Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice

Uneccesary surgery medical malpractice claimsHaving surgery can be frightening and stressful, but learning that you endured a painful, expensive, and unnecessary procedure can be even more distressing. Unfortunately, unnecessary surgery is a shockingly common type of medical malpractice.

While not every instance of an unnecessary surgical procedure is grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit, if your surgeon or another member of your surgical team was negligent, you may be entitled to compensation. Here’s what you should know.

After undergoing an unneeded surgery, victims often wonder how something like this could happen. Some of the most common negligence-related reasons unnecessary operations are performed include:

malpractice due to diagnostic errorsNot only are diagnostic errors one of the most prevalent types of medical malpractice, but they’re also one of the most frequent reasons for malpractice settlements and financial awards. Medical errors affect an estimated 12 million Americans each year, according to the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine, and can be extremely harmful or even deadly for victims.

Some of the most common diagnosis-related medical errors include:

  • Missed diagnosis. The doctor gives a patient a clean bill of health, failing to diagnose a serious illness or medical condition.

pap smear errors and medical malpracticePap smears are an essential part of women’s reproductive healthcare. Using cells collected from the cervix, these gynecological tests screen for abnormalities that could indicate cervical cancer and are often combined with a test to detect the cancer-causing human papillomavirus.

Doctors recommend that women between the ages of 21 and 65 have a pap smear, also known as a pap test, every three years.

With the possibility for a life-shattering cancer diagnosis on the line, it’s vital for medical professionals to

Surgeons, dentists, general practitioners, specialists, and other medical professionals are required to provide patients with a quality standard of care. Though not all poor health outcomes are the result of providers deviating from an accepted standard of care, many are.

In fact, a recent study from Johns Hopkins found that medical mistakes are the third leading cause of death in the United States, after heart disease and cancer.

What is a medical malpractice claim?In the event of a poor outcome, doctors and other medical personnel are judged based on what a competent medical professional with a comparable background would have done in similar circumstances. If providers with related training and experience wouldn’t have made the same mistake in this situation, the patient—or surviving family members—may have grounds for a medical malpractice claim.

Lawsuit for medical negligence are common, because errors made by healthcare providers occur far more frequently than most patients would like to think about. When medical care providers make errors, the consequences can be devastating to patients. A patient can face a much more grave prognosis and in many cases, the mistake in care leads to irreversible harm. medical malpractice lawsuit Van Sant Law

While any doctor can make errors, there are certain physicians and caregivers who are more likely than others to damage the health of patients. Medscape has recently reported the results of one survey showing which physicians are most likely to face lawsuits. Patients harmed by care providers in these or other fields must understand whether they should make a claim after they suffer an adverse health outcome due to botched treatment. An Atlanta medical negligence lawyer can provide invaluable assistance to patients in determining what their options are for pursuing a damage claim.

Which Doctors are Most Likely to Make Medical Mistakes in Atlanta?

The job of a radiologist is an important one: to use medical imaging devices such as x-rays, ultrasounds, CT scans, PET scans and other technologies to diagnose disease. Radiologists also play a role in treating diseases through the use of nuclear medicine. Because radiologists are responsible for helping to ensure patients get appropriate diagnoses and appropriate medical care, radiologists are considered healthcare professionals and have a duty to provide reasonably competent medical care to patients.

Unfortunately, radiologists are not perfect and they can sometimes make mistakes. In fact, according to the American Journal of Roentgenology, approximately four percent of interpretations radiologists make contain errors. While many of these errors are minor ones, others have serious consequences and impact a patient's health and medical prognosis.

If you or a loved one has been harmed as a result of a radiological error, it is important to understand you have legal rights. Medical malpractice laws don't just extent to doctors and surgeons but can also cover radiologists and other healthcare providers. An Atlanta medical malpractice lawyer can help you to determine if you have a viable medical malpractice claim against your radiologist and can assist you in taking legal action to recover monetary damages including compensation for pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, emotional distress and other losses.

Stent are metal mesh devices implanted with catheters that open up clogged blood vessels, and they have been implanted into seven million patients in the last ten years, with researchers saying as many as 1/3 of those stents being unnecessary. Eleven hospitals across the US have now settled civil allegations of needless stenting and wrongdoing. Our Atlanta medical malpractice attorneys have been following this issue, and saw a case of a Georgia catheterization clinic, or “cath lab, that harmed and even caused the death of patients without the hospital taking any steps.

The instance in Georgia involved Judi Gary, who was a patient at Satilla Regional Medical Center in Waycross, Georgia, in 2005. Najam Azmat attempted to put a catheter in Ms. Gary to put in a stent in an artery which supplies blood to the pelvis and right leg. Nurses in the room, including Evan Gourley, saw blood on the x-ray monitor. When this was pointed out, Azmat claimed there was nothing wrong. Gourley left in disgust after the nurses requested a different vascular surgeon step in, which was refused. It turned out that Azmat had tore Ms. Gary’s aorta. Gourley went to the administrators of the hospital, who had apparently already received seven such reports about Azmat, but they continued to let Azmat work. And one of his later patients died.

Ruth Minter was at Satilla in January 2006 when Azmat attempted to put a stent in an artery near one of her kidneys. He punctured the wall of the kidney in the process and Ms. Minter died 17 days later after massive blood loss. Perhaps worst of all, in a review of the case it was found Ms. Minter didn’t even need the stent that, in addition to Azmat’s negligence, cost her her life. A surgeon who reviewed her case for a lawsuit filed by her family against Azmat and the hospital said, “People who should have and could have saved Mrs. Minter’s life were too interested in having Dr. Azmat continue to do procedures and make money for the hospital to do the right thing.Research into the Satilla Regional Medical Center show the efforts that hospital administrators went to to keep their cath lab open, even in the face of untold patient injuries.

Surgeons are expected to provide a reasonable level of competent care for patients, and to alert patients if things go wrong on the operating table. Patients are under anesthesia so cannot know what exactly doctors are doing or if there is a problem. If something goes wrong, however, doctors are supposed to disclose. Unfortunately, not all doctors follow best practices for letting patients know what happened when the patient was under anesthesia and undergoing surgery. Atlanta surgical errors Van Sant Law

If you are a surgical patient and your doctor makes a mistake during your procedure, you could potentially have a claim for medical malpractice. While it can be a challenge to get the information necessary to show what happened during surgery or how your doctor let you down, an Atlanta medical malpractice lawyer can help you.

Do Surgeons Let Patients Know When Something Goes Wrong?

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See Our Related Blog investigation about doctors in Georgia practicing without medical malpractice insurance. The investigation, analyzing state data, found that more than 2,500 doctors are doing this in Georgia, including dozens who have been previously disciplined by the state medical board for things like sexual misconduct, drug use, and patient deaths. While 18 other states have laws mandating malpractice insurance or have methods for compensating injured patients, Georgia only encourages doctors to get insurance.

AJC analysed state medical board data that was collected under a 2011 law requiring licensed doctors to inform the board if they have malpractice insurance. There are more than 29,000 licensed doctors in Georgia that provided this information, and 2,536 of them admitted they didn't have insurance. Another 3,000 didn't provide the information. These numbers mean a little less than eight percent of doctors with medical licenses aren't insured.

Our medical malpractice lawyers have recently discussed several medical malpractice issues on this blog, and we noticed yet another Georgia case that caught our attention. The family of a DeKalb County man was awarded $17 million for the malpractice of a physician's assistant that caused the brain injuries of their son.

What happened to 24-year-old Sheriod Merritt is a tragic story. In 2008, when he was 19-years-old, he was shot in the face by a stray bullet from a drive by shooting outside a Wal-Mart in Lovejoy. He was shot through the cheek and could speak, and his mother said he appeared fine just after the shooting. The wound was determined not life-threatening. Merritt was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital where the doctors told the family he would be okay after surgery, and when he woke up he could be taken home to recover. The young man was apparently very anxious about the surgery and told his father that he loved him before being taken away. When Patrick and Angela Merritt came to pick up their son the next day, he was in a coma. They claim the doctors never told them what happened to Sheriod during the surgery or what went wrong. All they knew was that their son, who was still talking and walking the day before even after being shot, had suffered some kind of brain trauma and could hardly speak and could not walk anymore.

The Merritt's turned to the legal system to try to get answers about their son. The case was tried in the DeKalb County State Court with Judge Wayne Purdom. In their lawsuit, the family alleged that the anesthesiologist, Dr. James Richardson, from Emory University Hospital and a physician's assistant, Richard Nardi, at Grady Hospital, didn't follow proper procedure when Sheriod was waking up after his surgery. The family says a preventable error with his breathing tube caused Sheriod to go without oxygen for seven to eight minutes, causing the brain damage. The hospital contends that Sheriod woke from the anesthesia violently, fighting with medical personnel, at which point he dislodged his own breathing tube. The statement said the medical personnel were only doing their job by acting quickly in order to save Sheriod's life.

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