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nursing home

If you or your loved one has suffered harm while in a nursing home, you may be entitled to compensation. At Arfaa Law Group, our Baltimore nursing home negligence attorneys can examine the facts of your case and determine if malpractice took place.

The Court of Appeals of Maryland, Maryland’s highest court, has partially restored a case alleging a nursing home allowed a patient to fall twice in the same day, holding it was inappropriately directed to arbitration because the negligence claims in the case did not involve any aspect of medical malpractice. Thus, it was not subject to alternative dispute resolution, as the lower courts had held.

The issue in the case was whether claims for negligence and related claims have alleged a “medical injury” within the meaning of Maryland medical malpractice law, specifically, the Health Care Malpractice Claims Act (HCA).

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backDoctors and other medical professionals have a duty to treat their patients with the utmost care and respect. Unfortunately, this does not always happen, and medical professionals end up abusing their patients in some way. If you or someone close to you has suffered sexual abuse by a doctor or medical professional, we can help. At Arfaa Law Group, our Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys can examine the facts of your case and help you determine your legal options.

A former USA Gymnastics doctor, Larry Nassar, has been all over the news lately for sexually abusing his patients. The list of known victims has grown to 265, and he was recently sentenced to 175 years in prison for the decades of abuse that took place. His victims included Olympic gold medal winners Aly Raisman and Jordyn Wieber. Unfortunately, sexual misconduct by medical doctors is more common than you may think.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution analyzed more than 100,000 medical disciplinary records dating back to 1999 and discovered that more than 3,100 doctors across the country had been found guilty of sexual misconduct. More than 2,400 doctors’ cases clearly involved patients. The improprieties included abusing patients, harassing employees, and viewing child pornography. Perhaps the most shocking finding of the report, however, was that half of the physicians disciplined for abusing patients still have medical licenses. In another survey of nearly 500 women conducted by the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), 27 percent said they had been violated by a doctor; the doctor’s behavior ranged from lewd comments to masturbation, wrongful touching, and even rape.

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surgeryEven though a patient wants to undergo a certain elective surgery, that does not mean he or she is a good candidate for that procedure. If you or someone close to you has been injured or has died as a result of elective surgery, it is important to reach out to a skilled Baltimore surgical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. At Arfaa Law Group, we can assess the merits of your case and determine the viability of your claim. You can rest assured that we are prepared to vigorously advocate for your rights at trial.

In a recent Maryland medical malpractice case, the jury awarded a significant sum of money to the family of a man who died from heart complications following elective back surgery. The patient had a well-documented medical history of cardiac disease, with labs indicating aortic valve dysfunction, and he had been under the care of a cardiologist. He was 64 years old when he went to his doctor to be cleared for surgery in 2013. The clearance was given after an electrocardiogram (EKG). The EKG showed persistent right bundle branch block, which typically mandates a trip to the cardiologist before clearance. In this case, clearance was given and was not conditioned on the cardiologist’s approval. As a result, the man underwent surgery and ultimately died; his wife and three adult children survived him.

The patient’s surviving family members filed a wrongful death medical malpractice claim, alleging that the cardiac disease was too serious to allow elective surgery and that the physician should not have cleared the patient. The plaintiffs in the case argued that the patient would not have died if the doctor had properly referred the man to a cardiologist for evaluation. The jury agreed and awarded the plaintiffs medical malpractice damages.

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skinThe skin is the largest organ of the body and is essentially our first line of defense against disease, bacteria, infection, and other maladies. As a result, when you visit a dermatologist with a skin issue, you expect to receive competent care. If you or someone close to you has suffered an injury as a result of a dermatology error, we can help. At Arfaa Law Group, we are dedicated to getting our clients the compensation they deserve for their harm so that they can move on with their lives.

According to a recent study that analyzed characteristics of medical liability claims against dermatologists from 1991 to 2015, female dermatologists were sued less often than their male counterparts. The reason was that female dermatologists were better communicators and engaged in more patient-centered communication. As a result, male physicians were 2.5 times more likely to be sued for medical malpractice than their female colleagues. The study analyzed 90,743 closed claims and determined that nearly 70 percent of lawsuits were against male physicians.

The study, which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that improper performance of a procedure (i.e., medical errors in skin operations) and misdiagnosis were the two most common medical errors associated with the 1,084 closed medical malpractice claims in dermatology as well as all fields of medicine. While dermatologists have seen a 2.5 reduction of closed claims in the past 20 years, this is a slight shift when compared to the 17.9 percent reduction noted for all specialties.

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american flagThe Veterans Health Administration is the component of the United States Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) that, among other things, implements medical assistance programs for veterans. People who are eligible for VA health care benefit programs must have served in the active military, naval, or air service and left the service under any condition other than dishonorable. If you or someone close to you has been harmed due to the negligence of a VA doctor, you need to speak to a seasoned Baltimore hospital negligence attorney who can evaluate the facts of your case.

Unfortunately, medical malpractice at VA hospitals is more common than you may think. The VA pays out an average of $100 million each year to settle more than 3,000 medical malpractice lawsuits. According to a recent USA Today investigation, the Department of Veteran Affairs has knowingly hired doctors who had a history of misconduct allegations, licensing problems, malpractice accusations, and patient settlements.

Medical malpractice claims can have many causes, including:

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backThe spine is central to our ability to sense and function normally. As a result, spinal surgery is daunting, and dural tears during such surgery can have serious consequences. An incidental durotomy refers to small tears of the outer membrane of the spinal cord and is a common occurrence in spinal surgery. In some cases, the tear is unavoidable. In most cases in which a tear occurs, the surgeon will identify it and repair it in a second procedure without any long-term consequences to the patient. If the dural tear is undetected, however, it can cause serious health problems for a patient. If you or someone close to you has been injured due to a dural tear, it is important to reach out to a diligent Baltimore surgical error attorney who can help you pursue the compensation you deserve for your harm.

A recent study, entitled Medical Malpractice Claims Following Incidental Durotomy Due to Spinal Surgery, examined the role of durotomy in malpractice cases. The study found that delayed diagnosis and treatment of durotomy and improper durotomy repair correlated with risk of malpractice lawsuits and increased surgeon liability. In other words, medical malpractice claims arose when dural tears were not discovered in time and led to spinal fluid leaks and other conditions. The findings highlighted that claims involving minor tears did not result in a settlement as often, whereas dural tears that led to neurological complications or even death were more likely to be successful.

Surgical mistakes denote errors that are avoidable with proper care. Under Maryland law, individuals who have suffered harm due to a spinal surgery error can typically seek compensation through a medical malpractice claim. Medical malpractice is defined as a medical professional’s failure to follow the accepted standard of care for their specialty, resulting in patient harm. In other words, surgery malpractice takes place when a surgeon causes harm because his or her conduct deviated from the standard of care that a prudent surgeon performing the same spinal cord surgery would have used under the same circumstances. As a result, if a surgeon fails to recognize a dural tear and then does not perform a second operation to fix it, that surgeon would likely be liable for malpractice.

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eye

The United States Food and Drug Administration reports that approximately 600,000 Lasik procedures are performed each year in the United States. While the procedure is generally safe, the reality is that mistakes do happen. Some of these mistakes can lead to long-term, even permanent harm to a patient. If you have suffered an eye injury due to a Lasik error, you need to consult a skilled Baltimore ophthalmology malpractice lawyer who can assess the facts of your case.

Earlier this year, a Baltimore man sued the Lasik Vision Institute and one of its physicians for medical malpractice after getting surgery that left him with permanent damage in both eyes. Specifically, the plaintiff alleged that the doctor mistakenly programmed the laser and doubled the plaintiff’s astigmatism in his left eye during his Lasik procedure. The plaintiff claims that he later found out that he was not a good candidate for Lasik eye surgery, due to a lazy right eye.

At his initial consultation, the plaintiff was informed that he was a good candidate for the Lasik procedure, since he did not have prior eye conditions that would preclude him from having the procedure. Once the plaintiff underwent the procedure, he was not able to see. At his follow up appointment, he was told his symptoms were part of the normal healing process. When the condition did not get better, the plaintiff ultimately had to go through a second, corrective surgery.

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marijuanaPatients have a right to be treated appropriately by health care providers who are diagnosing them and prescribing medications for them. If you or your loved one has been harmed by a medical professional’s prescription or recommendation regarding a drug, you need to consult a Baltimore medication error attorney as soon as possible.

The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission records list a total of 520 eligible medical marijuana providers statewide. The first batch of medical marijuana is expected to hit the market before the end of the year. Although it was legalized in 2013, the rollout has been slow due to a variety of reasons. In Maryland, the law limits the use of medical marijuana to patients with certain documented health conditions, such as wasting syndrome, severe pain, glaucoma, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Of course, this is not an exhaustive list.

Some Maryland physicians are worried about the possibility of medical malpractice lawsuits stemming from the use of medical marijuana. In an effort to address this, one doctor has created a legal release form for patients to sign. If patients don’t sign it, he won’t “recommend” the marijuana. The term “recommendation” is used over “prescription” because federal law still prohibits the prescription of marijuana, so many physicians use the term to shield themselves from potential liability.

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patient formUnfortunately, medical malpractice is the third-leading cause of death in the United States, according to a 2016 Johns Hopkins study. If you or someone close to you has been injured by a negligent medical professional, you should reach out to a skilled Baltimore medical malpractice attorney who can assess the merits of your case. At Arfaa Law Group, we understand this area of the law and can apply our knowledge to your case.

A new study, entitled Patients’ Experiences with Communication-and-Resolution Programs After Medical Injury, conducted by the Journal of the American Medical Association found that patients who have suffered an injury due to medical malpractice feel better when medical staff, particularly the physician who made the mistake, listen attentively to what they have to say about the experience.

The interview study of 40 patients, family members, and hospital staff revealed that patients have a strong need to be heard after a medical injury that is often unmet. Patients also wanted to know what the hospital or medical facility was doing to make sure the same error does not harm other patients. While 18 of 30 patient and family participants reported positive experiences with communication-and-resolution programs overall and continued to receive care at the hospital, they said hospitals seldom communicated information about efforts to prevent recurrences.

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operationUnfortunately, surgery errors are common in Maryland and across the United States. If you or someone close to you has been injured by a surgery error, you should reach out to a skilled Baltimore surgical malpractice attorney who understands this area of the law. At Arfaa Law Group, we are dedicated to protecting patient rights at every step of the way.

A survey (login required) conducted by Medscape last year found that 59 percent of more than 4,000 primary-care physicians in the United States were involved in one or more medical malpractice claims during their career. Across specialties, male physicians are more likely to be sued than female physicians. And indeed, more male general surgeons (85 percent) were sued than female general surgeons (74 percent). The study found that general surgeons faced the third-highest risk of getting sued. In fact, the survey revealed that 83 percent of surgeons have been involved in malpractice lawsuits.

When general surgeons were asked about the nature of lawsuits that they faced, they had a variety of answers:  44 percent of lawsuits the general surgeons faced involved an abnormal injury; 21 percent of the lawsuits were for a failure to diagnose; and nine percent were for a failure to treat. The specific claims against surgeons involved post-operative infections, pain, bleeding, embolisms, and injuries to a common bile duct, nerve, vein or artery, or organ, as well as the death of a patient, a foreign object in the body, a delay in treatment, unnecessary surgery, complications from undiagnosed conditions, and complications from patient non-compliance.

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