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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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patient formA patient’s medical file contains vital information regarding a person’s history of illness, his or her family medical history, information about any allergies, and any medications the patient may be using. When these records are not kept up to date, patients can be at risk of serious harm. If you have suffered medical malpractice resulting from errors in electronic records, you may be able to recover compensation for your harm. At Arfaa Law Group, our skilled Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys are committed to protecting your rights at every step of the way.

A team of researchers at MedStar, a not-for-profit health care organization headquartered in Maryland, examined almost two million reports of safety hazards from clinics in Pennsylvania and the mid-Atlantic region. Of the total, 557 explicitly stated that there was an issue with electronic health records (EHRs) that put a patient in danger.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, noted that while EHRs have reduced certain kinds of medication mistakes compared to paper charts, the software can be challenging to use. In fact, “usability issues” ranging from data entry and display to defaults and drug orders contributed to patient harm. Consider the following example. In the United States, the medical community tends to weigh in pounds, so most scales are in pounds. However, in one case examined by the study, the EHR allowed a clinician to record a child’s weight in kilograms as opposed to pounds, which could have led to a serious overdose in medications that are based on their weight.

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hospitalIf you or your loved one has been injured by a medical professional’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your harm. At Arfaa Law Group, our Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys can provide aggressive legal representation to you throughout the process. We understand that dealing with an adverse health outcome can be stressful, which is why we will handle your case with the utmost compassion.

In a recent study conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) published in the journal mBio, scientists conducted a five-year study to explore the NIH hospital in Bethesda, Maryland to understand in a deeper way how hazardous, antibiotic-resistant bacteria live and develop. Often, bacteria thrive in hospital settings. Since very sick patients are sometimes treated with antibiotics of last resort, hospitals can become warehouses for multi-drug resistant bacteria, which can be easily transferred through tiny pieces of genetic material called “plasmids.” The NIH found that, many times, these plasmids live under the sink and in the plumbing. In fact, the bacteria from different sources mix and match, sharing their drug-resistant plasmid pieces.

The study found that the dangerous plasmids found in sewers and plumbing did not seem to be a contributing factor to increased infections among hospitalized patients. The safety protocols being taken at the hospital to control infections are working. However, while the bacteria from the plumbing is not reaching patients and increasing infection rates, there is still a huge storehouse of general material present in the plumbing and backwater of the hospital sewer system.

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columnIf you or a member of your family has been harmed by a medical professional’s negligence, you need to reach out to a seasoned Baltimore medical malpractice attorney who can help. At Arfaa Law Group, not only do we understand how to navigate complex medical malpractice cases, but also we understand the procedural rules that must be followed in these cases. With years of experience, we can help your family and you pursue the compensation you need to move on with your life after a medical injury.

Medical malpractice litigation generally requires using expert witnesses. These witnesses are necessary to help the jury understand medical issues that may be at issue in a malpractice trial. In Maryland, expert testimony may be admitted if the court decides that the testimony will help the trier of fact (either the judge or the jury) understand the evidence or determine a fact at issue in the case.

Under Maryland law, an expert in a malpractice claim opining on the “standard of care” cannot devote in excess of 20 percent of their professional activities to courtroom testimony. Put simply, you cannot call as a witness on the standard of care anyone who spends more than one day a week out of five working as an expert witness. The idea behind this rule is to discourage the use of “professional experts” or so-called “hired gun” doctors who simply travel to testify as opposed to seeing patients. While the principle makes sense, the 20% requirement may seem arbitrary to some.

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