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San Jose Medical Malpractice Blog


San Jose surgical error lawyersEven minor medical errors can be devastating to victims, but those involving the removal of the wrong body part, incorrect procedure, or a procedure meant for another patient may result in serious injury, illness, or disability. In some situations, such errors could even lead to death. Learn more about these surgical errors, including what to do if you or someone you love becomes a victim of surgical malpractice.

Removal of the Wrong Body Part

In 2013, one man had the wrong testicle removed. His surgeon was supposed to take out the right testicle, which was scarred and painful. Instead, he took out the left one. Though the man has never had the correct testicle removed – partly because he would have to take testosterone replacement for the rest of his life, and partly out of fear – his situation was not dire. The man does not have cancer, and removal did not result in his death. Yet the significance and implications of the removal are severe. Ultimately awarded a malpractice settlement, he lives in continuous pain and may not ever trust another doctor.

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San Jose medical malpractice lawyersWhen people are seriously ill or injured, they typically spend time in the hospital. During that stay, they might see several doctors. Nurses also change shifts two or three times a day. These changes are supposed to be smooth and effortless. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. In fact, one of the most common causes of medical malpractice is miscommunication between providers. Learn more about the risk, how to protect yourself, and what you can do if you or someone you love has suffered illness, death, or injury because of a medical error.

Understanding the Risk

CRICO Strategies, an analysis and research division of the company that insures Harvard-affiliated hospitals, examined over 23,000 medical malpractice claims from hospitals around the country. Over half of those cases reflected a miscommunication between two or more providers (57 percent). In at least 7,100 of the cases, critical or pertinent facts, figures, or findings were either lost or not conveyed to the provider that needed them. More than 1,700 of the cases ended in death to the patient and $1.7 billion in malpractice payouts were made.

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San Jose medical malpractice lawyersThe future of medical malpractice limits is under consideration in two vastly different arenas at the same time. One could ultimately force the United States Supreme Court to make a decision on the matter while the other could result in a new federal statute. In either case, the ability of medical malpractice victims to collect compensation could be directly affected.

Legislative Limits

In 2003, the Florida legislature passed a measure that limited non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases to $500,000. The limit could be raised to $1 million if a victim’s injuries were deemed to be catastrophic. The issue was so important to then-Governor Jeb Bush that he called three special legislative sessions to get the bill passed into law.

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California medical malpractice attorneysLawmakers, doctors, and other vested parties have spent years trying to muck up the already complex medical malpractice claims system. A newly released study, in which researchers found that claims do not necessarily reduce the risk for patients, may assist them in their attempts at doing so. There is just one little problem: the study fails to see the big picture, and that could mean serious trouble for victims.

Findings of the Study

Published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons, the study examined data on approximately 890,000 Medicare members who had undergone surgery in one of 3,200 hospitals across the country. Researchers determined that certain post-surgical complications, such as sepsis and pneumonia, were more likely to occur in states with more aggressive tort laws. However, the increase was minimal. Also, the study authors could not directly link a specific tort environment to improved post-surgical outcomes. That did not stop them from trying to convince the public that tort laws lead to poorer outcomes for patients.

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San Jose anesthesia malpractice lawyersWhen a patient undergoes surgery, they expect that their doctors and nurses will behave professionally. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. A man from Virginia, insulted and made fun of by his anesthesiologist while under sedation is a prime example of what can happen once the patient falls asleep. Hopefully, though, his case will deter other doctors from behaving in the same way. At the very least, it may set a precedence for similar anesthesia malpractice cases in the future.

Patient Accidentally Records Surgery and Hears Insults

The Virginia man had reportedly pressed record on his cell phone before his procedure so he could listen to postoperative instructions at home. While driving home and listening to his recording, he heard something he did not expect. Minute after minute, the anesthesiologist delivered insults and made fun of the man. She even issued what could have been perceived as a verbal threat and encouraged falsification of his records. Worse yet, some of the other physicians and nurses engaged in the conversation, and no one bothered to stop, correct, or reprimand the anesthesiologist for her behavior.

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