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Albuquerque Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Proper monitoring can prevent some birth injuries

There is a delicate balance that has to happen when a pregnant woman goes into labor. When she goes into the hospital, the nursing staff and other medical professionals caring for her need to focus on her and the baby. Part of this is done by properly monitoring both patients. When this happens, some issues might be prevented.

Many women choose to have a birth plan in place when they go into the hospital. The medical care team will try to follow that plan, but they can't let it force them into making unsafe decisions about the care. Instead, the birth plan should be fluid and easy to change as situations come up that require it.

Doctors who make errors can seriously harm patients

Doctors are entrusted with the life of every patient they see. Even when the issues the patient has are minor, the doctor is still expected to provide care that is in line with the standard of care. Most doctors take their duties seriously and put their patients' needs at the top of their priority list. There are others who don't try to do this and end up causing patients harm.

A doctor who makes an error can cause serious problems for patients. Some of these errors are life-threatening, and some can lead to lifelong issues. These effects can range from the need for more medical care to challenges that can make it impossible to work. The financial considerations that come with these situations can be devastating.

Anesthetists versus anesthesiologist: What's the difference?

Before 2019 ends, many New Mexico residents will undergo various types of surgical procedures. Some operations will take place in outpatient settings while other, more complex surgeries require overnight or even days of observation and follow-up treatment. If you plan to have surgery or an urgent situation arises that prompts an on-the-spot decision to operate, it is critical that you understand the jobs of the members of your medical team.

In particular, it is important to understand the difference between an anesthetist and anesthesiologist. The main difference between the two has to do with the level of education as well as potential income. It is logical to assume that in certain situations you would want the most experienced support possible regarding anesthesia and other pain reduction assistance. As in all surgical situations, medical errors can have disastrous consequences.

Sepsis can occur in patients with spinal cord injuries

The nature of a spinal cord injury means that medical professionals have to be on the lookout for other conditions when they are caring for a person with this type of injury. One of the particularly problematic issues that might manifest is sepsis. Oftentimes, this occurs in response to an infection, such as a urinary tract infection, that is due to the effects of the damage to the spinal cord.

A person who is septic is facing a life-threatening condition. This can make the person's blood pressure drop to unsafe levels that prevent proper oxygenation of the vital organs and extremities. This can lead to organ failure and tissue perfusion.

Medical teams should watch patients carefully after surgery

Surgical errors can be devastating for the patients. There are a couple of major issues that might come into the picture in these cases. One of these occurs when surgical supplies are left in the patient. The other is when infection is introduced into the wound. Both of these cases can lead to significant injury to the patient.

In the post-surgical period, nurses and other medical professionals should ensure that they are checking on the patient often. Any signs that something is amiss, such as redness around the wound, abnormal drainage or fever, must be addressed immediately. The issue that might come up is that the medical team might miss these signs.

Bedsores a plague to nursing home residents

People who have never seen a bedsore are often startled at how deep they can get on a nursing home patient's body. Left untreated, pressure sores, which are properly called decubitus ulcers, can kill a patient.

These sores develop when the skin of bedbound patients, or those with very low mobility who sit for prolonged periods in the same chair, gets irritated. The pressure of the body on the skin, particularly over bony areas like hips and ankles, can cause breaks in the skin. Unless the area is cleaned and kept dry and bandaged, the skin becomes more ulcerated. Tissue can become necrotic and the infection can quickly spread.

Doctors may make errors with medications and dosages

One thing that you might expect from your doctor is that the medications you need will be prescribed in an appropriate manner. It is imperative that you ask questions when you are given a new medication. This should include a verification of the name of the medication, the dose and the reason for it. You should also specifically ask if it will interact with any of the other medications that you are taking. You should also double check with your doctor for interactions with herbal supplements and over-the-counter medications.

Of course, it isn't your job to have to do what your doctor should. These are just steps that you can take that can increase your safety. When a doctor makes an error with a medication, there is a good chance that the patient will suffer negative impacts of the error. This can mean anything from unpleasant side effects to life-threatening reactions.

Medical malpractice: Doctors' versus patients' responsibilities

When you visit a New Mexico doctor, it may be to seek a simple, annual check-up. Then again, you might have a particular health issue causing you concern that you would like your doctor to examine. If you have suffered a spinal cord injury or other serious problem, you will undoubtedly stay closely connected to an entire team of medical professionals who will provide support and care as needed for you to achieve as high quality of life as possible under the circumstances.

What happens if your doctor fails to properly diagnose your condition or issues a diagnosis but then provides substandard treatment and care? Sadly, for many New Mexico patients, as well as thousands in other states, the answer to that question is often "injury" or "fatality." You should never have to suffer because a doctor fails in a fiduciary duty to help keep you safe and maintain good health given your particular condition.

Birth injuries are much different from birth defects

Many things can happen when a woman is having a baby. From the moment she goes into labor, she will be monitored closely. But the nurses have a difficult job to do. While most nurses have one patient in the room, labor and delivery nurses have two patients – the woman and the baby. Trying to balance both of them can be rather taxing, but they have a duty to do their job to the best of their abilities.

Some of the things that might go wrong during labor and delivery could be prevented if the woman and baby were closely monitored. One important signal that something is amiss is the baby's heart rate dropping during labor. If this happens, the nurse might try to have the woman go into a different position. If that doesn't work, the woman might need to deliver surgically.

Considerable damages can stem from hospital negligence

A person who is admitted to the hospital assumes that the people taking care of them know what they are doing. While this is mostly true, it is also possible that there are going to be some issues during their admission. Anyone who is in the hospital needs to be vigilant about watching for hospital negligence. This is a serious issue that can lead to considerable health issues for the victims.

Hospital negligence comes in many forms. Sometimes, it is as simple as a worker not washing their hands when they come into your room. This can lead to you contracting an infection from germs that person encountered during their previous patient encounter. Sometimes, it is much more serious like medication errors or problems during surgery.

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