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Albuquerque Medical Malpractice Law Blog

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.

Overprescription of opioids is a serious problem in this country

When you think about medication errors, you might assume that this means being given the wrong pill or the wrong dosage. But, have you ever thought about how some physicians might overprescribe addictive drugs like opioids? Recent data that was released from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) shows what a huge problem this is in the United States.

The DEA maintains a database that tracks pain pills sold in this country. It goes from manufacturers to distributors to pharmacies and tracks by cities and towns. Taking a look into the information contained in this single source paints a deadly picture. From 2006 through 2012, there were 76 billion hydrocodone and oxycodone pills sold in this country. During that time, there were 100,000 opioid-related deaths.

Forceps pose risks to mothers and babies

Everyone wants to have a healthy baby, so it is disheartening when they hear that something is amiss with during labor. The possibility of a forceps delivery comes up if labor isn't progressing or if there are certain issues with the baby. While this might be the best option for delivery at the time, there are some serious risks that come with forceps being used to help.

One issue that can lead to forceps being used is if your baby's heartbeat isn't within the normal range. If this is the case, immediate delivery is necessary. The forceps are sometimes an alternative to a C-section. While forceps might help a woman avoid that surgical delivery, she should be provided with information about the dangers.

The need for privacy in hospital rooms could spread MRSA

If you are like most people, you expect hospitals to be sterile, clean environments. Unfortunately, hospital-acquired infections are on the rise, and at least one of them is highly resistant to antibiotics. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, commonly known as MRSA, spreads through contact and requires swift and aggressive treatment.

Cleanliness is one of the major ways to combat the spread of MRSA. Even if New Mexico hospitals keep the rooms clean, there does seem to be one source of the virulent infection that hospitals could easily miss.

Lax cleaning methods in hospitals can harm patients

Patients in a hospital are dependent upon the hospital staff members to do many things for them. One of these is cleaning the room. Unfortunately, when housekeeping staff members don't do their jobs appropriately, the patient can suffer some serious health dangers.

There are several ways that people who clean these hospital rooms can help to improve patient safety. Cross-contamination of the room is one of the biggest risks that is present in these situations. Additionally, cleaning the room only once per day might not be sufficient because there are so many people who come into the room daily.

Do you have a bad doctor? Look for these red flags

Any doctor can make mistakes. You could feel like you have the best doctor in the state. They could be kind, compassionate, experienced and highly educated. They can still make a mistake.

That said, if you get a "bad doctor," do your odds of a negative outcome increase? They may, especially if that doctor is careless, reckless or negligent. You are trusting your health and perhaps your life to this individual. You have to know that you can really trust them.

Contact Salazar, Sullivan & Jasionowski today to learn more about how we can help you.

Call our firm at 505-349-4003 or toll free at 888-819-2544.

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