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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.

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.

Spiral CT scans can cause more harm than good

Missouri residents who smoke may be interested in learning about lung cancer screening tests being offered by Medicare. Individuals who are between the ages of 55 and 77 who have been smoking an average of at least a pack each day for more than 30 years are now eligible to take a spiral CT scan. However, some doctors are expressing concern that there may be downsides to the tests.

While, according to a 2011 study, it may be possible to reduce 20 percent of the 150,000 lung cancer deaths per year through this method, there are other drawbacks to the increase in screenings. One is that the tests may reveal cancers that were never going to be harmful to a patient. This could lead to unnecessary procedures. Additionally, the screenings may lead to other more invasive procedures such as biopsies, which could lead to the possibility for complications.

Alteration of electronic medical records

As some Missouri patients know, electronic medical records are used extensively in the health care industry. Doctors and hospitals use this to document history and physicals, tests, diagnoses and treatment. Such records may be used to defend a physician's choices or actions, but the record might also show a physician's failure to order the proper test, interpret test results and radiologic studies appropriately, or wrongly treat a patient.

EMRs, similar to other computerized documents, are favored for many reasons. Such records must not be altered. One court reminded the defendant that an EMR is what it is and should stand on its merit. In this case, the EMR underwent a process allowing the data to undergo statistical analysis. The plaintiff said that although a urinalysis was ordered, the physician failed to identify an abnormal result. This oversight resulted in kidney disease later on. Since the medical record could not support whether the doctor ordered the test or someone else did, this failure influenced the jury's decision-making process. The plaintiff was awarded $2 million, and the alteration made the EMR useless as a defense document.

Medical malpractice fears spur doctors to order unnecessary tests

In Missouri and across the country, physicians are ordering tests that may be medically unnecessary and might cause actual harm to patients in some cases. About 97 percent of emergency room physicians in a recent study reported that they had ordered advanced imaging scans that were not necessary. They order the scans out of a fear of failure to diagnose a condition that a patient may have.

In some cases, an unnecessary test may yield a false positive, which is a result that indicates that a person has a disease or condition that they do not actually have. Based on the false positive, the patient may receive unnecessary and even harmful biopsies and treatments for a condition that is not present. Another risk is that an unnecessary scan will uncover a condition that is not exhibiting any symptoms. Physicians may consider it negligence to fail to treat the condition even though the treatment may be worse for the patient than the undetected medical condition

Flawed computer-generated alerts

Missouri residents may be interested in a report that hospital medication errors may be happening due to computerized glitches that pervade multiple layers of the typical hospital routine. A study by the Institute of Medicine showed that, of the almost 100,000 patient deaths that occur annually due to medical negligence, many were from medication error. Reasons such as physician penmanship and inaccurate dosing were blamed. In order to combat such failures, hospitals established a computer-driven system to eliminate human error. The system's speed and efficiency is well known, but different problems have replaced the old ones.

Computer alerts warning doctors of medication error, cardiac output or problems with a patient's oxygen level are issued routinely and at an alarming rate. In a 2013 study based in five intensive care units with 66 patients in a well-known teaching hospital, 187 alerts were issued every day per patient totaling 15,000 audible alerts. Such alert fatigue, the study found, led to a hidden practice of ignoring them.

Decreasing the odds of delivery mistakes in Missouri

When a baby dies or is injured during childbirth, it can cause emotional pain for parents. It can also increase liability costs for doctors who deliver babies, and it is one reason why many are being driven out of the profession. However, the rate of injuries and death during childbirth could be dramatically reduced with basic safety programs.

That is the finding of a report from one study that tracked the results of four hospitals over 15 years. One of the issues that was addressed during the safety training was effective communication. Breakdowns in communication were blamed for as many as 65 percent of catastrophic outcomes during childbirth. Another part of the safety training was the implementation of simulated deliveries, which allowed medical professionals to practice emergency situations during childbirth.

Study finds regular misdiagnoses of breast biopsies

Published in "The Journal of the American Medical Association" on March 13, a study on analysis of breast tissue biopsies by pathologists may be of concern to women in Missouri. The study looked at diagnoses from 115 pathologists on 240 samples from breast biopsies. The researchers compared their medical opinions to those of three experts. The results showed that on a regular basis, pathologists have difficulty agreeing on the diagnosis for precancerous conditions, which may lead to a patient receiving unnecessary treatment or not enough treatment for a condition.

Biopsy specialists analyze breast tissue biopsies due to findings of suspicious growths on mammograms, the standard tests used for looking for abnormalities on breast tissue. Using mammograms as a diagnosis tool has proven to be an inexact science and sometimes lead to the wrong diagnosis and treatment. Failure to diagnose patients correctly proved to be an issue in almost 50 percent of the diagnoses of precancerous conditions in the study.

Possible bone injuries to newborns in Missouri

When a baby is born, it is possible that he or she could suffer from a variety of bone injuries. One of the most common injuries during delivery is a fracture of the clavicle. While it is often hard to avoid or predict, it may happen more often when there are issues with birth weight. It may also be more common when a baby is delivered with forceps.

In the event of such an injury, arm motion may be limited, and the injury should heal itself within seven to 10 days. Doctors may also look for injuries to the spine if a fracture occurs to the clavicle. Another common bone injury occurs to long bones throughout the body. If a baby loses spontaneous arm or leg movement, it is considered a sign that a long bone injury has occurred. The area of the body that is effected is generally placed in a splint, and recovery takes anywhere from two to four weeks.

Missouri parents and laryngeal nerve damage

In Missouri and elsewhere, births may sometimes be accompanied by laryngeal nerve damage, an injury to the nerve that affects a baby's ability to swallow, cry and breathe. In most cases, this type of birth trauma is self-reversing, with recovery periods ranging from 4 to 12 weeks depending on the severity of the injury. In more severe cases such as those involving damage to both sides of the body, tracheotomy or a special kind of feeding may be necessary.

The exact mechanism that causes laryngeal nerve damage is unknown. It is believed to be a result of the infant's head moving a certain, incorrect way during the birthing and delivery process and may occur in the womb or during delivery. Certain other rare but potentially life-threatening disorders and birth injuries may mimic the effects of laryngeal nerve damage, making immediate testing and appropriate diagnosis essential.

Nursing home neglect is not acceptable

Nursing homes are designed to provide care for older adults and disabled persons who are unable to care for themselves. Many families rely on nursing homes to take care of their loved ones who need around-the-clock medical monitoring and treatment.

It is reasonable to expect that a nursing home resident will be treated with compassion, respect and provided the highest level of care; however, that is not always the case. For this reason, families that can afford it sometimes hire private sitters or care managers to make sure their loved ones' needs are met in a nursing home. Others try to visit as often as possible to monitor the care that a family member receives. However, no family should be required to go to these measures to assure that a nursing home fulfills its lawful and moral obligation to a resident.

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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.