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October 2013 Archives

VA hospital investigated for not properly diagnosing man's cancer

Many people are apprehensive about seeking medical treatment. While in some cases, this is due to fear of what they might find out is wrong with them -- despite the fact that this would allow them to receive proper treatment -- others fear seeking treatment for the opposite reason: that doctors will be unable to accurately diagnose what is wrong with them.

Has someone filed a complaint against your physician?

New Mexico patients who may be looking for a new doctor have a lot of options. While the names of physicians might be relatively easy to come by, what is more difficult to uncover is information about doctors -- if other people have been satisfied with their service. If you know someone who has had a good experience -- or a bad experience -- with a particular health care provider, that can often go a long way toward deciding if that doctor would be a good choice for you.

Woman says treatment for sinus problems left her blind in one eye

For residents of New Mexico who need medical treatment, one of the most devastating results is that not only is their medical condition is not treated, but another issue is created by negligent care. This is the situation one woman finds herself in after she said she was left blind in one eye as a result of a physician error.

Leaving items behind after surgery is a preventable mistake

One of the most preventable errors that can be made during surgery is leaving an object behind in a patient's body. While there are several ways to combat this issue, it continues to occur; in fact, on average, about two people each year die as a result of items that are left behind in surgery. Now, a watchdog committee has issued an alert warning to hospitals to be keenly aware of these kinds of surgical errors.

University scolded for interfering in medical malpractice case

When an institution such as a hospital is sued for medical malpractice, it is likely that the plaintiff in the case will have an expert witness to testify against the hospital. Expert testimony is often heavily relied upon in cases of malpractice or hospital negligence. But what if the doctor called on to be an expert witness by the plaintiff's attorneys is employed by an organization affiliated with the hospital?

Family awarded $12.9 million in birth injury lawsuit

As with any medical procedure, it doesn't take much to go wrong during childbirth to create lifelong injuries for the baby or the mother. It may take some time for birth injuries to become apparent, because young children obviously aren't capable of describing how they feel. However, in many cases, injuries sustained during childbirth are ones that affect a child for years to come.

Robotic surgery might be wave of the future, but has problems now

In many kinds of technology, one way to make things safer is to remove the human element from the equation. For example, while the idea of self-driving cars might strike some people as dangerous, a large percentage of today's motor vehicle accidents are caused by the negligent actions of the drivers themselves -- either due to intoxication, inattention, drowsiness or just poor decision-making skills.

Can hospital mistakes be prevented before they occur?

As our Albuquerque readers may have experienced first-hand, any number of things can go wrong during a hospital stay. While many mistakes may not have serious consequences for patients, there are some incidents of hospital negligence that can have a big impact on the quality of life for people who are affected.

Jury finds doctor, hospital not liable for woman's death

As many of our Albuquerque readers know, sometimes it only takes a miniscule error in a patient's medical treatment to cause a big unintended effect on that patient. This is what occurred in 2011 with an otherwise healthy woman in California, who entered a hospital for routine surgery and ended up dying a few hours later.

Health care for veterans could be increasingly stretched

Many residents of New Mexico have served with pride and distinction in our nation's armed forces. Our country has new generations of veterans now, in the wake of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan; this means that more and more people will be seeking medical care at Veterans Affairs hospitals in the years to come. And we owe it to those people to provide a safe level of care at these facilities.

Many prescription errors could be prevented with better oversight

It goes without saying that medication errors can be devastating for New Mexico patients. Receiving the wrong dose of a prescription -- or the wrong medication altogether -- can turn a potentially life-saving medication into a potentially deadly poison. Unfortunately, these errors are not all that uncommon. Estimates hold that about 7,000 people in the United States die each year due to medication errors. With all the technology available to hospitals, shouldn't that number be close to zero?