A patient goes into a hospital for planned surgery and while that initial treatment may go well, he ends up with a staph infection that nearly kills him. Another patient, scheduled for shoulder surgery, receives the planned operation on the wrong side of her body instead. Yet another patient becomes a victim when he receives a much higher dose of medicine than he should, goes into a coma and eventually dies.
New Mexico residents who have been affected by a diagnosis of Alzheimer's in their family may be interested in information about a similar medical condition that is sometimes confused with Alzheimer's. Frontotemporal lobar degeneration is a type of dementia that is estimated to represent about 10 percent of dementia cases. FTLD is the most common type of dementia in people who are under the age of 60.
Many New Mexico patients may have heard how it is extremely important to get a second opinion. However, thosewho are diagnosed with an illness may feel confused about their diagnosis and may want to begin treatment immediately. While prompt treatment can save a person's life, it can also lead to unneeded or even dangerous treatment if the patient received a misdiagnosis.
Sometimes, a person experiences a worsening of their health during or after a hospital stay. In some instances, this occurs as a result of things outside of a hospital's control. In others though, it comes about from a mistake by the hospital and its staff. Such errors could include mistakes made in tests, treatments or care given to a patient or failure by the hospital to give proper follow-up care after discharge.
Researchers have determined that medical errors, which fall under the medical malpractice umbrella, have become the third leading cause of death in the United States. These errors cause the death of over 250,000 patients each year, a number that exceeds that of seemingly common causes such as accidents and strokes. It's enough to make one wonder what is going on that so many people are needlessly dying due to avoidable mistakes. The problem becomes one of the defining the cause of the mistake. It may be that the person who wrote the order did something wrong, it was human error, or a bad decision led to a bad outcome. Sometimes it takes the work of a New Mexico medical malpractice lawyer to get to the bottom of the issue and determine what went wrong where.
After a person is killed in New Mexico, the deceased person's surviving family members may file a wrongful death lawsuit against a party that was responsible for the death. To prove that another party is liable for a person's death, family members must be able to show that the party acted negligently or willfully, and the negligent or willful actions directly led to the victim's death.
New Mexico residents familiar with the murder trial of O.J. Simpson might wonder why the celebrity was found liable in a civil trial after being deemed not guilty in the criminal case. The standard of proof is typically lower in a civil case, which can allow an individual to face consequences, such as a financial judgement in spite of escaping criminal penalties. A criminal case is not necessary for a civil action to occur, but a successful criminal case may signal that civil action could be successful.
New Mexico health care providers may work extensively to ensure the wellness of their patients, but there is always the risk of a medical error occurring. While errors may not be intentional, there are some actions that can be taken to minimize the risk of a patient suffering damage. Just as investigators evaluate causes in other industries after serious accidents occur, so close evaluation could be helpful for understanding and hopefully preventing future occurrences.