You trust your doctors to do what's right for you. When they prescribe a medication, you generally believe that taking it as ordered is in your best interests. Most of the time, a new prescription gets filled at the pharmacy, taken as ordered, and works as intended by the prescribing physician. Sometimes, however, a doctor may prescribe a medication that directly impacts the effectiveness of another or causes a dangerous combination of chemicals. These issues that arise from combinations of prescribed medications are called drug interactions.
By Rob Lewis
Anyone who has suffered harm at the hands of a medical professional has likely wondered at some point if he or she has a claim for medical malpractice. While it isn't the answer that most people would want, the truth is that not all bad outcomes of medical care would qualify as medical malpractice.
The University of Toledo Medical Center has reached an agreement in a lawsuit filed by a patient for medical malpractice. Specifically, the patient alleged that the hospital's failure to diagnose his brain bleed led to a stroke. The hospital has agreed to pay $499,900 to the patient to settle his claim. The settlement agreement has been approved by the courts.The plaintiff claimed he was a patient at the hospital in 2011 and cited several incidents of hospital error during his stay, including mismanagement of medications, failure to monitor his condition, and failure to follow up on or report the results of a CT scan. He claims that this mismanagement led to a stroke that caused traumatic brain injury and led to his permanent, partial disability. He stated that he lost vision in the left field of both eyes and lost some of his motor function.
Ohio residents may be surprised to learn that copying and pasting patient care notes made by other doctors and medical staff in electronic health records or EHRs is a very common practice. It is such an epidemic that one doctor and professor at a major medical university said that it has a name - "sloppy and paste." Imagine you or a loved one is a patient in a hospital and have just undergone a major surgery. Your doctor makes a note in your EHR that you will require a certain dose of a medication.
The family of a former NFL star has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the National Football League, claiming that head trauma the football player suffered during his career led to a brain injury that caused him to commit suicide. Junior Seau, 43, died at his own hand in May after being diagnosed with CTE, or chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a condition caused by repeated blows to the head. The lawsuit claims that the NFL deliberately concealed evidence of the risks associated with head trauma from players although the organization was aware that repeated hits could lead to permanent damage. The suit is one of more than 175 cases filed over concussion injuries sustained by football players. The family is also suing Riddell Inc., the manufacturer of helmets used by NFL players, claiming that the helmets are unsafe.
Though many parents look forward to the birth of a child, the child birthing process is also immensely complicated and often results in injuries that can burden the child for the remainder of their life. As many as six out of every thousand children born suffer some sort of birth injury in the United States. Some of these injuries are mild, but many more are extremely severe.
Medical malpractice cases typically involve a health care professional who has either willfully or negligently breached the trust between them and the patient. Indeed, these kinds of cases often arise because a doctor or a nurse made a careless mistake that injured a patient, or even caused a patient to die. In one especially tragic incident, a 7-month-old baby died following a hospital mistake at Children's Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio.The 7-month-old had been admitted to the hospital for heart surgery. However, it was later discovered that instead of placing a saline solution into the baby's body, alcohol was accidentally put in instead. That in turn caused the baby's organs to fail. The 7-month-old tragically died on Aug. 21, 2010 due to a mistake that should not have happened.
Even with the tremendous advances of medical technology in recent decades, health care professionals continue to misdiagnose patients. Sometimes, these mistakes may be understandable as the body is a complex instrument and symptoms may indicate any number of possible illnesses. Nevertheless, a failure to diagnose cancer is a profoundly serious mistake that may be indicative of negligence on the part of the doctor and others. Unfortunately, one Ohio woman learned this first-hand.
In Montgomery County, Ohio approximately 40 people have reportedly died in suspected overmedication-related deaths in 2011, a death rate that doubles that of other urban Ohio counties. State authorities are cracking down. And if authorities are correct, a Dayton doctor could be staring at the wrong end of several medical malpractice lawsuits brought by families who have lost a loved one to his medical negligence as well as by some patients suffering injuries from overmedication.