Many may think that medical malpractice cases in Norfolk County simply involve an unhappy patient filing a complaint and the lawyers representing the doctors and/or hospitals involved quickly moving to settle. However, that is not often the case. Doctors and other medical providers stand behind the work that they do. At the same time, only a patient truly knows the impact that his or her provider’s alleged negligence had on his or her quality of life. If he or she truly believes that his or her care was inadequate, then he or she may very well be prepared to pursue the case to its very end.
Those in Quincy who have been given the dreaded news that they have cancer will tell you that receiving such a diagnosis and dealing with the emotional stress that accompanies it can exact just as great a toll as the cancer itself. If you were given such a diagnosis, yet later found out it was incorrect, most would assume that your first impulse would be to jump for joy. Yet if you are like most who receive such news, then your thoughts are like focused on why a doctor would misdiagnose you with cancer in the first place.
As a dental patient, you are vulnerable to many of the same mistakes and mishaps that occur in any Massachusetts health are facility. Two of the medical errors that are most common to dentistry are anesthesia mistakes and drug interactions from pharmaceuticals that your dentist may incorrectly prescribe for you.
There are certain errors in the medical field that are called “never events,” because, theoretically, they should never happen. However, if you have been the victim of a wrong-site surgery, then you know how very real – and very damaging – such events can be.
Patients in Massachusetts who carefully read medication labels and question their physicians about the possible side effects associated with a drug are doing their due diligence. Unfortunately, they cannot prevent the common mistakes that occur in a hospital setting every day.
Sadly, medical errors are an everyday occurrence in Massachusetts and across the country. At Giarrusso, Norton, Cooley & McGlone, P.C., we know that some of these mistakes will slip by unnoticed, but some will lead to life-altering injuries. If you have been the victim of a medical professional’s negligence, you have the right to take legal action and pursue compensation for the damages you have suffered.
Massachusetts residents may be unaware of the degree to which medical professionals say they observe their colleagues and superiors making errors. According to a study in 2005 conducted by The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses and VitalSmarts, over half of the 1,700 nurses, administrators, doctors and clinical-care staff surveyed observed behaviors in their colleagues that included breaking rules, making mistakes and failing to support others. Furthermore, more than 8 out of 10 doctors said they had seen colleagues taking dangerous shortcuts in patient care and 88 percent described colleagues as having poor clinical judgment.
Massachusetts residents may be interested to learn that heavy smokers who are between the ages of 55 and 77 may have the cost of an annual spiral CT scan covered by Medicare. Many professionals believe that these screenings, which allow doctors to look for anomalies in the lungs, may possibly reduce lung cancer fatalities.
Electronic medical records are intended to improve care for Massachusetts patients and aid communication among healthcare providers. Digital record keeping, however, is not infallible, and medical malpractice cases that awarded plaintiffs millions of dollars were determined in part by confusion created by the electronic records.
A study published in "The Journal of Patient Safety" in March 2015 involving IV bag labels may be of interest to patients in Massachusetts. The study looked at how often anesthesia trainees chose IV bags with hetastarch, a substance used to combat patient blood loss during surgery, from a cart with IV bags with hetastarch and lidocaine, a type of anesthetic. In the study, patients worked with IV bags with one of two types of labels. In the study, 60 percent of participants given IV bags with labels designed with the researchers chose the correct bags with hetastarch. The percentage was lower for trainees working with IV bags with labels commonly used in the healthcare industry.