Many times, doctors missed information that was contained in long files. In other cases, a misdiagnosis took place because doctors had too much work and too little time.

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emergencyEmergency departments (ED) across the country help countless people on a daily basis and are undoubtedly critical to our health care system. However, when a medical professional in an emergency department makes a mistake, the consequences can be devastating. If this has happened to you or someone close to you, you need to reach out to a seasoned Baltimore medical malpractice attorney who can help. With years of experience, we understand how to navigate these complex claims.

A recent study by the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) found that nearly 50 percent of all health care in the United States is delivered in emergency departments. The finding confirms what hospital medical laboratories have known for a long time. UMSOM researchers say their study, which was published in the International Journal for Health Services, is the first study to quantify the contribution that emergency departments make to national health care. Their findings revealed that 47.7 percent of all hospital-associated medical care between 1996 and 2010 was delivered by emergency room departments. In addition, there were about 130 million visits to hospital emergency departments, as compared to the 101 million outpatient visits in 2010.

With such a high percentage of health care being delivered through EDs, it is no surprise that the rate of malpractice is also high in these settings. The American Medical Association estimates that almost half of the 225,000 deaths caused by malpractice occur due to emergency room errors. Emergency department malpractice is a type of medical malpractice that involves improper conduct on the part of the medical professional in the ED. Under Maryland law, malpractice takes place when the medical professional breaches the standard of care, causing injuries or death to the patient. The standard of care denotes the level of care that a reasonably prudent surgeon would have used in the same or similar circumstances.

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babyMistakes on the part of a gynecologist can pose significant dangers and cause serious harm to both the mother and the child. If you or your loved one has been hurt as a result of OBGYN medical malpractice, you need to reach out to a seasoned Baltimore medical malpractice lawyer who can analyze your case. You can rest assured that we are committed to helping you obtain the compensation you rightfully deserve for your harm.

Hospitalists play an important role in health care. A hospitalist is a dedicated in-patient physician who works exclusively in a hospital. An obstetric or OBGYN hospitalist is an obstetrician and gynecologist physician who is either an employee or an independent contractor whose duties include providing care for laboring patients and managing obstetric emergencies. Hospitalists aim to reduce the confusion of a hospital stay and guide patients through their treatment.

According to Dr. Mark Simon, chief medical officer of the OB Hospitalist Group, when physicians partner with hospitalists, the risk of malpractice can decrease because tired and overworked OBGYNs can take a night off and have their patients be treated by a competent medical professional. This also helps with burnout issues and can mitigate malpractice lawsuits. In fact, one large health system that partnered with an OB hospitalist group cut its severe harm events by 31 percent.

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operationSurgical errors can have devastating consequences for a patient and his or her family. In the worst cases, these errors can lead to a patient’s death. When surgeons cause preventable harm, they may be liable for malpractice. If you believe that you or someone close to you was injured by a surgeon’s mistake or carelessness, we can help. At Arfaa Law Group, our diligent Baltimore surgical malpractice attorneys can scrutinize the facts of your case and decide the feasibility of your claim.

In Barbosa v. Osbourne, a Maryland high court recently held that a patient’s mistreatment of himself or herself prior to seeking medical care cannot later serve as a physician’s defense against a malpractice claim. In other words, the pre-treatment conduct of a patient is irrelevant in determining whether a physician is liable for violating the standard of care in rendering medical services to that patient.

The facts of the case are as follows. The plaintiffs filed a medical malpractice case against the defendant physician, claiming that the doctor negligently cut the plaintiff’s bile duct while surgically removing his inflamed gallbladder. As a defense, the defendant invoked the plaintiff’s supposed contributory negligence in failing to seek treatment for his severe abdominal pains in a timely manner. The court ultimately concluded that since the plaintiff’s alleged negligence preceded any medical treatment that the plaintiff received from the doctor, the defendant’s contributory negligence defense had no basis in the law.

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