Tucson Personal Injury Law Blog

Neglect far too common in nursing homes

We all want what’s best for our older loved ones, and sometimes as they age they become unable to care for themselves. If we are not equipped to care for them ourselves, often the best decision is to move them into a nursing home or another long-term care facility.

When our loved ones move into a nursing home, we expect that the staff will treat them with all the respect and dignity they deserve. But far too often, that doesn’t happen. Overpopulation and understaffing plague many facilities, and residents end neglected.

How do I know if I have a malpractice case?

There’s no question that even the best physicians make mistakes. However, not every mistake is grounds for a malpractice lawsuit. A harmed patient must prove that the physician failed to meet the proper standard of care and caused personal injury or financial losses.

The state of Arizona has enacted multiple laws to prevent frivolous lawsuits from bogging down the court systems and in turn, escalating insurance premiums for physicians. These are some requirements for those wishing to bring forward a malpractice lawsuit in Arizona:

Young Arizona boy dies after dental procedure

More than a year after a young boy died following a dental clinic visit, the family is trying to hold the clinic and medical professionals responsible. According to ABC 15, two-year-old Zion Gastelum diedon Dec. 20, 2017, after a dental treatment at Kool Smiles clinic. 

An appeals court orders Arizona to add medical staff at prisons

A 9th Circuit Court of Appeals panel in Phoenix recently issued a ruling in the prison inmate health care case that had originally been settled with the state of Arizona back in 2014.

On Dec. 20, they announced that they'd overturned a federal magistrate's prior ruling that the Department of Corrections (DOC) wasn't required to increase staffing necessary to adequately provide inmates with necessary medical care. The DOC will now be required to develop a plan for how to better staff its facilities so that gaps in their care are reduced.

Long-term surgical complications plague few LASIK patients

As many as 700,000 patients have a laser procedure known as LASIK performed on them annually in this country with the expectation of being able to greatly reduce if not altogether eliminating their dependency on the use of contact lenses or glasses. While a large majority of those who have LASIK surgery have positive outcomes, some do not.

A representative with the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery notes that data that they've compiled shows that five percent of those who have LASIK surgery performed on them end up suffering complications. They range from disruptive ones such as halos and double vision to painful ones such as dry eye.

A pilot program helps to reduce the rates of elective C-sections

The number of babies being delivered via cesarean section (C-section) during the past few years has increased incrementally both in Arizona and across the United States. While this major surgery has been performed on many mothers for other valid reasons, many have happened for purely elective reasons. This has left medical organizations such as the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists (ACOG) concerned.

An initiative launched by the ACOG in recent years has centered around reducing the incidence rate C-section by low-risk mothers to 23.9 percent. As of 2016, at least 25.7 of these women delivered their babies via this invasive surgical procedure.

Can I install a camera in my loved one's nursing home room?

By the time you make a decision about a nursing home for a loved one, you've likely looked at various places before picking one. Each time that you hear a story in the media about abuse and neglect at one of these facilities though, you may find it difficult to not allow scary thoughts to flood your mind. You may wonder if you should install a hidden camera in your loved one's room to keep a close eye on them when you're not there.

While the idea of installing a hidden camera and then watching the footage that it captures on your smartphone or home computer may seem reassuring, it's illegal to do it in many states. In fact, as of 2017, only five states including Oklahoma, New Mexico, Washington, Illinois and Texas had laws on the books that explicitly allowed cameras to be installed in a residents' room with their consent.

Is your Arizona practitioner monitoring your high-risk pregnancy?

Carrying a baby to term in the womb can be one of the most rewarding, amazing, yet challenging experiences of your life. If you have particular health concerns for you or your child, things may get a bit worrisome from time to time. However, advanced medical technology and skilled medical teams can often help moms who are high-risk to keep their conditions under control and enjoy safe, healthy deliveries.

On the other hand, both mothers and unborn babies are in danger of injury if those licensed to treat them fail to provide quality care. The more you know about your own condition, the more proactive you can be to help keep yourself and your baby safe. If you think your doctor has failed to diagnose a potential problem or has acted outside the scope of accepted safety standards, you have recourse through state law to seek restitution for any injuries that result.

Improved communication with patients leads to fewer lawsuits

A study recently published by Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard University researchers in the British Medical Journal highlights how medical errors can be reduced as much as 38 percent. The research shows that doctors and their patients need only to improve their communication to effectuate this change.

The protocol that produced such promising results is referred to as Patient and Family Centered I-PASS. Doctors used this intervention in interacting with their patients while making their morning rounds. It included the use of health literacy, structured communication and increased engagement of family members in discussions.

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