Articles Posted in Wrongful Death

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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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When a cardiologist fails to give the necessary importance and attention to a patient’s complaints, diagnosis, procedure or treatment, the consequences can be devastating. If you or a member of your family has been injured because of a cardiologist’s error or carelessness, call our Baltimore medical injury attorneys without delay. Having helped countless victims of malpractice across Maryland, we know first-hand how a medical injury can affect your life, family and livelihood.

In 2014, a woman drove herself to the University of Chicago for an appointment with a heart specialist. The woman, who was a retired postal worker, had a number of health problems and was experiencing shortness of breath but expected the visit to be a routine doctor’s appointment, according to her daughter. However, the physician ordered a test during which an artery was damaged. According to the lawsuit, this damaged artery led to the woman dying a few days later from internal bleeding. Earlier this year, a jury awarded the woman’s surviving daughter $3 million in the malpractice claim against the cardiologist and the hospital. Recently though, that amount was reduced to $2.6 million in a post-trial agreement in which the hospital agreed to drop appeals.

While this case took place in Illinois, the reality is that cardiologist malpractice is common across the country. According to a 2017 Medscape report, sixty percent of cardiologists have been named in a lawsuit. Over 53 percent were involved in claims where other parties were also named, while 12 percent were involved in lawsuits in which they were the only person named. The top three reasons for being sued included the following: complications from treatment or surgery, wrongful death, and failure to treat or delayed treatment.

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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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It 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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If you suspect that your newborn’s death was a result of a medical professional’s error, carelessness, or wrongdoing, you need to reach out to a seasoned Baltimore wrongful death attorney without delay. At Arfaa Law Group, we are committed to helping our clients pursue the compensation they need to move on with their lives.

According to a new study published in the journal Health Affairs, American babies are 76 percent more likely to die before they turn a year old than babies in other rich countries such as Japan, Singapore, and Iceland. The risk of dying as a newborn in America is only slightly lower than the risk for babies in Sri Lanka and Ukraine. In addition, American children who survive infancy are 57 percent more likely to die before adulthood. When compared to 19 similar Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) nations, the study found that U.S. babies were three times more likely to die from extreme immaturity and 2.3 times more likely to experience sudden death syndrome between 2001 and 2010.

The report found that one reason infant mortality rate is lower is due to higher poverty rates relative to other developed countries and a relatively weak social safety net. Approximately 21 percent of American children live in poverty, one of the highest rates in the developed world. In short, the poorer the children, the worse their health outcomes tend to be.

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During childbirth, physicians have a duty to care for the mother and the child. Unfortunately, doctors and nurses sometimes fail to focus on a mother’s health during delivery, leading to serious injuries and even death. If you believe that a medical professional’s negligence caused your loved one’s death, it is important to reach out to a Baltimore medical malpractice attorney who can investigate your case.

According to the National Institute of Health, maternal mortality is increasing instead of decreasing in the United States. In fact, the maternal mortality rate in the U.S. is higher than in 40 other countries. In 1982, the maternal death ratio in the U.S. was 7.5 per 100,000 live births, and by 2005 that number had risen to 15.1 deaths per 100,000 live births.

Some conditions that can lead to maternal death include preeclampsia, antepartum hemorrhage, postpartum hemorrhage, post-delivery infections, and cardiac arrest. If these conditions are not treated properly and in a timely manner, the mother can die.

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A bed sore, sometimes called a pressure sore or a pressure ulcer, refers to a sore that is developed due to pressure caused by lying in bed in one position. These sores are an injury to the skin and underlying tissue. They can range from mild reddening of the skin to severe tissue damage, sometimes causing an infection that can extend into muscle and bone.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 159,000 United States nursing home residents (11 percent) had bed sores in 2004. Residents aged 64 years and under were more likely than older residents to develop these types of ulcers. In addition, residents of nursing homes for a year or less were more likely to have these sores than individuals who stayed at nursing homes longer.

In Hall v. Genesis Healthcare, LLC, a woman developed bed sores on her body and ultimately died. Her two surviving sons filed a wrongful death claim against the defendant health care facility. Specifically, the complaint alleged that the health care facility violated the standard of care by:  i) failing to appropriately evaluate the woman’s condition; ii) failing to plan, apply, and regularly evaluate and modify a suitable care plan for the woman; iii) failing to deliver essential care and services to make sure that the woman’s physical, mental, and psychosocial health was maintained; iv) failing to make sure that the woman did not develop bed sores unless they were clinically inevitable; and iv) failing to administer necessary treatment and services to promote healing of existing wounds, stop infections, and prevent new sores from developing.

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In traditional Maryland medical malpractice cases, the plaintiff is required to show proximate cause. This involves showing that the medical professional’s actions more likely than not caused the patient’s harm. The loss of chance doctrine is a legal principle that allows a plaintiff to obtain damages from a defendant for a heightened risk of death or injury, even if the plaintiff cannot show by a preponderance of the evidence that the ultimate injury was caused by the defendant’s negligence.

The loss of chance doctrine signifies a change in the traditional rule that health care providers are not liable for providing negligent care if a negative outcome is likely even with good care. Consider the fact that in some situations, a death due to a pre-existing condition may be probable whether or not a particular treatment is correctly done. For example, a person who is suffering from a serious illness may undergo a medical procedure that his or her physician performs negligently, as a result of which the person’s chance of survival is lowered by a certain percentage, and the person subsequently dies. Under the doctrine, the deprived chance of survival or the lost chance of the better outcome is the compensable injury.

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