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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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medical equipmentMedical professionals have an obligation to be diligent when diagnosing and recommending treatment for patients. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. If you have suffered harm due to a health care provider’s misdiagnosis of your condition, the seasoned Maryland misdiagnosis attorneys at Arfaa Law Group can help. We understand how to navigate these cases and help seek the compensation our clients deserve.

A study recently released by WalletHub dubbed Maryland one of the worst states in the country for doctors. In fact, Maryland is the 7th worst state for doctors, ranking 44th out of the 51 states.

The study compared states on a number of metrics, including annual salaries, starting salaries, hospitals per capita, cost of malpractice insurance, hospital quality competition, and how much was awarded in malpractice per capita. In general, Maryland tends to have a higher cost of living, lower wages, and higher costs of malpractice insurance when compared to most other states. Other states that are in the top 10 worst states for doctors in 2018 include Illinois, California, Oregon, Massachusetts, Washington, D.C., Hawaii, New York, Rhode Island, and New Jersey.

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doctorHave you or someone you love been harmed by a medical mistake at a hospital? If so, you should reach out to a seasoned Baltimore hospital malpractice attorney who can help you understand your rights. At Arfaa Law Group, we can seek a settlement that is appropriate for the losses that you have incurred, but we are also prepared to advocate for your rights at trial if necessary. You can trust that we are prepared to aggressively assert your rights and get you the compensation you need to move on with your life.

A study recently issued by The Doctors Company reveals that the allegations in medical malpractice lawsuits against nurse practitioners (NPs) do not differ drastically from those made against primary care doctors. The study by the country’s largest physician-owned medical malpractice insurer is based on almost 1,500 claims filed against NPs and family medicine and internal medicine doctors between the dates of January 2011 and December 2015. The key findings from the study were as follows:

  • Diagnosis-related and medication-related claims were similar for NPs and primary care doctors;
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hospitalNo one should be denied emergency medical care due to an inability or perceived inability to pay for it. If you or someone close to you has been injured due to patient dumping, a skilled Baltimore hospital negligence attorney can help. At Arfaa Law Group, we are dedicated to getting our clients the justice and compensation they deserve for their harm.

Earlier this year, a video showing four hospital security guards at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore dropping a patient off at a bus stop in freezing weather, wearing nothing but a hospital gown, went viral. The 22-year-old patient with Asperger Syndrome was a victim of “patient dumping.” Patient dumping can take place in a number of ways, including but not limited to situations in which a hospital:

    • Turns away someone in need of emergency care;