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Ohio Medical Malpractice Blog

Why causation can be hard to prove in malpractice cases

One of the most challenging elements of a medical malpractice claim is proving causation. Malpractice laws in Ohio say that plaintiffs must prove two things: that the defendant did not adhere to a generally accepted standard of medical care, and that this negligence led to the injuries in question. It is that second step that can make or break a case.

The reason is that some injuries can result even where there is negligence on the doctor's part. For example, almost any surgical procedure comes with foreseeable side effects. The surgeon may have been negligent, and the patient may have developed these complications, but correlation does not imply causation.

How does hypoxia affect an infant?

Birth, as common as it is, is actually a complicated process with much that can go wrong. Infants are at risk of developing brain injuries while in the womb, during delivery or even afterward if they don't receive the correct care.

Part of the reason that infants are likely to suffer brain injuries is that there is such a high probability of going without oxygen. The umbilical cord can wrap around the baby's neck, the delivery can take too long or other problems can happen that hinder the ability for the baby to receive the oxygen they need.

What causes fractures and bruises to baby during birth

Childbirth can be both an incredible human feat for the mother and a challenge for the mother and child. Difficulties during childbirth can threaten the health and well-being of both the mother and the infant. In fact, nearly 30,000 infants become injured during childbirth each year in the United States.

Infants are particularly vulnerable as they’re pushed through the birth canal and contact their mother’s bones and tissues. This contact can result in broken bones and bruising. However, not all fractures and bruises from childbirth are so incidental. Medical tools can also cause injury to the child.

Training could reduce risk of medication errors

When Ohio residents visit a hospital or doctor, they are relying on a professional's judgment. While prescription medication can be an important part of restoring health and treating illness, medication errors can also be a common cause of patient injuries. Because prescription medicines can have serious side effects or interactions with other medicine, it is important that the initial prescription be correctly dispensed. Side effects that may be tolerable for the drug's other beneficial effects may become intolerable if the medication is actually unnecessary or ineffective.

One group of physician assistant students is looking into how to reduce the risk of prescription errors in clinics and hospitals. They conducted research on how patients are asked for information about their current prescription and non-prescription medications when coming for a clinical visit. Prior to each patient's visit, a medical record technician would conduct an interview about the patient's medications, entering the information in a way that could highlight any conflicts or problems. However, researchers found that technicians often lacked the training or a standardized system that could help them decide what to ask patients.

Can cerebral palsy be caused by birth injuries?

When a child is born with brain damage, this can be hard for a parent to accept. Not only can birth complications be traumatizing for the mother, but knowing that your child will have a life-long disability can be overwhelming. It can potentially lead to parental mental health issues as well as problems bonding with the child.

If your child was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at birth, the child and the entire family will need a range of support services. It is important that you are able to pinpoint the cause of cerebral palsy. By doing so, you will be able to determine whether it will be possible to claim back monetary damages as part of a medical malpractice claim.

FDA warns of a battery-depletion problem in some pacemakers

Early May, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a warning about a battery-depletion problem in some Medtronic pacemakers. Although no recall was issued, the FDA warns patients who use certain models of Medtronic pacemakers to be watchful for signs of a low battery.

How are some pacemakers malfunctioning?

Survey: Lewy body dementia often misdiagnosed as Alzheimer's

Lewy body dementia can be confused with the dementia that results from Alzheimer's disease. In fact, a recent survey from the Lewy Body Dementia Association found that 80% of participants with LBD were misdiagnosed as having Alzheimer's. These patients had to see an average of three doctors before receiving an accurate diagnosis. Ohio residents may want to hear about the experiences of one patient advocate who was similarly misdiagnosed.

At 52 years old, one man was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's after months of seeing a neurologist and then a psychiatrist. The neurologist suspected the man had depression, an initial diagnosis that is common among those with LBD, and the psychiatrist thought he had Lyme disease. All the while, the man was having problems multi-tasking and experiencing changes in personality; he was more easily provoked to anger than before.

SlideShare on birth injuries is a new resource for Ohio families

Each baby develops at his or her own pace, but some motor delays may indicate a more serious condition. If your baby or toddler is failing to meet developmental milestones, discuss your concerns with a pediatrician.

Because babies and young toddlers cannot tell us what is wrong, it may take a referral to a pediatric neurologist to get a diagnosis. It is important to understand that symptoms of birth injuries from hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy and shoulder dystocia to a skull fracture may not always be immediately apparent.

Medical terminology used during delivery may not have alerted you to problems. But it can still be possible to review whether something went wrong during delivery with electronic fetal monitoring that tracks how well a baby is handling contractions.

Anxiety often misdiagnosed as schizophrenia, according to study

Schizophrenia is a chronic and debilitating mental illness, but a study published recently in the Journal of Psychiatric Practice suggests that many of the patients in Ohio and around the country who are told that they suffer from it are misdiagnosed. After studying the case histories of 58 patients who were told by their general practitioner's that they suffer from schizophrenia, researchers from Maryland's Johns Hopkins University found that 26 of them were only suffering from either a mood disorder or anxiety.

While worrying, this discovery did not come as a complete surprise to the research team. This is because the symptoms that must be present for a diagnosis of schizophrenia are common to a several other mental disorders. These symptoms include hallucinations, erratic body movements, delusions, dysfunctional thinking and disorganized speech. The researchers reached their conclusions after performing physical examinations and conducting interviews with both the patients and their families.

Lawsuits accuse Ohio doctor of fatally overdosing ICU patients

Lawyers representing the families of people who died after a doctor allegedly prescribed excessive amounts of painkillers plan to focus on wrongful death claims. Over two dozen lawsuits have emerged since Mount Carmel Health System informed survivors that errors or malfeasance might have caused their family members' deaths.

The accusations surround the deaths of 35 people in the hospital's intensive-care unit. Mount Carmel's internal investigation of the doctor's painkiller prescriptions suggests that he chose to administer lethal doses of painkillers. The medications appeared sufficient to kill in 29 out of 35 cases. Sometimes the deaths occurred very shortly after families decided to end life support for sick relatives.

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