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Bergen County Medical Malpractice Law Blog

An overview on cerebral palsy, its causes and consequences

Giving birth is unique among medical procedures in a number of ways. On one hand, both the mother and her medical team know that the baby is coming and have nine months to prepare for giving birth. On the other hand, there are many things that can go wrong during delivery, even if the pregnancy itself was not complicated.

How quickly and effectively doctors and medical staff respond to problems can mean the difference between a healthy delivery and birth injuries. In today’s post, we’ll discuss a common type of birth injury with lifelong consequences: cerebral palsy.

Plaintiffs win medical malpractice suit alleging retained object

It is one of life's ironies that the simplest and most preventable mistakes are sometimes the most devastating. In medicine, for instance, the most skilled surgeon can cause serious harm to a patient by being careless about collecting tools at the end of a procedure.

When surgical sponges and other tools are left inside of a patient, the consequences can be highly injurious and even fatal. The problem of retained foreign objects is more prevalent than most people realize. It is a surgical error that has affected a significant number of patients here in New Jersey and around the country.

What is needed in order to prove medical negligence

There is a common misconception that patients sue doctors and hospitals simply because they have a bad medical outcome. This is not the case. A patient can suffer a negative medical outcome (including death) in spite of great medical care. As such, it should be noted that there is a difference between a negative outcome due to circumstance and a negative outcome caused by medical malpractice.

Most medical malpractice lawsuits involve allegations of hospital or physician negligence. This is to say that that the doctor or health care facility did not meet an accepted standard of care. Today, we'll discuss what is typically needed to prove a negligence claim.

Compensation is just one goal of medical malpractice lawsuits

Have you ever been ripped off by an auto mechanic? Have you ever paid for a non-refundable product or service that truly didn’t live up to your expectations? Have you ever hired someone for help only to have the problem get worse rather than better?

If you answered “yes” to any of the previous questions, you know what it’s like to feel powerless as a consumer. Thankfully, the internet gives most of us a voice to air our grievances. Many companies are desperate to avoid scathing “Yelp” reviews and other bad publicity, which gives average Americans some leverage to have their concerns addressed. Unfortunately, we don’t really have this power when it comes to health care.

Distracted doctoring reaches new low: Sexting during surgery

In recent years there has been a growing concern in healthcare about distracted doctors. Like distracted drivers, physicians who are preoccupied with the electronic devices in their hands may pose a danger to others around them. Inattention leads to preventable medical errors.

This is the case even if physicians are preoccupied with electronic devices meant to improve recordkeeping and other aspects of their jobs. Then again, there are also physicians distracted by technology in ways that are unrelated to work and inappropriate in nearly all work settings.

Are U.S. maternity wards performing C-sections too often?

In our last post we wrote about some of the medical problems that can arise as a result of pregnancy. Prenatal and perinatal care have certainly come a long way over the last century and it seems as though complicated deliveries are less likely to result in severe birth injuries than they once were.

Modern medicine has also found a way to take some of the chaos out of maternity wards. But is our quest for order and predictability actually creating a problem when it comes to standard birthing practices? Vaginal birth remains the most common method of delivery in the United States, but use of the Cesarean section method has increased dramatically since the middle of the 20th century. Now, rates of C-sections have surpassed levels deemed appropriate by the World Health Organization.

The dangerous post-partum risk that many women don't know about

The ability to create life and give birth is one of the more miraculous biological feats of the human body. It is a gift that most women would not trade for anything else in the world. But as wonderful as pregnancy and childbirth can be, they can also take a huge toll on the body; putting both baby and mother in danger.

Complications during delivery could result in serious birth injuries including cerebral palsy. But what many women do not know is that health risks and complications do not go away immediately upon giving birth. One New Jersey woman recently told ABC News that she nearly died several days after giving birth to her second child. She had been suffering from a rare form of preeclampsia that begins after the baby is born.

Failure to diagnose early signs of stroke a common problem

For serious medical problems, timely treatment has perhaps the greatest effect on patient outcomes. If detected and treated as early as possible, several of the most common killers – heart attack, stroke and cancer – are survivable. But misdiagnosis and failure to diagnose are common medical errors that result in too many preventable deaths.

According to a recently published study, a significant number stroke victims come to hospital emergency rooms in the 30 days prior to their stroke but are discharged because physicians do not correctly attribute their symptoms to an impending stroke. The study’s authors concluded that this happens approximately 12.7 percent of the time.

The deadly problem of hospital-acquired infections

When we think of hospitals, the image that comes to mind is often a place of healing. Save for those suffering from a chronic and progressive disease, no one expects to leave a hospital sicker than when they arrived. Sadly, this happens far more often than most of us realize.

Hospital-acquired infections are a serious and widespread problem. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal that an estimated 75,000 patients die each year in the United States from infections they were exposed to in health care facilities. Because germs, bacteria and viruses evolve and become resistant to normal treatment methods, hospitals cannot fully prevent the spread of disease. In many cases, however, hospital negligence is to blame for disease outbreaks that result in numerous fatalities.

Lawsuit: Misdiagnosis of death causes woman to die alone in morgue

There are some nightmare scenarios so scary that they have endured as the premises of horror stories and urban legends. One of these scenarios involves being buried alive. For some, there would be few scarier ways to die than by waking up in a closed casket under several feet of earth.

Of course, such a scenario is nearly unheard of these days. But in one recent lawsuit alleging hospital negligence, the family of an 80-year-old woman claims that she died under circumstances that may have been just as horrifying. After suffering a heart attack and being mistakenly pronounced dead, the woman allegedly woke up in a body-preserving freezer and died while trying to “escape her frozen tomb.”

$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.