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Albuquerque Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Preoperative protocol can prevent wrong-site surgeries

No patient should ever experience a wrong-site surgery. There are too many options for medical teams to prevent this type of never event; however, workers don't always follow safety guidelines. One primary control method for this situation is for workers to slow down. Apart from emergency cases, there isn't any reason for speed to be a factor in the admission and preparation process.

Verbal instructions can become skewed. Using a system that requires written surgical instructions and verifying those instructions before the patient checking in for the procedure can help to prevent never events. This is especially important if the person is using a third-party scheduling office to book the appointment.

Doctors not paying attention can lead to patient harm

The health care system in this country is largely broken. Not only is it cost-prohibitive to many, but some doctors just aren't attentive. Instead of taking the time to listen to their patients, many doctors will try to rush through as many patients as they can within a day. Unfortunately, the people who need help the most are likely going to suffer harm because of this.

One issue that can come from doctors who aren't truly listening to their patients is that serious medical conditions can be missed. When this happens, there is a chance that a person who could have been successfully treated might now face a terminal diagnosis. There isn't any good reason for this, especially when all the signs about the condition were present.

When are C-sections medically necessary?

You might have heard a story or two about doctors scheduling C-sections for unnecessary reasons. Perhaps a woman wants to make sure she can have her baby before a planned vacation or the doctor is going out of town and schedules a birth accordingly. Even so, there are definitely medical reasons that make C-section the best course of action in certain circumstances. However, it's important to realize that a non-vaginal birth requires surgery and with surgery, there is always a safety risk.

If your obstetrician recommends a C-section, you have every right to question the recommendation. You might even want to seek a second opinion. A lot can go wrong during any kind of surgery and with a C-section, there are two people's lives at risk. Sadly, medical negligence is a problem in New Mexico and throughout the country.

Remember that a birth plan is a wish list

Your baby's birth should be a joyful experience. One way that you can make your wishes for this time known is to fill out a birth plan and have with you when you go to the hospital. There are many things to include in this plan, but you must remember that this is just a list of guidelines and suggestions. You shouldn't think of your birth plan as something that is set in stone.

As you are creating the birth plan, remember that the ultimate goal is to for you and your baby to be in good health when you leave the hospital. There are times when reaching that goal means that you will have to leave the wish list behind and move forward with necessary actions to keep everyone as safe and healthy as possible.

Medications must be administered properly

People who take medications have to ensure that they are getting the correct ones. This is especially important if you are in the hospital or must depend on another person to bring you're the medicines you take on a regular basis. One thing that you have to remember is that you do have the right to know exactly what you are being given. You should examine your pills to be sure that they are the ones you usually take.

If you notice that some medications don't look familiar, be sure to ask. It could be just a different generic version of the same meds, but it could also be something else entirely. No medical professional should ever mind a patient asking questions when they think something is wrong.

Falls in hospitals are classified as 'never events'

Patients who are in the hospital need to receive care that is tailored to their needs. For some, this involves being placed under fall precautions because it isn't safe for them to get up and move about without help. It is imperative that these individuals have fast responses to calls for help so they don't try to get up without assistance.

If a patient has fall precautions, this fact should be clearly noted in their chart. Some facilities also place a sign near the door of the room and put a bracelet on the patient. A hospital patient falling is considered a "never event" because it shouldn't happen under any circumstances.

Infections must be addressed quickly to avoid grave harm

Having an infection can cause a lot of problems in your body. The severity and type of infection can play a direct role in how you can recover from it. There are many times that infections are mild and will go away with only simple treatments. In other cases, the infection might be left unaddressed or it may be resistant to antibiotics, which means that the patient might suffer grave harm.

When an infection isn't treated promptly and properly, the result can be devastating to the patient. In some instances, an infection like strep can manifest into sepsis. This is a life-threatening event that requires immediate emergency medical care.

New Mexico nurses should practice the five Rs

When you entrust your health or post-operative recovery care to a medical team, you likely encounter numerous nurses, each working different shifts. New Mexico nurses are vital components of high-quality care in a hospital setting or doctor's office. At some point, a nurse may administer medication to you. What type, how much and why are factors that vary according to circumstances and your doctor's prescription.

You're at risk for serious injury, perhaps even fatality, if your nurse is negligent. Medication errors are inexcusable because there's a system in place to prevent them. It's known as "The Five Rs," and most nurses are familiar with these guidelines. In fact, they are supposed to put them into practice any and every time they dispense medication. What if one doesn't? Do you know where to seek support if a medical malpractice problems arises?

Cerebral hypoxia is always a medical emergency

Patients in hospitals sometimes have challenges that reduce the amount of oxygen they are getting. When the oxygen saturation in the blood is too low, they must be addressed immediately. This is considered an emergency because lack of oxygen can impact vital organs in the body. One that is particularly sensitive to a decrease in oxygen is the brain.

Cerebral hypoxia is the medical term for lack of oxygen to the brain. This can occur for a variety of reasons, including stroke, cardiac arrest, an asthma attack, hypotension, lung infection, respiratory arrest, drug overdose, or drowning. At the least serious end of the effect spectrum, the patient might suffer from a temporary decrease in motor function or troubles with memory. On the most serious end of the spectrum is the possibility of seizures or possibly brain death.

Lyme disease is too serious for a delayed diagnosis

Lyme disease is a serious condition that can have lifelong impacts. Unfortunately, this is a condition that often isn't diagnosed right away. In fact, at least 50% of people who have this condition note that it took them more than three years to receive a diagnosis.

Around 45% of participants in a survey reported that they had early symptoms within weeks or days of the tick exposure. Still, many of these patients didn't receive an accurate or suitable diagnosis in a timely manner. Somewhere around 37% of lab tests are false negatives. Another 13% are positive, but are ultimately dismissed as false positive.

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