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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.

The conditions that are most often misdiagnosed

The rate of misdiagnosed conditions across U.S. medical facilities continues to be a problem for health professionals, and the situation may not improve anytime soon despite continued efforts to reduce occurrences. Missouri residents might be able to improve their chances of being diagnosed by understanding the definition of misdiagnosis and knowing the most common conditions that are misdiagnosed.

According to the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine, a misdiagnosis is the delayed, wrong or missed detection of an condition. The SIDM's founder and president says that the major areas of misdiagnosis have remained relatively unchanged. Diagnostic errors consistently involve cardiovascular diseases, such as strokes, aortic dissections and heart attacks. They also frequently involve infections and heart attacks.

Medication error cited in hospital patient's death

Missouri residents may be unaware of the large number of deaths that occur each year in the U.S. from hospital errors. A medical journal report published in 2013 links preventable hospital errors to the deaths of anywhere from 210,000 to 400,000 people yearly. One such death involved a 65-year-old woman in Bend, Oregon, who was allegedly given the wrong intravenous medication.

The woman came to the emergency room at St. Charles Health System with dosage questions about medication she was given after a recent brain surgery. Two days later, she died at the hospital after being administered a paralyzing agent rather than an anti-seizure medication. Upon receiving the wrong drug, the patient went into cardiac arrest, stopped breathing and suffered irreversible brain damage. She was placed on life support but was removed from it later and died.

Residents may abuse other residents in nursing homes

Many Missouri residents who rely on nursing homes have probably heard about nursing home abuse and mistreatment. While many may believe that any injury that occurred to their elderly loved one may have been caused by a nursing home staff member, a report released on Nov. 20 found that some injuries may be caused by other residents.

A team of researchers analyzed 2,011 residents who were living in 10 nursing homes. To determine the extent of any incidents that occurred at the nursing home, the residents and their family members were interviewed, and reports made by the nursing staff were compiled. The study, which is the first of its kind, found that, in a 4-week period, 20 percent of elderly residents were involved in disruptive incidents that often resulted in injuries. These incidents ranged from simple theft of roommate's belongings to violent outbursts. Incidents of sexual assault among residents were also common, according to the report.

Treatment for Erb's Palsy

Erb's palsy is a birth injury that affects children in Missouri and the rest of the U.S. In every 1,000 babies born, about one or two infants may develop this form of brachial plexus palsy. Affecting the brachial plexus nerves around the neck, Erb's palsy can cause weakness and loss of movement in the arm. Many cases of Erb's palsy are found to be the result of a baby's neck being stretched during a difficult birth.

The majority of babies born with Erb's palsy are able to recover in about two years as their damaged nerves heal. A doctor should examine a baby that is diagnosed with Erb's palsy periodically to ensure that the child's nerves are recovering properly. Daily physical therapy can also help a baby with Erb's palsy. Beginning when a baby is 3 weeks old, parents can start doing range-of-motion exercises at home on a daily basis.

Misdiagnoses of strokes in all age groups

Strokes are the third-leading cause of death in America, and even when fatality is not the outcome, a person can be left with lifelong disabilities such as speech problems and paralysis. There are medications available that greatly reduce the likelihood of a stroke causing permanent damage when administered within the first few hours of the onset of symptoms. Some Missouri patients may discover, however, that doctors do not always recognize a stroke when they see it.

When medical staff fail to note the signs of a stroke and misdiagnose the patient's ailment, this may result in delayed treatment. The U.S. Government has only approved of one drug to be used to treat acute stroke, and it must be administered within three hours of the onset of symptoms. Serious damage may be sustained by a person if they are not accurately and quickly diagnosed.

Birth injuries caused by perinatal asphyxia

As many Missouri parents know, learning about the birthing process is essential during pregnancy. Perinatal asphyxia is a lack of oxygen to the baby around the time of birth. This occurs in approximately four out of 1,000 births and is more common in premature ones. If it not treated, permanent injury to the child may result.

During labor, the fetal heart rate is monitored, and tests to check for acidity in the baby's blood are done. After birth, doctors perform observational tests that measure how well the newborn tolerated delivery, and an Apgar score is given.

What is elder neglect and what are the warning signs?

The signs of elder neglect in Missouri may not be obvious, but they can be found if an individual knows what to look for. Elder neglect by caregivers represents almost half of abuse cases and can take many forms. For instance, a caregiver may engage in financial abuse such as stealing money from the person who they are caring for or engaging in identity theft.

One telltale sign of neglect is a change in the elderly person's demeanor. If an elderly person seems tense or engages in arguments with a caregiver, it may be a sign of abuse. However, caregivers may explain such behavior as the beginning of dementia or other mental or physical issues. While this may be the case, it may be worthwhile to further check into allegations of abuse or signs of abuse.

Disclosure of doctor error

Many people in Missouri are completely aware that their worsened medical problems are due to doctor error or hospital negligence. Other people in Missouri may not have a clue that medical professional negligence is responsible for their worsened medical condition. Wrong-site surgery or anesthesia error may be relatively simple to attribute to doctor error while misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose may not be as clear. These types of error are common in Missouri as well as other states.

Doctors and the hospitals in which they work can be closed-mouthed about disclosing surgical error or other mistakes in order to avoid medical malpractice suits. Some doctors realize that disclosing an error is necessary in order to effectively treat a patient. More physicians are becoming more open about giving patients information about surgical error and other mistakes. However, they sometimes reveal the information without admitting error. Doctors may inform a patient that an adverse event occurred without explaining that the adverse event occurred because of negligence. This is called partial disclosure.

What is Erb's palsy?

Many Missouri parents might not be aware of the rare condition called brachial plexus birth palsy. According to authorities, the condition, which is commonly referred to as Erb's Palsy, affects fewer than three babies out of every thousand born in the United States. It causes weakness and a reduction of motion in the arm whose nerves are connected to the brachial plexus with palsy.

Erb's palsy is one of several birth injuries that may be attributed to challenging deliveries. It typically occurs when a baby's neck becomes excessively stretched, perhaps because of the duration of the labor, a breech presentation or the size of the child. However, the condition is not necessarily permanent, and parents whose infants have Erb's palsy can assist in the process of helping their child recover arm function, authorities state. The severity of the injury determines whether recovery is possible and how the child is treated.

How common are wrong-site surgeries?

Wrong-site surgeries, wrong-patient procedures and other similar medical mistakes are among errors that can befall any Missouri resident. While rare, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality estimates that an error of this nature occurs once in every 112,000 or so procedures carried out in the U.S.

The information on this study was gathered from a wide spectrum of medical professionals, each of which had slightly different incidences of wrong-site, wrong-procedure and wrong-patient events. For example, orthopedic surgeons reported that the large majority of such errors that they observed were wrong-side events, where the doctors were confused or misinformed about which side of the body they were meant to operate on.

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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.