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Kansas City MO Personal Injury Law Blog

About Monsees & Mayer Missouri Lawyers

The attorneys at Monsees & Mayer handle cases where people have been injured. If you need a lawyer for personal injury representation in Missouri or Kansas, call 866.774.3233. http://www.mmmpalaw.com

Nursing home negligence and dementia

Missouri nursing home patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia are at a high risk for injuries related to their condition. Nursing homes are required to comply with an appropriate standard of care to prevent the risk of harm to these vulnerable patients. A patient with dementia may experience symptoms such as confusion, delusions, agitation and difficulty with self-care that severely limit or prevent them from living at home, making nursing home care a necessity.

The standard of care for nursing homes requires that the facility develop an individualized care plan for each patient that is appropriate to protect the patient's health and safety. The plan must be carefully followed on a day-to-day basis, and the nursing home must regularly revise the plan in consideration of changes in the patient's condition to make sure that it still meets the patient's needs.

Medication alerts often ignored by health care workers

Initiatives to have electronic health records used by hospitals and other health care providers have given rise to a behavior called alert fatigue. Many health care workers in Missouri and around the country tend to ignore the numerous warnings that pop up while using electronic health records, especially when entering information about medications. Many of the alerts are associated with potential drug allergies or negative drug interactions. They pop up so frequently that health care workers often skip them in order to continue filling out the electronic record.

A system IT pharmacist from Hospital Sisters Health System, who has been testing software that allows health care workers to customize their electronic systems to cut down on alerts, said that alert fatigue creates a large risk to patient safety. In some places, people override 96 percent of electronic alerts while doing their work.

Some of the causes of surgical errors

Missouri surgical patients may want to take note of the findings in a recent Mayo Clinic study on the causes of some surgical errors that are called 'never events" because they are not supposed to occur. The researchers examined 69 never events that took place out of 1.5 million procedures that had been performed at the facility over a five-year period, and they identified 628 human factors that contributed to the errors. The never events observed included wrong site and wrong procedure surgeries, wrong implant procedures and foreign objects left in the patient.

Preconditions for action, such as distractions, overconfidence and fatigue were the first identified category of mistakes that lead to surgical errors. Unsafe actions were another category comprising perceptual errors and confirmation bias. Oversight and supervisory factors included inadequate supervision and planning problems. Organizational influences also caused errors and pointed to problems with the hospital's organizational culture or operational processes.

The prevalence of incorrect antibiotic use

Missouri residents may not be aware of a recent study that found that misdiagnoses often causes physicians to use inappropriate antibiotic therapies in hospitals. Using antibiotics incorrectly can not only reduce the effectiveness of these drugs and increase health care costs, but may lead to patient harm as well. It has been found that approximately 56 percent of American hospital inpatients receive antibiotic therapies, but the study has revealed that antibiotics are only appropriately used in nearly half of those cases.

The researchers conducted a study of 500 different inpatient cases at the Minneapolis VA Medical Center. They discovered that 95 percent of patients who had a misdiagnosis, an indeterminate diagnosis or no diagnosis at all received inappropriate antibiotic treatment. Conversely, 38 percent of patients who received a proper diagnosis received incorrect antibiotic treatments.

Missouri patients may have better experiences with more education

The communication between a patient and his or her health care provider can play a key role in a positive relationship, and it has been found that proper education in advance may influence a patient's overall experience after a surgical procedure has taken place. The expectations a patient has seem to be particularly affected by what and how much information the health care provider made available.

In a recent survey, Gallup researchers evaluated the results of questions posed to patients scheduled for surgery regarding the information provided to them prior to it taking place. The questions pertained to whether or not the patient felt prepared for post-surgery conditions. The majority of the patients involved indicated that they managed post-surgery details according to the education and instructions they received from their health care provider, suggesting that the quality of the information given could significantly impact the overall experience. Researchers believe that the results demonstrated that greater satisfaction following surgery correlated with how well the health care provider prepared the patient for what to expect. In this survey, however, less than 40 percent of the patients felt strongly that they had been adequately educated.

Amtrak train derailment: 7 dead, hundreds injured

On Tuesday, May 12, an Amtrak train carrying 238 passengers and five crew members derailed in Philadelphia. Officials report that at the time of the derailment, the train was traveling at 106 MPH. The derailment occurred as the train entered a curve in the tracks which officials say has a posted speed limit of 50 MPH. Currently, a total of seven individuals have been identified as being killed in the horrific accident and more than 200 injured. News reports indicate that several passengers are also still missing.

For residents and visitors in the Northeastern U.S., Amtrak's Northeast Corridor is a popular and heavily traveled route that runs between Washington and Boston. According to Amtrak's website, on a daily basis more than 2,200 trains operate on these tracks and during 2013 alone, Amtrak reports that 11.4 million people traveled on trains between Washington and Boston.

Why it can be difficult to file a medical malpractice claim

When a Missouri doctor fails to diagnose a disease or disorder or causes harm to their patient through negligence, the patient can potentially file a medical malpractice claim against the doctor. However, proving fault in these types of cases can be incredibly difficult. In general, the patient will be required to show that the doctor did not meet the proper standard of care.

Many medical malpractice cases proceed under the theory of negligence. In order to be successful in their case, the injured patient must be able to prove that the health care professional had a duty for the patient, that the health care professional did follow the proper standard of care and the deviation directly caused an injury. Usually, the testimony of another expert in the field is used to establish the proper standard of care. If medication was involved, the patient must show that the health care professional failed to follow the manufacturer's instructions or did not warn of all of the potential side effects as listed by the manufacturer. The patient may also demonstrate that the health care professional did not seek consent.

Nondisclosure often required in medical malpractice settlements

People in Missouri seeking redress for medical errors can usually expect a requirement to stay quiet about the details of their cases upon accepting compensation. A review of medical malpractice settlements, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, showed that nondisclosure agreements frequently accompanied settlements, and their requirements could even prohibit discussions with regulators.

The study examined medical malpractice cases that had been resolved at six campuses in a large university system. Approximately 90 percent of the resolved cases included nondisclosure agreements. Looking at the 110 settlements that barred disclosure in some way, the researchers found that all of them prohibited the parties from revealing the terms of each deal or the amount of compensation received.

New protocols required to eliminate culture of silence

It may not always be easy to report when a co-worker does something wrong in the workplace. As a result, Missouri practitioners may not report medical errors they observe, even when reporting an error might save a patient's life.

In a 2005 study, over half of clinical staff and administrators reported witnessing co-workers breaking rules, making mistakes and demonstrating incompetence. However, less than 10 percent of clinical staff in the study reported having confronted a colleague who had taken dangerous shortcuts or used poor clinical judgment. In many health care facilities, a culture of silence is implicitly at work. This lack of communication regarding medical errors may contribute to the almost 200 thousand deaths resulting from preventable medical errors each year.

Shoulder dystocia may be prevented by induced labor

As Missouri parents may know, birth injury due to obstruction is a condition associated with overweight neonates. Recent studies have pointed to benefits derived from induction of labor at 37 to 38 weeks to avoid this problem. The benefits are particularly noticeable when the baby is large for gestational age.

Large infants have a greater incidence of birth injuries, such as shoulder dystocia, which is a particular type of obstructed labor. This occurs when the infant has partially delivered, but either one shoulder or both are caught behind the pubic bone preventing the infant from being born. This may result in damage to the baby's nerves, loss of oxygen and fractures.

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About Monsees & Mayer Missouri Lawyers

The attorneys at Monsees & Mayer handle cases where people have been injured. If you need a lawyer for personal injury representation in Missouri or Kansas, call 866.774.3233. http://www.mmmpalaw.com