Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice

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stethoscopePhysician burnout is an increasingly common issue in healthcare that can seriously jeopardize a patient’s health. If you believe that you suffered harm due to a medical professional’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your harm. At Arfaa Law Group, our seasoned Baltimore medical malpractice team can help you understand your legal rights and options. With extensive experience, we understand the nuances of this area of law.

Physician burnout is a serious epidemic in the United States. Burnout among physicians generally refers to a loss of enthusiasm for one’s work, a decline in satisfaction and joy and an increase in detachment, emotional exhaustion and cynicism. In short, burnout is a state of chronic stress. According to one study, nearly two-thirds of U.S. doctors experience burnout, depression or both. These results are consistent with a prior study conduced by the Mayo Clinic that found that about 46 percent of the 7,200 doctors surveyed showed signs of burnout. The rate was 10 percent higher than the rest of the population. Research shows that doctors who suffer from burnout take less interest in their patients, are less empathic and are more prone to mistakes.

Burnout is often the underlying cause of medical mistakes that can lead to serious patient harm. If a doctor’s error, misconduct or wrongdoing causes patient injury or death, that doctor may be liable under a medical malpractice claim. Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional, by act or omission, fails to adhere to the accepted standard of practice in the medical community and causes injury or death to the patient. In all medical malpractice cases, the doctor’s deviation from the appropriate standard of care must have been a direct cause of the patient’s harm. In other words, a harmless error is not compensable under the law. To establish medical malpractice, the plaintiff must demonstrate the following criteria:

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hammerWhen you seek medical attention of any kind, you expect to receive competent care. If you or someone close to you has been injured due to a medical professional’s negligence, you may be able to recover compensation through a medical malpractice claim. At Arfaa Law Group, our skilled Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys understand this area of law and can help you explore your legal rights and options.

Medical malpractice laws are always changing, and it is imperative for your attorney to be aware of legal developments that may affect your case. Consider the following. A pending decision by Maryland’s highest court could change the standard that jurors will be instructed to use in assessing these cases.

For over a century, negligence in Maryland medical malpractice cases has been guided by the “reasonably competent” physician standard of care – a standard of which juries and judges are informed through expert testimony. However, in the case of Armacost v. Davis, a Baltimore County Court judge permitted jurors to also consider what a layperson would deem reasonable under the circumstances.

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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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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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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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When you visit a medical professional, you expect to receive competent care. While we expect comprehensive care, the reality is that many patients are being overtreated, meaning they are receiving tests and treatments that they do not actually need. If you or someone close to you has suffered an injury due to a medical professional’s overtreatment, you need to reach out to a skilled Baltimore medical negligence attorney as soon as possible. At Arfaa Law Group, we can help you assess the case and determine whether a lawsuit is the right option for you.

A recent study published in PLUS ONE has shed light on just how big the problem of overtreatment is in the United States. According to the report, at least 15 to 30 percent of overall medical care is unnecessary, said most of the 2,100 physicians who responded to a survey conducted by researchers from Johns Hopkins and Harvard Medical Schools. The data also shows that about 22 percent of prescription medication, 25 percent of tests, and 11 percent of procedures that are given are not needed. For example, not every patient with back pain needs an x-ray, but an x-ray is very often ordered.

An overwhelming majority of the physicians who were interviewed for the study cited fear of litigation as the top reason for overtreatment, followed by patient pressure and difficulty assessing prior medical records. While physicians think they are being extra cautious by overtreating, the reality is that overtreatment can be harmful for patients and give rise to medical malpractice claims as well. For example, prescribing a patient with a cough or cold antibiotics when they do not actually need them might be administering too strong a medication for the problem at hand, and it could ultimately harm the patient, due to other side effects associated with those antibiotics.

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kidneyKidney disease can have serious consequences for a person’s life. Not only can kidney disease make you very sick, but also, in the most serious cases, it can result in death. If a medical professional caused or worsened your kidney disease due to an error or carelessness, we can help. At Arfaa Law Group, our Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys can thoroughly examine the facts of your case and determine whether malpractice took place.

Many cases of advanced kidney failure are preventable or treatable if they are properly diagnosed and treated. Kidney disease is often difficult to identify, since it can be largely asymptomatic in the early stages. As a result, kidney disease can often sneak up on a person, and sometimes it is not detected until it is too late. This is why it is imperative for a physician to be vigilant and refer you to a kidney specialist as soon as there are any signs of a potential problem, such as protein in a person’s urine.

If your doctor failed to diagnose or treat your condition, the doctor may have committed medical malpractice. Medical malpractice occurs when medical professionals fail to provide a reasonable standard of care, and that failure results in harm to a patient. Providing a “reasonable” standard of care does not mean that the doctor has to order every possible test. Instead, the doctor must be as competent as another doctor in the same specialty would have been under the same circumstances. In order to establish malpractice, the plaintiff must show the following elements:

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brainA brain hemorrhage can lead to serious injuries in a patient. This is why it is critical for medical professionals to correctly identify and treat brain hemorrhages in a timely manner. If you or someone you know was a victim of a medical error pertaining to a brain hemorrhage, you need to reach out to a seasoned Baltimore medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. At Arfaa Law Group, we are committed to holding negligent medical professionals accountable for the harm that they cause.

A brain hemorrhage is a type of stroke caused by an artery in the brain bursting and causing localized bleeding in the surrounding tissues. This type of bleeding is extremely dangerous because it kills brain cells. Among other causes, a brain hemorrhage can be spontaneous as a result of a broken blood vessel or aneurysm, or it can be caused by a traumatic brain injury. Of course, there may be other causes as well, such as high blood pressure, blood vessel abnormalities, blood or bleeding disorders, liver diseases, and brain tumors. Brain hemorrhages are more common than you may think. In fact, they account for 13 percent of all strokes.

Physicians are trained to identify or at lease suspect a brain hemorrhage when patients present certain signs and symptoms of the condition. Timely diagnosis and treatment is critical to prevent permanent injuries. When a physician or hospital fails to diagnose such a condition properly, they may be liable for medical malpractice. Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professionals fails to adhere to the level of care that another medical professional in the same specialty would have followed under the same or similar circumstances, causing injuries or death to the patient. For example, in patients with certain bleeding disorders, a failure to give or monitor platelets and a resulting brain hemorrhage can cause significant brain damage. Therefore, a prudent physician would know this and act accordingly.

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gynecologyMost women will need some type of gynecological care at some point in their lives. If you or someone you know was injured due to the negligence of a gynecologist, an experienced Baltimore medical malpractice attorney can help you understand your rights. At Arfaa Law Group, we are committed to getting our Maryland clients the compensation they deserve for their harm.

Gynecology concerns the diagnosis, investigation, and treatment of disorders related to the female reproductive system. This includes reproductive organ health, pregnancy, and prenatal care. Gynecological errors can happen in a variety of ways, including:

  • Failures to timely diagnose breast, uterine, or cervical cancers;
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doctorIf you believe that you or your loved one has suffered from medical negligence in regard to deep vein thrombosis (DVT), it is important to reach out to a skilled Baltimore medical malpractice attorney who can help. At Arfaa Law Group, we can examine the circumstances of your DVT and help you explore your legal rights and options.

According to the Mayo Clinic, DVT takes place when a blood clot forms in one or more of the deep veins in a person’s body, typically in the legs, although it can also develop in the lower part of the body below the pelvis. DVT can cause leg pain and swelling, but it can also occur without any symptoms. While DVT can sometimes resolve on its own, DVT can be life-threatening if the blood clot dislodges and travels to the lungs, which is a condition known as a pulmonary embolism (PE). A pulmonary embolism can be fatal because it blocks the artery in the lung, cutting off the blood supply completely. A smaller clot can reduce blood flow and cause damage to the lung tissue.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals that while the precise number of people affected by DVT/PE is unknown, as many as 900,000 could be affected each year in the United States. The CDC also estimates that 60,000 to 100,000 people die of DVT/PE each year. Of these deaths, 10 to 30 percent of people will die within one month of the diagnosis. Sudden death is the first symptom in approximately one-quarter of people who have PE.

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