Articles Posted in Hospital Negligence

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wardUnfortunately, medical malpractice is common in Maryland and throughout the United States. If you were injured or you lost a loved one due to a medical professional’s error in a hospital setting, you may be able to seek compensation for your harm. At Arfaa Law Group, our seasoned Baltimore hospital malpractice attorney will thoroughly review the facts of your case and determine the viability of your claim.

The University of Maryland Medical Center, one of the nation’s oldest teaching hospitals, was recently found liable for medical malpractice in a case in which a patient was given a drug that destroyed his colon and ultimately led to his death.

The family of the deceased patient filed a claim against the hospital to seek damages for the death. The facts of the case are as follows. The patient was admitted to the hospital for kidney issues, and, during the treatment, he developed potassium levels that physicians noted were too high. To counteract the high potassium levels, physicians administered the drug Kayexalate.

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waiting roomIf you or someone close to you has been harmed by a physician’s negligence in a hospital setting, we can help. At Arfaa Law Group, our Baltimore hospital negligence attorneys understand how to navigate these types of claims and can put our knowledge to use in your case. You can rest assured that we will scrutinize the facts of your case and come up with a strategy to effectively respond to any motions for summary judgment that you may face in the process.

Under Maryland law, a party is entitled to summary judgment only when there is “no genuine issue as to any material fact, and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Put another way, the proponent of summary judgment must make a prima facie showing of their entitlement to summary judgment as a matter of law by demonstrating the absence of any material issues of fact in the case. Essentially, summary judgment is appropriate when the moving party establishes that the opposing party cannot win, even if all credibility conflicts are resolved in the opposing party’s favor. For instance, if a jurisdiction requires the plaintiff in a medical malpractice claim to produce an expert witness to establish the case, summary judgment may be proper if a plaintiff cannot produce a qualified expert.

This is actually what happened in the case of Hannon, et al. v. Mercy Medical Center, in which the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland affirmed the trial court granting summary judgment to the defendants in a Maryland medical malpractice case, prior to the scheduled trial, holding that the plaintiff failed to secure a medical expert to testify on their behalf during trial. This was sufficient reason for the trial court to grant the defendant’s motion for summary judgment.

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medicineHealth care providers, such as doctors and nurses, play a vital role in a patient’s treatment and recovery. When these health care providers make a medication error, it can have serious and long-term consequences for a patient’s health. If you or someone close to you was adversely affected by a medication error, you may be able to hold the at-fault party accountable and recover compensation for your harm. At Arfaa Law Group, our Baltimore prescription error attorneys can explore the facts of your case and advise you of your legal rights and options accordingly.

A recent study published by Clinical Toxicology reported that medication errors leading to adverse outcomes have doubled from the year 2000 to 2012. Unfortunately, medical professionals are responsible for 1.5 million medication errors each year in the United States, according to a report by The Institute of Medicine of the National Academics. These errors are often injurious to patients, leading to emergency situations, hospital stays, and, in some cases, even death. In fact, more people die each year from medication errors than from workplace injuries, as highlighted by the National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention.

Overall, the most common types of medication mistakes involved taking or giving the wrong medication or an incorrect dosage, as well as accidentally taking or giving the medication twice. These medication errors were also very common among children. Approximately one-third of medication errors resulted in hospital admission.

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operating roomSurgery is daunting and stressful enough without the prospect of something going wrong. A patient’s blood pressure should be monitored during and after surgery to make sure it does not reach unsafe levels, which can cause serious health risks. If you or someone close to you has been injured due to a medical professional’s failure to maintain blood pressure, you need to seek the help of a seasoned Baltimore medical negligence attorney who can assess the merits of your case.

Blood pressure measures the force of the heart pump at delivering oxygen-rich blood to the tissues. When blood pressure is too high, the heart has to work too hard to deliver blood. When blood pressure is too low, the heart is not pushing blood through the body with enough force for sufficient blood circulation. During a surgical procedure, anesthesiologists must monitor patients’ blood pressure to make sure it remains steady and stable. When blood pressure is not properly monitored, parts of your body may not be getting enough blood, leading to paralysis or amputations. After surgery, patients need to be monitored to avoid potentially lethal post-op complications.

The failure of an anesthesiologist to act reasonably may be considered medical malpractice if it results in harm to the patient. Put another way, medical malpractice occurs when a health care provider causes an injury or death to a patient by failing to act how a reasonably prudent health care provider in the same specialty would have acted in the same or similar circumstances. The causal connection between the health care provider’s actions or lack thereof and the harm suffered by the patient is typically the key to winning these cases.

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IVIntravenous (IV) therapy involves infusing liquid (i.e., blood or medication) directly into a vein. Unfortunately, the fluid in IV bags can become contaminated with bacteria that can adversely affect a patient’s health. If you or someone close to you has been injured or harmed by IV fluid contamination, you may be able to recover damages through a medical malpractice claim. At Arfaa Law Group, our seasoned Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers can examine the circumstances of your injury and determine who was at fault.

In recent years, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has investigated a number of instances of IV bag and fluid contamination. If IV bags are not properly sterilized and stored correctly, they can be a breeding ground for bacterial growth. When such contaminated fluids enter a patient’s bloodstream through an IV, the patient may suffer negative health consequences, including but not limited to:

  • Fever;
  • Flu-like illness;
  • Tachycardia;
  • Respiratory problems;
  • Sepsis;
  • Septic shock;
  • Endocarditis; or
  • Death.

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hospitalWhen a patient is in the hospital for any reason, medical professionals should only release that patient when it is safe to do so. When patients are released too soon, it is known as premature discharge. Premature discharge puts patients at risk for health issues that could have been managed at a hospital but cannot be managed at home. If you or someone close to you has suffered an injury due to premature discharge from the hospital, you should reach out to a reputable Baltimore medical malpractice attorney who can help.

There are many reasons a hospital may discharge a patient early. For instance, the hospital may be overcrowded, and there may be a concern about the number of beds or staff available. The hospital may also be extremely busy, and medical professionals may be in a rush to conclude cases. Sometimes, patients are prematurely released due to a medical professional’s error in judgment in not appreciating the risks of sending the patient home.

If you suffered harm as a result of premature discharge, you may be able to file a medical malpractice claim against the medical professional and even the hospital. In Maryland, medical malpractice occurs when a health care provider causes injuries or death by failing to use the level of care that another health care provider in the same specialty would have used under the same or similar circumstances. In the context of premature discharge cases, the judge will consider if a qualified medical professional would have discharged the patient under the same circumstances. If the answer is no, the next question will be whether the patient’s injury was a direct result of the premature discharge. If the answer is yes, the patient will likely be able to obtain compensation through a lawsuit.

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hospital bedWhile you may think that bed bugs are only an issue in hotels and private residences, the reality is they are also sometimes present in hospitals. If you or someone you love was harmed by a bed bug infestation at a hospital, it is important to reach out to a skilled Baltimore hospital negligence attorney who can evaluate the facts of your case. We can investigate your case and help you seek the compensation you deserve.

Bed bugs are parasitic insects that feed on the blood of humans. They are small, oval, and flat creatures and are typically brownish-red in color. Fortunately, bed bugs do not spread disease, but they do bite. People may react to the bite differently, depending on their individual sensitivities. As a result, some people have bite marks, while others may have an allergic reaction. The size of the bite can vary as well.

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bedrailAlthough bedrails are designed to improve safety, they are often the cause of injuries. If you have been injured in a hospital bed, we may be able to help. At Arfaa Law Group, our skilled Baltimore hospital negligence attorneys can advocate for your rights at every step of the way. You can trust that we will make every effort to get you the compensation you deserve in your case.

Bedrails are plastic or metal rails that run along the side of a bed to prevent people from accidentally falling. Unfortunately, bedrail injuries and deaths are more common than you think. Deaths and injuries often occur when the patient becomes stuck in the rails, mainly with his or her head or neck getting caught.

The Food and Drug Administration reports that since 1985, nearly 1,000 elderly care patients have been caught, trapped, or entangled in the bedrails of their hospital beds. This includes over 500 bedrail injuries that ultimately ended in death. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has also reported about 160 incidents of bedrail injuries, including 155 deaths between 2003 and 2012.

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hospitalMaking sure patients are safe is the responsibility of any health care provider. Unfortunately, each year, many patients in Maryland and throughout the United States are injured in falls that could have been prevented. These falls can seriously injure patients and interfere with their ability to make a full recovery. In fact, the fall can create entirely new medical problems for the patients. If you or someone close to you has been hurt in a fall in a hospital setting, it is important to seek the help and guidance of a skilled Baltimore medical malpractice attorney.

According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, up to 40 percent of all hospital accidents are falls that could have been prevented. A report by the New England Journal of Internal Medicine highlighted that between 2.3 and seven falls happen for every 1,000 patients in hospitals. In Maryland, hospitals are required to report serious ‘adverse events’ to the Maryland Office of Health Care Quality. Level 1 adverse events are the most serious category of adverse events. The most frequently reported adverse event for 2009 was falls, comprising 52 of the Level 1 adverse events. Fourteen of these falls resulted in death.

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