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Tucson Personal Injury and Medical Malpractice Blog

A woman is denied medical care, dies at a Phoenix drug facility

A 22-year-old mother from Ohio checked herself into Phoenix's Serenity Care Center, a state-licensed drug detox center on Oct. 7 in hopes of getting help for her addiction to opioids. Staff members denied her continued requests to be transferred to a local hospital to be evaluated for her declining health. Within days, she was dead. Her story has left many wondering if her death could have been avoided.

Despite the woman requesting to be taken to a local hospital at least three times, a Maricopa County Sheriff's Office report shows that the staff at the facility she was living at did nothing until the very end.

Did your doctor fail to diagnose your sepsis?

People get infections every day in numerous ways. You could contract an infection from a surgical procedure, an accident or pneumonia. A case of the flu could become an infection under the right conditions.

In some people, an infection can turn ugly if not aggressively treated right away. Perhaps your doctor failed to diagnose your infection in time and before you realized what was happening to your body, you were in the emergency room feeling simply awful. The question is whether doctors will take the next step and determine whether your symptoms resulted from sepsis since they could easily be dismissed as something else.

What makes an individual more vulnerable to elder abuse?

Even if you haven't known anyone personally that's been treated poorly in a nursing home, you've likely heard about it on the nightly news. If you have a parent or a loved one that is facing the prospect of being sent to live in one of these types of facilities, then you may be wondering what some of the risk factors for elderly abuse are.

National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) statistics show the residents in these types of facilities that have low social support are more at risk of being mistreated than those who have a solid support structure. Data from 2009 also shows that at least 50 percent of all dementia patients experience some sort of abuse at the hands of their caregivers.

Anesthesia errors often happen because of carelessness

Of the tens, if not hundreds, of millions of surgical procedures that occur in the United States each year, most involve the use of anesthesia. While a sedative can greatly reduce the amount of pain or discomfort that a patient experiences if it's administered incorrectly, it can seriously injure or kill a patient. At least a quarter of a million Americans die of different types of medical errors each year.

Patients who are given fluids intravenously that are set to flow at undesirably high rates are at increased risk for anxiety, headaches, breathing problems and high blood pressure. If the rates are set to flow at too low of a level, then a patient may not respond effectively to the intravenous medication that they're receiving.

Health care-associated infections are indicative of inferior care

The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) defines any infection that a patient contracts while receiving medical attention for a completely different condition as a health care-associated infection (HAI). The ODPHP estimates that as many as one in every 25 individuals who receive inpatient medical treatment annually end up with an HAI. These result in tens of thousands of patient deaths and billions of dollars in costs.

ODPHP's research shows that these HAIs are often caused by viruses, bacteria, rare pathogens and fungi. The spread of these can occur at any facility that provides medical care, including nursing or residential homes, ambulatory surgical centers, hospitals or renal disease facilities.

Things to know before filing a medical malpractice claim

If you recently had surgery in an Arizona hospital or received some other type of medical treatment, you may still be working your way through recovery. Having an operation can be quite stressful. You hopefully have one or more people to help tend to your needs as you try to regain your strength and resume your normal activities.

Sadly, many surgeries or medical treatment procedures go wrong. What's even worse is that the mishaps are often entirely preventable and caused by doctor or other staff member negligence. No medical patient should suffer treatment that is worse than the condition that prompted them to seek medical care to start.

There are many risks to having a cesarean section

No one wants to have to undergo a surgery and pregnant women are no exception. A mom who has a cesarean section (C-section) performed on her risks both her life and her baby's. She also has to spend significantly more downtime recuperating instead of being hands-on with her newborn. There are situations in which a C-section is warranted though. Although doctors often perform the procedure without incident, things sometimes go wrong.

Doctors typically perform emergency C-sections if mom or baby is in distress or if there's maternal hemorrhaging, a prolapsed umbilical cord, a uterine rupture or a placental abruption. Planned C-sections may occur if labor isn't progressing fast enough, if the baby seems to be adjusting poorly to the labor process, if the baby is in a breech position or if the mother's contractions are weak.

Why does appendicitis often go misdiagnosed?

Each day across the United States, patients are misdiagnosed as having one medical condition when they really have a completely different one.

In some cases, this happens because patients fail to fully list their symptoms. In other instances, it happens because a doctor fails to ask enough questions or perform the right tests that would help them in diagnosing their patient properly. Some medical conditions are more frequently misdiagnosed than others.

A Prescott veterans' nursing home receives a one star rating

A nursing home aide decides to move a resident on her own instead of following protocol and having a second person help. An elderly resident screams out in horror because they're being asked to bear weight when they can't or because they're not being handled gently enough.

This is just one example among many horror stories regarding how veterans are treated at nursing homes. One of the lowest rated nursing homes in the country is in Prescott, Arizona. It has a one out of five star rating.

All surgeries carry risks of injuries, death

When we hear that someone we know is going to undergo surgery, many of us become paralyzed with fear. The reality is that no matter how skilled a surgeon is, they're never going to perform all procedures error-free each and every time. There are, in fact, many complications that can occur any time that a patient goes under the knife, some of which can be caused by a doctor's negligence.

Whether a patient undergoes a cosmetic procedure like liposuction or an emergency operation like an appendectomy, it's possible for unintended organs to be punctured by a surgical probe, camera, scalpel or some other medical tool or device. If this occurs, an additional surgery may be required. In some cases, patients may even die.

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