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Tucson Personal Injury and Medical Malpractice Blog

Women's delayed heart disease diagnoses impact surgery options

A recent study, published in The Annals of Thoracic Surgery, has found that women presenting with symptoms of coronary artery disease (CAD) appear to be diagnosed significantly later than their male counterparts with the same symptoms of the condition.

Researchers found that most women diagnosed with the condition generally must appear to be suffering from other related medical conditions such as diabetes or obesity before a doctor gives their symptoms the same attention a man would get. They additionally found that male patients generally are given much more thorough evaluations and treatments earlier on than their female counterparts.

Complaints of poor care at nursing homes increases by 33 percent

Complaints involving residents receiving poor care at nursing homes reportedly increased by 33 percent during 2011 and 2015 compared to previous years. To make matters worse, this alleged increase came at a time when the number of residents living in these long-term care facilities experienced a decrease.

Data compiled by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) also shows that many of the investigations launched into these complaints by state Medicaid or Medicare administrators was delayed.

What are birth injuries and why do they occur?

Birth injuries refer to a type of trauma that can cause either temporary or permanent harm to an infant as he or she is being born.

One common reason birth injuries occur is because a baby is abnormally positioned in the womb, such as being born feet first, or a breech birth. Another common reason is because the baby is above-average in size. In terms of the latter, if the mother's pelvis is not large enough or not shaped just right, then she may be deemed to be unable to birth a child vaginally.

Why the nursing shortage is everyone's problem

Whether you've spent a lot of time in hospitals or are one of the lucky individuals who only visits your physician's office for yearly checkups, one commonality you've doubtlessly encountered is nurses. From yearly physicals to emergency room visits, nurses play a major -- and essential -- role in health care. They are vital to the medical community, performing the bulk of smaller tasks, administering tests, caring for patients and even double-checking doctors. Indeed, there isn't enough time to list all the ways that nurses are essential in health care.

This is why the ever-growing nursing shortage is a crisis in the making. In fact, in less than a decade, researchers believe this shortage of nurses will be more than twice the size of any since the 1960s. What's causing this nurse scarcity? Perhaps more importantly, how will it affect you and your loved ones?

Insys, doctors are sued for improper marketing of dangerous drug

The attorney general for Arizona filed a civil lawsuit against Insys Therapeutics on Wednesday, Aug. 30. In doing so, he accused the pharmaceutical manufacturing giant of deceptively marketing one of its drugs. He also accused the Chandler-based company of having kept a few select doctors on its payroll as speakers, doctors Insys rewarded monetarily for over-prescribing their high powered opioid spray Subsys.

As for the AG's lawsuit, it's been filed on the heels of the indictment of at least six of the drug company's former executives. They stand accused of bribery. Also listed as defendants on the filing are three different physicians who reportedly prescribed the drug to at least 66 percent of all Arizona patients who took it between 2012 and 2017. The retail value of all of those prescriptions is just over $50 million.

Ways you can help your doctors avoid making surgical errors

A study published by Johns Hopkins Hospital in 2016 found that each year, there are an estimated 250,000 cases of either medical or hospital errors across the United States.

Researchers set out to determine what contributes to these cases. They determined that a doctor's ability level does not generally cause these errors. Instead, they found all too often appropriate safety measures aren't taken, or medical staff doesn't properly coordinate patient care. They found that many surgical errors are caused because doctors are not consistent in the way they perform common procedures.

The feds find that many cases of nursing home abuse go unreported

The United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) recently audited a large number of Medicare records across 33 states. On Monday, August 28th, DHHS' inspector general issued an "early alert" warning aimed at Medicare. They'd discovered that at least 25 percent of all cases of physical or sexual abuse that were occurring in nursing homes was not being reported to police as required under federal law.

In their brief, DHHS noted that more than one and a half million Americans live in nursing homes throughout the country. Of those 2015 and 2016 cases they've audited thus far, they've found at least 134 instances in which emergency room records have indicated abuse. Among those, they noted that at least 28 percent of those records didn't indicate that law enforcement had been notified about the suspected abuse.

Why patients end up suing their doctors for malpractice

The threat of being sued for medical malpractice is a real one for those who work in the medical profession. While at least 93 percent of all cases are either dropped or settled outside of court, at least seven percent end up being hashed out at trial. The outcomes of those cases can greatly impact the medical professional's reputation.

Researchers seeking to gain a better understanding of what can be done to reduce doctors' risks of being sued for malpractice have noted varying trends. For one, they've noted that patients desire to have more open communication, including after a procedure has been performed, with their doctors.

"Never events" happen way more often than anyone will admit

Those in the medical profession describe some mistakes as "never events" despite the fact that they occur far more often than patients realize. You would think that the name would imply these things just don't happen. What it actually means is that it should never happen. That distinction provides the basis for the urgency of the medical field to prevent these events.

As a patient, you may be just as anxious for the medical profession to take whatever measures are necessary to prevent such events from ever happening again.

How susceptible are you to medical errors at a rehab facility?

Oftentimes, after a patient undergoes a surgical procedure or suffers some type of debilitating medical emergency such as a stroke, the individual might be encouraged to recooperate at a rehabilitation hospital. This may particularly be the case if the patient's mobility is limited or he or she is in need of around the clock care.

A 2016 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services study found that this isn't the best option for them though. This is because they found that 29 percent of all patients who end up in rehab hospitals end up contracting an infection, suffering some type of medication error or suffering some other adverse medical outcome.

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