Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice News

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Physician burnout is an increasingly common issue in the medical field. Burnout not only puts the physician’s own health at risk, it jeopardizes patient safety. If you have been the victim of medical malpractice and you suspect physician burnout had something to do with it, our Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers can help. In other words, you may be able to sue for medical malpractice if you were injured because of an overworked or burned-out doctor. Burnout cases are complicated and can be difficult to prove, which is why it is imperative to work with a legal advocate who has experience in this area of law.

A new report found that 56 percent of the 320 neurointerventionalists who participated in an online survey met the criteria for burnout. Burnout takes place when a medical professional continues to work long hours under stressful situations for a prolonged period of time. These findings are consistent with prior research that indicates approximately 50 percent of neurosurgeons and neurologists, and more than 60 percent of radiologists, report some extent of burnout. According to a survey with 22 questions, almost 50 percent of the respondents had high scores for indicators of emotional fatigue, 36 percent for depersonalization and 16 percent for unhappy feelings related to personal accomplishment. Almost two-thirds felt insufficiently appreciated by their hospital or department leaders with 40.6 percent highlighting they had seriously considered leaving medicine in the past five years. Over 60 percent also felt like they were not sufficiently compensated for their jobs.

Doctor burnout is a major problem in the United States and it can have severe, even deadly consequences for a patient. When a doctor experiences burnout, a wide range of adverse events may take place ranging from minor errors to extreme and irreversible mistakes. All medical professionals are required to provide competent care. If you have been harmed by a doctor who was overworked or experiencing burnout, you may be able to recover compensation through a medical malpractice claim. To succeed in a malpractice case, you must show that the doctor’s negligence resulted in the injury and that the doctor failed to provide the standard of care that a sensible doctor would have provided. The standard of care refers to the accepted set of practices that other medical professionals in the same field would use when treating a similar patient under similar circumstances. 

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Unfortunately, medical over-treatment is a reality across the United States. While over-treatment may seem harmless, the reality is that it can cause injury or lead to making your illness worse. Many physicians believe that over-treatment can be caused by a medical professional’s own financial motives, the fear of malpractice lawsuits, or both. If you have suffered an injury that you believe was caused by medical over-treatment, our Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys can help you determine your legal options to pursue compensation.

According to a recent study, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and other high tech scans for low back pain shot up by 50 percent between 1995 to 2015. Up to 35 percent of MRI scans for lower back pain were inappropriate. While medical societies have launched campaigns to convince doctors and patients to forego the unnecessary images, it has not improved the situation. Unnecessary imaging is not just limited to lower back pain. Americans spend in excess of $100 billion on different types of diagnostic imaging every year, much of which is unnecessary and, in some case, can be harmful. For instance, even though X-rays are relatively cheap, they can increase the risk of cancer.  According to doctors, another issue is that MRIs can provide too much information that is not related to the back pain, which can lead to confusion and surgery for benign abnormalities.

Over-treatment can take a serious toll on a patient. In addition to the expenses, patients may be subjected to risks like radiation, dangerous side effects and a number of other risks that are inherent with many intensive and invasive treatments and procedures. A doctor has a duty to treat you with the appropriate standard of care, which is the same level of care and caution that another doctor confronted with the same situation would exercise. If you are over-treated and this treatment results in harm, you may be able to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit against the at-fault doctor if you can establish that the doctor violated the appropriate standard of care. In short, medical malpractice occurs when the doctor’s breach of the standard of care is a direct cause of patient injury.

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Failure to diagnose a patient’s illness properly is among the most common forms of medical negligence. If this has happened to you or someone you care about, we are here to help. Our Baltimore diagnostic error attorneys understand the devastating toll that a misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis or missed diagnosis can have on a patient and his or her life, which is why we will work diligently to help secure a better future for you and your family.

Diagnostic errors cause serious preventable harm to patients. Countrywide estimates for these errors range from 40,000 to 4 million every year. A new study published in the peer-reviewed journal Diagnosis reveals that 34 percent (about one third) of all medical malpractice cases that lead to death or permanent disability arise from an erroneous or delayed diagnosis, making it the leading cause of serious harm among medical mistakes. And of those instances, about 75 percent can be tracked back to diagnostic mistakes involving three medical conditions: cancer (37.8 percent), vascular events (22.2. percent) and infection (13.5 percent). The most frequent disease in each category was lung cancer, stroke and sepsis. The findings, from an analysis of nearly 12,000 malpractice claims, were sponsored by the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine.

When a diagnostic error leads to the wrong treatment, delayed treatment or no treatment at all, the patient’s health condition can be made much worse. If someone suffers harm due to a diagnostic error, a medical malpractice claim can be filed against an at-fault medical professional. However, the burden of proof in every medical malpractice case is on the victim, who must establish each of the following elements:

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Medical records are a way to document a patient’s medical history as well as the history of care that person has received by a specific medical professional. These records are vital to ensuring a patient receives adequate care. If you’ve suffered harm due to an error in your medical record or because your medical record was mixed up with another patient’s record, we are here to help. Our Baltimore medical negligence attorneys believe that victims of malpractice deserve full and fair compensation for their injuries and losses.

A study recently conducted by the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative has revealed that matching patients to their healthcare records is an ongoing issue in medical facilities across the country. Shockingly, in some places, the current patient match rate could be as low as 50 or 60 percent. The study also found that medical record errors are more common in urban health systems where patients obtain medical care at multiple facilities, indicating a need for more efficient data exchange not just within medical facilities, but also between them.

Mismatched patient records take place when two patients, frequently with a similar name, have their records mixed up by a medical professional. This can lead to a wide range of adverse health consequences for a patient, including, but not limited to: delays in patient care; patients receiving the wrong surgical procedure; patients receiving the wrong medication and an overall increase in healthcare costs. Another type of medical records error takes place when multiple patient records exist for the same patient. Not only are duplicate records inconvenient, they can lead to misinformation and medical professionals providing unnecessary testing and treatment.

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Surgical errors can have catastrophic consequences for a patient as well as his or her loved ones. If you sustained an injury due to a surgeon’s neglect, you may have a medical malpractice lawsuit on your hands. Our Baltimore surgery malpractice advocates will take our time reviewing your case and help you understand your legal rights and options following a medical mishap.

A study recently printed in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that patients of surgeons who acted unprofessionally around their colleagues were more likely to have complications following surgery. In fact, surgeons who exhibit unprofessional conduct can weaken the performance of their teams, the researchers found, potentially putting patient safety at risk.

To conduct the study, data from almost 13,7000 patients and 202 surgeons from the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program were used. Researchers examined post-surgery reports to determine whether the surgeons’ colleagues reported any of the following conduct: uncertain or ill-mannered communication, poor or unsafe care, lack of integrity and failing to follow through on professional obligations.

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All medical professionals have a duty to provide competent care. This can be difficult, however, when a physician is experiencing burnout. If you or someone close to you has suffered a medical injury that you believe was caused by burnout, we can help. Our Baltimore medical injury lawyers understand that figuring out whether a claim is worth pursuing can be both stressful and daunting. We want to take this stress away by figuring out the legalities in your case so you and your family can focus on healing.

Recent suicides have demonstrated that more than half of all physicians report symptoms of burnout. Burnout has been defined as long-term, unresolvable job stress that leads to feeling overwhelmed, cynical and even hopeless. Burnout also often leaves physicians feeling a lack personal accomplishment and this takes a serious toll. Alarmingly, suicide rates are twice as high among physicians as compared to other professionals.

New research shows that women are especially vulnerable to burnout. One study indicates that women experience more depressive symptoms in their first year of training as a doctor. Another study found that women quit the surgical field for a number of reasons: the impact of pregnancy; child-rearing; not enough female role models; sexism and discrimination; sexual harassment and assault; as well as poor mental health. Female physicians are not as likely to get patient referrals as their male counterparts in the same specialty; and by the end of the year, women earn, on average, $105,000 less than male specialists. All of these factors lead to burnout.

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Being the victim of medical malpractice is a situation that no one ever wants to find themselves in, but the reality is that it happens all the time in Maryland and throughout the country. If you have been injured due to the negligence of an ophthalmologist, you may be entitled to compensation for your harm. Our skilled Baltimore ophthalmologist malpractice attorneys have a rich legacy of providing advocacy and legal services throughout the state.

A recent study from the Google AI Research Group suggests that physicians and algorithms working together can lead to positive patient outcomes. The report, which was published in the Journal of American Academy of Ophthalmology, found that algorithms improved an ophthalmologist’s diagnostic accuracy. This is potentially groundbreaking because more than 29 million Americans have diabetes and are at risk for diabetic retinopathy, a potentially blinding eye disease. Sadly, the screenings that are intended to detect vision loss can vary substantially. One study determined that there was a 49 percent error rate among internists, diabetologists, and medical residents. As such, recent advances in AI that are committed to improving access to diabetic retinopathy screening and improve its accuracy could really change lives.

Unfortunately, like other doctors, ophthalmologists can make mistakes that lead to patient harm. If you have suffered harm due an ophthalmologist’s error, carelessness or misconduct – you may be able to recover damages through a medical malpractice claim. The specific damages you will be able to recover will vary depending on the nature and extent of the injury suffered. Typically, however, a plaintiff will be entitled to medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, rehabilitation costs and more.
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You may be shocked to learn that medical malpractice is the third-leading cause of death in the U.S. Medical errors are also the cause of countless patient injuries in Maryland and across the country. Often, these injuries and deaths are entirely preventable. If you have suffered harm caused by a doctor’s mistake, we can assist you in figuring out your legal options. As experienced Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers, we will tirelessly fight for your right to compensation.

A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine has found that doctors with poor medical malpractice track records may be an increased hazard to patient welfare. The research revealed that out of 480,000 health care providers in the U.S., just 2.3 percent of doctors were responsible for almost 39 percent of paid medical malpractice claims between the years of 2003 and 2015. In other words, a small number of physicians are responsible for a disproportionately high number of medical malpractice claims.

In addition, the study found that physicians with numerous medical malpractice claims are more likely to move into smaller practices. For instance, doctors with five or more claims were more than twice as likely to go into solo practice than doctors with no claims. Smaller practices tend to have less oversight than larger ones. This is especially problematic because employers, rather than patients, are the ones who typically vet a physician’s medical record when they are hiring. As a result, patients just walk into these smaller practices, completely unaware of the physician’s subpar safety record.

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Medical professionals have an obligation to provide competent care to each and every patient. Sadly, this does not always happen. If you have been injured by a medical professional’s negligence, our diligent and hard-working Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys can help you hold the at-fault party accountable. We will investigate the facts of your case and try our best to get you the compensation you deserve.

A new study published in the Stanford Law Review found that laws passed in 39 states over the last twenty years, which were intended to decrease medical malpractice litigation by protecting physicians who apologized for their errors, are not working. The aforementioned laws were passed based on case studies indicating that apologies from physicians to patients could promote healing and encourage patients to settle their claims outside of court. However, new research shows that when a patient is made aware that his or her doctor committed a medical error, the patient’s incentive to sue can actually increase even though the apology itself cannot be used as evidence of malpractice under the apology laws.

For surgeons, the research found that saying sorry did not impact either the number of lawsuits that were filed or the percentage of lawsuits filed that actually went to trial. For non-surgeons, on the other hand, laws requiring an apology had a worse effect. In fact, claims in states with apology law were 46 percent more prone to end up in a lawsuit. The monetary awards to patients of non-surgeons more than doubled in states with apology laws when compared to states without such laws.

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Medical malpractice can lead to catastrophic injuries that can impact the rest of your life. If you have been seriously harmed because of what you believe to be medical malpractice, you may be eligible to recover damages for your harm. At Arfaa Law Group, our skilled Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys are committed to representing victims of medical negligence across Maryland.

A study recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that doctors are more likely to open solo practices or quit practicing medicine altogether after facing multiple medical malpractice claims. The researchers found that either one of these responses are more likely than the doctor moving far away to find work and “start fresh.” The study examined a national group of 480,894 physicians in the age range of 35 to 65 who practiced from 2007 to 2015. A total of 89 percent of the doctors had no claims, 8.8 percent had 1 claim and the remaining 2.3 percent had 2 or more claims, which accounted for 38.9 percent of all claims.

According to the findings, more than 9 out of 10 doctors who have five or more successful malpractice claims against them continue to see patients and are in no rush to move far away from where the malpractice occurred. In addition, doctors who have multiple malpractice claims on their record are 45 percent more likely to give up and try another profession than those who have spotless records. In sum, doctors with multiple malpractice claims are no more likely to relocate than those with no claims but they are more likely to give up practicing medicine altogether.

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