Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice News

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A correct and timely diagnosis often depends on the accurate and timely interpretation of radiology reports. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. If you have been injured due to a radiology error, we may be able to help. At Arfaa Law Group, our Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys can investigate every aspect of your case and help you understand your legal rights and options accordingly.hospital

Radiologists are involved in 15 percent of diagnosis-related medical malpractice lawsuits, second only to those involving general medicine medical professionals, according to a new report produced by Boston-based medical professional liability insurer Coverys. The report analyzed more than 10,000 claims, identifying a total of 595 radiology-related malpractice claims from 2013 to 2017. The data show that 80 percent of all diagnosis-related claims stem from the misinterpretation of clinical tests. In addition, 80 percent of missed diagnosis lawsuits in radiology involve either permanent injury or death to the patient.

Radiologists play a critical role in correctly and accurately diagnosing patients. Among those radiology claims alleging diagnostic failure, cancer misdiagnoses were the most common, according to the report, with breast, lung, pancreatic, and ovarian cancers being the most prevalent.

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If you believe that you have been a victim of a medical professional’s mistake, you need a seasoned Baltimore medical malpractice attorney who will fight to get you the best possible result. Determining whether you have a viable medical malpractice claim is not easy, but having a skilled attorney on your side can make a huge difference in your case.coffin

Last month, Maryland’s highest court tossed a $2.3 million jury verdict in a lawsuit accusing a psychiatrist and a hospital of improperly discharging a mental health patient who committed suicide on the following day, reasoning that a doctor who discharges an involuntarily admitted patient in good faith is immune from civil liability.

The Maryland Mental Health Law provides criteria for the involuntary admission of an individual to a mental health facility and a process for evaluating whether the individual meets those criteria. Hospitals, as well as their employees, have civil and criminal immunity when they follow the process in good faith. The process starts with the initiation application for involuntary admission and concludes upon a hearing officer’s decision whether to admit or release that person. If the doctor followed statutory criteria and made the decision to release an individual in good faith, that decision cannot form the basis of a jury verdict for medical malpractice.

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hospitalAs a society, we put great trust in medical professionals to help us to get better. If you or someone close to you has been injured at a hospital due to a medical professional’s negligence, we can help. At Arfaa Law Group, our highly skilled hospital negligence attorneys will examine the facts of your case and provide you with an honest assessment of your claim.

A recent study by the Leapfrog Group found that hospital errors have decreased from 2016-2017. The study used a wide range of sources, including Medicare; the American Hospital Association and surveys that the hospitals filled out on a voluntary basis to compile its data. After being ranked in the bottom five of the country’s safest hospitals, the state of Maryland has taken proactive steps to improve its safety rating by reducing medical mistakes and preventing injuries and infections. According to the Leapfrog Group’s evaluation, the safety measures did take Maryland out of the bottom five; however, there is still room for improvement.

Leapfrog assigned Maryland hospitals letter grades based on a range of patient safety measures. In the last assessment, only one of the state’s 44 hospitals earned an A, while seven received a B. The majority earned a C, while eight got a D and one even received an F. According to the most recent assessment, ten hospitals in Maryland have improved their grades. However, the majority of hospitals still received a grade of C or below, indicating the work that still needs to be done.

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graveIt is estimated that almost 100,000 people in the United States die every year due to medical malpractice. If you have lost a loved one due to a medical professional’s negligence, you need to reach out to a skilled Baltimore wrongful death attorney who can provide you with reliable legal advice.

Forty-year-old C.D. died in Iowa after having a reaction to dye used for a routine CT scan in June of 2015. C.D. was at a local hospital to receive a CT scan. She had an allergic reaction to the contrast dye given to her for the scan and went into anaphylactic shock and lost consciousness. The plaintiffs in the case allege that the doctor was negligent in his treatment of C.D. because he failed to immediately take her vital signs and did not administer epinephrine, which could have reversed the anaphylactic shock. In short, the plaintiffs sued the doctor claiming his negligence cause C.D.’s death.

The doctor and the hospital denied the negligence claims and the case went to trial.

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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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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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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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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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