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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

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.

What are some causes of cerebral palsy?

A group of disorders that affects a person's movement, balance and posture, cerebral palsy is the result of damage to the brain or an abnormal development of the brain. Missouri parents may not realize that there are many potential causes of the damage or abnormal development, and they could occur before, during or after childbirth.

When CP develops more than 28 days after birth, the cause is often associated with a head injury or an infection. The head injury could be the result of a accident that causes trauma to the brain, while the infection could be encephalitis or meningitis that occurs during infancy. Another cause may be blood flow problems to the brain resulting from improperly formed blood vessels, sickle cell disease or a heart defect.

How is cancer diagnosed?

Each year a large number of Missouri residents are diagnosed with cancer, which remains one of the most frightening diseases for both men and women. This complicated illness can carry a wide array of symptoms, which is why the diagnosis is difficult to pin down in some cases. Unfortunately, some types of cancer have a recurrence rate and a high mortality rate, which makes a doctor's failure to diagnose the disease even worse.

While there are dozens of different types of cancer, the way the disease is diagnosed is fairly standard. If cancer is suspected, the doctor will take cell or tissue samples, usually through a biopsy. These samples are generally examined at the cellular level using a microscope, and many times they are sent to a laboratory for DNA and RNA testing. Sometimes tumors and lumps that could be cancerous are located through MRI and X-ray technology and then submitted to tissue testing if at all possible.

Taking action against medical professionals in Missouri

In most cases, medical malpractice claims must be made within two years from when the malpractice occurred. This applies to dentists, doctors and others who may work on patients in a hospital or other medical setting. Optometrists, providers of physical therapy and pharmacists may also be held liable for medical malpractice or medical errors.

The same rule is true for those who are filing a lawsuit for negligence or medical error. However, there is one main exception to this rule. If a claim is made that a foreign object was left in a patient's body, that person may make a claim within two years of the object being found. This statute of limitations may also begin from the time a patient should have known about the object if exercising due care. A claim may also be made two years from the time a patient was informed that a medical error was made.

Risks and preventive strategies for wrong-site surgical errors

A Missouri patient facing surgery may want to take preventive measures to address and limit the risk of a wrong-site error. Although the numbers are not high, the potential exists, especially when certain protocols are ignored and when risk factors are higher. Learning more about the possible factors may be a starting point for curbing the potential of a surgical mistake. Additionally, communication with the patient's health care provider may help in limiting the potential for problems. Statistics indicate that many wrong-site incidents result in medical malpractice awards.

Although protocols have been established at a national level to reduce the occurrence of surgical errors such as operating on the wrong body part or person, failure of medical professionals to comply with these procedures is one of the leading causes of wrong-site incidents. Another major cause of wrong-site errors is poor communication, making it important for a patient, loved ones, and the surgery team to emphasize careful communication throughout the pre-operative process as well as during a procedure. Additionally, leadership is an important factor that can impact the potential for errors.

Boston hospital denies fault in spite of surgeon's apology

Many patients in Missouri join those in other states in suffering from complications due to medical malpractice, and a good portion of those patients seek legal recourse. One recent case out of Boston features a doctor who admitted to surgical errors that harmed a patient, but the hospital's insurance company refuses to admit wrongdoing.

A neurosurgeon performed surgery at Tufts Medical Center in Boston in November 2013 and admits to injecting the wrong type of dye into the patient during the procedure. The dye injected into the patient during what should have been a routine procedure was not meant for the use for which it was employed. Reports show that the hospital was out of the correct type of dye at the time and that the alternate dye was allegedly substituted.

Missouri malpractice cases may involve multiple defendants

A Missouri patient who is injured as the result of medical malpractice may be entitled to compensation not only from the treating physician but also from the physician's employer or other individuals or companies. Hospitals, for example, may be vicariously liable for the acts of their employees or may have direct liability in some situations. Pharmaceutical companies are sometimes named defendants in medical malpractice cases as well.

Vicarious liability is a legal concept that may hold an employer responsible for the actions of its employee, even if the employer has not been negligent. A hospital may have direct liability if it failed to properly review the physician's history prior to hiring, for example, or if it failed to provide proper training. Additionally, hospitals have duties to ensure the presence of qualified nurses and to maintain medical records, perform tests and properly triage emergency patients. A hospital may be directly liable in a medical malpractice case for failure to meet any of these duties.

New surgical "black box" system could help in malpractice cases

Patients in Missouri may be interested in reading about how a Toronto hospital is currently developing a surgical "black box" system meant to reduce the number of errors during surgery. It consists of many cameras and microphones that record the entire surgery and all communication between surgeons and staff during the procedure. The captured video and audio is processed by software that can detect surgical errors in real time.

The system has discovered that even highly experienced surgeons can make as many as 20 mistakes in a single surgery, but most of these mistakes are minor and cause no complications or adverse reactions. Some surgeons, however, fear that malpractice attorneys might be able to somehow gain access to the videos.

Over 4,000 preventable surgical errors happen every year in U.S.

Mistakes that happen during surgeries in Kansas City, Missouri which can be prevented are known as “never events” because they should simply not happen. According to John Hopkins Medicine, these surgical errors often result in medical malpractice claims and include things like operating on the wrong body site, an incorrect procedure being performed and foreign objects being left inside patients.

According to a study performed by researchers at John Hopkins University, there is estimated to have been 80,000 never events that occurred in the U.S. between 1990 and 2010. Researchers analyzed 9,744 paid national malpractice judgments to arrive at this estimate and believe that it is actually on the low end. This is because not all foreign items that are left inside patients are discovered. In the judgments that were studied, 59.2 percent of patients suffered temporary injuries, 32.9 percent were permanently injured and 6.6 percent died as a result of surgical errors that could have been prevented.

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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