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Bergen County Medical Malpractice Law Blog

When hospital negligence occurs, justice is deserved

No one looks forward to a stint in the hospital, even if it is just a few hours for outpatient surgery. One way that New Jersey patients get through the experience is by reassuring themselves about the trained professionals who will provide them with medical care.

Unfortunately, there are times when patients may leave the hospital in worse condition than they were in when they arrived. When hospital negligence is behind these worsening conditions, victims can and should take legal action against those responsible.

Hospitals can be held responsible for staff negligence

Medical facilities and hospitals across the nation have become increasingly busy over the last several decades thanks to a growing population. This is just as true in New Jersey cities as it is in larger and more populated areas of the country. Considering the large volume of patients that receive care in these facilities on a daily basis, it is no wonder that hospital mistakes and even negligence occur.

When you stop to think about the massive amount of communication that must transpire between the medical staff it can boggle the mind. Add to that already hectic mix care coordination responsibilities and facility cleanliness and you have a possible recipe for disaster. When it does occur due to honest mistakes or outright negligence, the entire facility can be held responsible. This includes everything from errors made in radiology, lab errors, emergency room mistakes and hospital staff negligence.

Taking action when surgical errors occur

Undergoing any kind of surgical procedure can be frightening, especially when you consider how many surgical errors occur in New Jersey and the rest of the nation. Sadly, many people become victims of surgical errors in the United States each year, often caused by negligent or reckless behavior by the medical staff. All types of surgical errors can affect patients, but some are more common than others are. Here are some of the most common surgical mistakes that occur across the country.

-- Surgery performed on the wrong site-- Leaving surgical instruments or other foreign materials inside the body-- Surgery performed on the wrong patient-- Improper anesthesia delivery-- Improper surgical instrument sanitization techniques-- Post-surgical negligence and complications-- Perforating vital organs during surgery-- Injuring arteries during cardiology procedures-- Performing unnecessary surgical procedures

My doctor didn't order a biopsy. Should he or she have?

The first step in successfully treating a patient for cancer or other serious illnesses is acquiring a correct diagnosis. In most cases, patients can trust their physicians to take all steps necessary to acquire this diagnosis and then create an appropriate treatment plan. However, failure to diagnose medical conditions do still happen. In fact, misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose accurately is one of the most common reasons patients turn to medical malpractice litigation.

While medicine has made many amazing strides throughout its history, it is still an inexact science, which means diagnostic mistakes occur even from dedicated doctors. Despite this, physicians must be held responsible when they fail to abide by industry diagnosing standards, especially when the patient turns out to have cancer. The efficacy of cancer treatment is time-sensitive, meaning a speedy diagnosis is crucial.

Wrongful birth injuries: Their causes and consequences

Injuries to the tiniest of America's citizens -- newborn infants -- is a topic that no one wants to think about. Obstetricians and other medical personnel involved in the birth of babies care about what they do and no doubt work hard to ensure a safe delivery. However, birth injuries do still occur and some of them are caused by error rather than unpreventable circumstances.

Many times, an infant injured during birth will get better with time, experiencing no long-term effects. At the same time, some of these injured infants will never get better and may suffer from developmental delays, permanent physical conditions or even death.

Patient wins defamation and medical malpractice suit

When people hear the term "malpractice," most automatically envision grave injuries or even death. However, a shocking story shows that people can be harmed without experiencing bodily injury. The story centers on a male patient who inadvertently recorded the events that transpired during his colonoscopy procedure. The results are both shocking and a gross display of lack of professionalism.

The patient reportedly merely meant to record the doctor's post-procedure instructions, but what he captured was a slew of insults and mockery instead. Some of the derogatory comments he recorded include calling the patient a derogatory word for a mentally-challenged person, expressing a desire to punch him in the face, saying a rash on the patient was syphilis and stating he had "tuberculosis of the penis."

Are hospital infections in Bergen County caused by negligence?

In many cases, yes, some form of negligence could cause hospital-acquired infections to occur in New Jersey facilities. As hospitals hold a large number of sick people, germs may spread from person-to-person, especially if the staff becomes complacent about standard sanitary procedures. However, there are other ways negligence might cause a patient to acquire an infection during a stay in the hospital.

In progress reports provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it appears that three main types of infections might arise due to hospital negligence.

Medical malpractice case highlights issues of gender identity

American society is slowly but surely coming to accept the idea that gender can be fluid - including biological gender. While the vast majority of children are born with clearly male or female genitalia, there is a significant minority of children who are born intersex.

But gender is not just defined by a person's sex organs. There are also complex components of personality and social identity, and these components may not solidify for years. For this reason, many medical professionals now believe that gender assignment surgery at a young age is inappropriate, and could lead to significant problems for individuals who were surgically assigned one gender but identify as the other.

Preventing medication errors in New Jersey hospitals

In our last post, we discussed a recent report showing that New Jersey Hospitals rank fifth in the nation in terms of patient safety. The Leapfrog Group, a non-profit hospital watchdog, was behind the rating.

On the whole, the fact that New Jersey hospitals rank highly is great news for patients. But there is always room for improvement. In today's post, we'll discuss a common problem that many New Jersey hospitals continue to struggle with: medication errors.

New Jersey hospitals get high marks for patient safety in 1 study

For decades, Americans have been unable to "shop" for their medical care in the way they could shop for other goods and services. The hospital you chose was often chosen by geographic proximity.

In small communities and for emergency care, Americans are still largely unable to choose hospitals based on anything but geography. But increasingly, we do find that we have more choices in health care, which is why hospital ratings and safety scores have become important consumer tools. These rating systems also help states assess the quality of healthcare overall.

$7.4 Billion Medicaid Recovery

Breslin and Breslin, PA, Donald A. Caminiti, Esq., was one of six law firms selected by the Attorney General of the State of New Jersey to act as special counsel to represent it in its lawsuit against the tobacco industry to recover Medicaid and other health related costs incurred by the state resulting from tobacco related illnesses.