The Law Offices of Salazar, Sullivan & Jasionowski
Call now for a Free Initial Consultation
(888) 819-2544 | (505) 349-4003

Dedicated Personal Service For The Injured Free Confidential Consultations

Albuquerque Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Diagnostic errors are still a common problem

If you are like many people, you endure symptoms of illness for a while before seeking a medical opinion. In fact, it is possible that you make an appointment with a doctor or visit a New Mexico urgent care facility only after the pain has become too much to bear or the symptoms interfere with your daily life.

At this point, it is critical that medical professionals waste no time is accurately diagnosing your complaint. Unfortunately, you have no guarantee that will happen. In fact, from your first conversation with a member of the medical staff, you may already be on your way to a misdiagnosis that could cost you your quality of life.

You shouldn't pay the price for medication errors in the hospital

Medications have to be handled correctly when they are being administered to patients. In a hospital setting, the in-house pharmacy provides the medications to the nurses who give them to the patients. For many patients, the drugs they are given in the hospital are the same ones that they take at home. This gives patients a safety advantage since they know what their own medication should look like. However, there might be some instances in which there are minor changes between what they take at home and what they are getting at the hospital. A smart patient will ask questions about unfamiliar-looking medications to make sure they are getting the right drugs.

There are times when pharmacists, nurses or doctors will make errors regarding these medications -- and patients aren't always able to prevent mistakes. The wrong medication puts patients at risk of suffering negative reactions that can be severe. This is never something that hospitalized individuals should have to deal with on top of whatever condition has them in the hospital in the first place.

Hospital-acquired infections are hard to treat, but preventable

Patients in the hospital don't expect that they are going to leave with a hospital-acquired infection; however, it is a real possibility if the workers aren't taking steps to prevent them. It is imperative for all patients to keep a close eye on what is going on in their room when people are venturing in and out.

One thing that anyone who comes into your room should do is wash their hands right away. There is never an excuse for them to skip this step unless they are using surgical grade sanitizer that is often available near the rooms. It doesn't matter if the person is a doctor, nurse, transport technician or orderly, they need to wash their hands. This can help prevent the spread of germs from one patient to another.

Common causes of never events and surgical errors

Every patient who has to have surgery hopes that the surgeon doesn't make any surgical errors during the procedure. Unfortunately, surgeons are humans, and they will make mistakes at some point. One thing that patients have to decide is whether they believe the issue is an error or mistake.

Many surgical errors are considered major enough that they should always be prevented. These are known as never events, which means that they should never happen during the course of a surgeon's medical career.

Prescription errors shouldn't ever happen

Medication errors can almost always be prevented. One error that might occur is a patient receiving the full strength of a drug that must first be diluted. Sometimes, the issue is that the patients don't get the drugs for which they are being billed.

Anyone who is receiving medications from a pharmacy or while in the hospital needs to double-check the drugs they are taking just to be sure they are correct. While the onus is on the pharmacists and other medical professionals, patients can never be too safe when it comes to their health.

Brain injuries can lead to learning disabilities in children

Parents want their children to succeed in school so that they can thrive in life. Unfortunately, some children don't have this option because they suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) at the hands of another person. This might occur due to a car wreck, a near-drowning, medical error or a host of other types of incidents. In all of these cases, there is a chance that the child will have lingering learning disabilities.

One primary way that a TBI might impact a child's ability to learn is that their memory can be affected. This can involve their short-term memory, long-term memory or both. When a child has trouble remembering what they learn in class, they won't be able to later apply these concepts.

Sepsis can leave its mark on your life long after it's gone

Whether you underwent a surgical procedure, suffered a cut or suffered an internal infection, you expect the medical staff at the hospital to properly monitor you in order to make sure that you don't contract an infection or that an existing one does not get worse. Sadly, many people at hospitals here in New Mexico and elsewhere end up with a serious, and sometimes life-threatening, condition called sepsis, which can happen if an infection is undiagnosed and untreated.

The sooner your doctor diagnoses your sepsis, the more likely that treatment will work as intended. If doctors fail to timely diagnose the condition, it could progress into a severe health situation in which you could spend time in the ICU. You may recover from sepsis and go home unaware that your life may never be the same again.

Birth injuries demand legal action against the negligent party

The labor and delivery process isn't easy on the woman or the baby. There are times when one or both of them might suffer an injury. Some injuries are considered part and parcel of the process but others are the result of medical malpractice. You likely don't have to do anything about the former; however, seeking compensation is possible with the latter.

Unfortunately, one of the most common birth injuries is a head injury. This can be as minor as scratches on the scalp and head molding to fractures of the skull and bleeding on the brain. The cause of the brain injury is what will dictate what you can do about the situation.

All prescriptions must be carefully considered

Prescription medications are an important tool for addressing many health ailments. When you are given a prescription, you likely trust that the doctor knows what they are doing. This trust in your doctor might be misplaced. While many doctors do take the necessary steps to double check the prescriptions they write, others will make errors.

Medication errors can harm innocent patients. They can exacerbate medical conditions that should be easily treated. They might allow a condition to worsen. They may create new medical issues due to interactions with other medicines and medical conditions. All of these can have dire impacts on the patient.

Were you a victim of surgical error?

Do you know that more than 250,000 people die every year because of one particular issue? It is the third leading cause for death in the United States at this time. Surgical errors cost people their lives in New Mexico hospitals and numerous other medical facilities throughout the nation. When such injuries occur, and patients later learn that someone could have prevented their suffering, they often become understandably angry and frustrated.  

If you have an upcoming surgery scheduled, you may want to take a look at surgical error data, so you know more about the risks involved. Knowing that no surgeon is perfect is one thing but having to worry that a preventable mistake might cause you a serious injury that may affect the rest of your life (or even put your life itself at risk) is quite another. If a surgeon makes an error and you are the one who suffers, you have every right to seek justice.