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Los Angeles Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Misuse of medication during delivery cited in malpractice lawsuit

Advances made in obstetrical science in recent years have offered up several solutions that have helped to decrease the risk of serious complications involving both mothers and babies in Los Angeles during the delivery process significantly. However, these new techniques must be carefully administered and monitored as they often involve prompting chemical and biophysical reactions in the mother’s body to assist with delivery. These changes may cause stress on an unborn baby, which necessitates the need for monitoring so that more aggressive interventions may be taken should the situation call for it.

The failure to properly apply delivery assistance techniques has been listed as the reason for a medical malpractice lawsuit filed by an Ohio couple against the Pennsylvania medical center where their son was born as well as against the doctor who delivered him. They claim that the doctor incorrectly administered the medication Pitocin to the woman after he failed to notice that the woman was progressing in her delivery. They also contend that he continued to give her the drug even after it was shown that the baby’s heart rate was slowing. As result of his errors, as well as delays in delivering the baby once he was in the birth canal, the boy suffers from cerebral palsy, which now requires around the clock care as well as modifications to the family’s home to accommodate him.

2017’s most pressing patient safety challenges


Earlier this month, the editors of Becker's Infection Control & Clinical Quality published an important analysis concerning patient safety. Specifically, the editors chose what they believe to be the 10 most important patient safety matters that medical providers should focus on during 2017.

What is the statute of limitations for wrongful death?

From car accidents to workplace mishaps that never should have occurred, wrongful death cases take many forms. When it comes to these types of cases, there are many things for families to consider. For example, if you lost a loved one in Los Angeles because of someone else's negligent behavior, you should familiarize yourself with the statute of limitations for wrongful death in California.

According to the Judicial Branch of California, the statute of limitations for wrongful death in the state is two years. Essentially, if your loved one passes away because of another person's reckless behavior, you will have two years to file a lawsuit. This time period applies to wrongful death cases, as well as personal injury cases, regardless of whether a defendant intentionally or accidentally caused the death or injury.

Malpractice crisis? 'It's never been better for insurers'

To believe certain politicians, one would think medical schools were shutting down and doctors were abandoning the profession to become Wal-Mart greeters. Some want to push for "tort reform" due to the looming "crisis." This is remarkable in view of the facts. In 2016, according to one survey of doctor salaries, the lowest average compensation went to pediatricians, at $204,000 per year while those in orthopedics averaged $443,000.

In a recent news report, the editor of a trade publication that watches medical liability costs noted, "It's a wonderful time for doctors looking for coverage, and it's never been better for insurers." But we will again be sold the line that frivolous medical malpractice lawsuits are responsible for the majority of healthcare cost increases.

Nursing home error with medication invites federal intervention

Nursing home patients in California and all throughout the country are trusting their care providers when it comes to just about every aspect of their lives. Few things are more imperative to a nursing home resident than their medications, receiving it when they are supposed to and in its proper dose. This is what makes medical negligence such a damaging occurrence on many different levels. A nursing home error can lead to patient injury and it can even be fatal. Knowing how to recognize when it has happened and what to do about it is key for the injured party or the family.

Errors being made in nursing homes with Coumadin, the blood thinning medication, have resulted in people being hospitalized and dying. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services sent a memo to health departments across the country about the failure on the part of nursing homes to correctly monitor the drug. Inspection reports showed that between the years 2011 and 2014, there were 165 people who were residing in nursing homes who had to be hospitalized or suffered fatal damage after either being given too much or too little of Coumadin -- too much of the drug led to internal bleeding, too little of it caused blood clots and strokes.

New rules meant to reduce nursing home error and other issues

In Los Angeles and throughout the country, it is a difficult decision that people have to make to place a loved one in a nursing home. If a person needs medical attention on a regular basis and long-term care, it is often for the best for the family and for the patient. The idea behind it is to provide the best of care and a safe atmosphere. However, it can be difficult to think about the medical negligence and nursing home errors that can occur; unfortunately, these events happens all too frequently. People should know, though, that the government is trying to intercede in this growing problem and take steps to improve the situation.

In order to qualify for payments from Medicaid and Medicare, the current presidential administration wants to alter the rules. Among the changes that are being proposed are different meal times, changes to antipsychotic drug use and how the staff is comprised. Some of the changes are being made necessary by the new health care laws and other laws. In addition, there is an attempt to simplify the rules and regulations while making it less expensive to comply. The regulations that are currently in place do not account for the advances in communicative devices that are in use.

The frequency of a medical mistake due to systems of measurement

When receiving medication in a hospital or medical setting in California and across the nation, the last thing a patient will think of is that there will be a mistake regarding dosage. To make matters worse, there are times when this is due to little more than a mathematical error. This is frequently considered to be due to a reluctance on the part of the United States to switch to the metric system. Many are advocating this switch due to the data indicating the number of errors that are made because of this.

Drug dosage generally hinges on the patient's weight and if there is a miscalculation when converting pounds to kilograms, the patients can overdose. While the increase of health records being kept electronically has reduced paper clutter, it has also led to mathematical mistakes due to a failure to change default values. A not-for-profit patient safety organization has listed mistakes with conversion of pounds into kilograms as one of the top 10 safety concerns patients should have. There are many reasons why this occurs. Some are human errors, mistaken settings and improper conversion of numbers.

What is Erb's palsy?

Couples in the Los Angeles area who are having a baby are undoubtedly excited, but that does not diminish the reality that there are potential dangers to the health of the newborn. These can arise without warning and happen during the delivery process. One potential issues is Erb's palsy. For parents who suspect that their baby suffered injuries at birth resulting in Erb's palsy, it is important to know the details as to how it happened.

During a vaginal delivery, Erb's palsy is an injury to the nerve fibers of the baby. It occurs when there is a stretching of the head and shoulders if the newborn is pulled in different directions when coming out of the birth canal. While this often heals on its own, it can also be a long-term problem with the accompanying medical expenses to treat the infant. Symptoms of this include a weakening of the upper arm and in rotating the lower arm. It often happens on one side of the baby's body. There could even be a permanent loss of function in the nerves that have been affected, with weakness and paralysis along with it.

Birth injuries after missed signs of fetal distress

Couples in Los Angeles who are careful about the upcoming birth of a child are not immune to the possibility of a negligent doctor making an error that leads to birth injuries. Knowing the signs of fetal distress is part of the process to preventing birth injuries and any other issues from harming the infant. However, if there were signs of fetal distress and the medical professionals failed to act accordingly, it is important to know how to proceed.

Fetal distress can occur when the fetus is not receiving enough oxygen when in the womb or during birth. If there is an abnormality in the fetus's heart rate, it is often attributed to fetal distress. Contrary to common belief, there is a difference between birth asphyxia and fetal distress. Birth asphyxia can happen if there is a problem with the umbilical cord or if the baby is not receiving adequate blood flow from the mother.

How often does nursing home error lead to residents falling?

For people in Los Angeles, the decision to place a loved one in a nursing home is not an easy one. There are numerous issues that must be considered when an elderly or infirm person has reached the level at which he or she cannot be cared for at home. It is often an unavoidable necessity to seek help. While the goal is to give the person a level of care that is not available at home, nursing homes can be dangerous places. Falls are a common problem in nursing homes and they can lead to serious injuries and even death to the patients.

Approximately 1,800 nursing home residents die on an annual basis from injuries suffered after falls. In other cases, the injured person will be disabled after the fall. Given the number of people who live in nursing homes - 1.4 million age 65 or above - there are many vulnerable people. With the advancing age of the population as a whole, the number of people who are in nursing homes is expected to be an estimated three million by 2030.

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