Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice

Studies show that many people have trouble following doctor’s’ instructions when it comes to taking prescription medication, which, of course, can lead to serious consequences.

According to recent research, 50 percent of Americans do not take their medications as prescribed. This in turn causes 30 to 50 percent of treatments to fail.

309494981_139ff14357_zMoreover, failure to take medications property is the cause of 125,000 deaths every year.

Modern pharmaceuticals are powerful as well as targeted, but they can cause great harm when not taken correctly. While it is true that some Americans may not take their meds properly or regularly, in some cases physicians, hospitals and private pharmacies can be to blame for negligence relating to medications.

The following are just some scenarios where medical professionals could be to blame for medication errors:

  • Giving the wrong dosage- either too much or too little
  • Failing to prescribe critical medications
  • Prescribing, administering or dispensing the wrong medications
  • Prescribing medications despite known allergies or cross-reactions
  • Pharmacy mix-ups or errors

The wrong medication can cause adverse reactions in patients as well as lasting harm. An overdose from a medication can result in permanent damage or death. With that said, there are many drugs that cannot be combined due to dangerous side effects.

A Hernando County Medical Malpractice Lawyer at Whittel & Melton can represent you if you or your loved one suffered serious harm from a medication mistake. We have the resources needed to file personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits against doctors, nurses and pharmacists for medical malpractice.

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A new study has concluded that many strokes are missed in hospital emergency departments in the days before the problems of the stroke become clear. Unfortunately, misdiagnosis or failure to diagnoses strokes can have shattering consequences.

The study was retrospective, which means it researched what happened to stroke victims in the time leading up to their strokes. The study confirmed that of 187,188 patients admitted for stroke, only 12.7 percent of the stroke patients visited an emergency department and received a non-cerebrovascular diagnosis in the preceding 30-day period, indicating a potentially missed stroke, according to doctors from Johns Hopkins University.

One in every ten of those non-stroke related discharges were for headaches or dizziness. According to researchers, these were likely strokes. The study confirmed that those most at risk for experiencing an undiagnosed stroke are women, members of minority groups and people under age of 45.

doctor with patientAccording to the Harvard Medical School, failure to administer early treatment for the most common types of stroke can result in brain damage and other complications. Delayed treatment can result in a more serious stroke, causing long term damage.

Moreover, failing to diagnose early strokes keeps patients out of the loop on how to prevent future strokes. The National Stroke Association lists preventative measures as medication, other medical therapies and lifestyle changes in regards to diet and exercise. In many cases, doctors recommend drugs to treat other medical conditions that lead to stroke, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and heart disease. There are a number of different medications that can reduce blood clotting, which can also prevent a stroke. When an emergency department misses signs of a first stroke, the patient will not be notified of these options, which could result in a second, more serious stroke.

A Hernando County Medical Malpractice Attorney at Whittel & Melton can help you recover your losses if you were harmed due to an undiagnosed stroke. Ultimately, doctors must diagnose and treat strokes, however there are signs that you can be on the lookout for so that you can get medical treatment as soon as possible. The American Stroke Association has come up with the acronym FAST to remind everyone what to watch for.

Face Drooping – Look and see if one side of the face is drooping or if it feels numb. An uneven smile could also be a potential sign of stroke.

Arm Weakness – Check if one arm is weaker than the other or feels numb. When the person raises both arms, look to see if one drifts downwards as this is another sign of possible stroke.

Speech Trouble – When the person talks, take note of if their speech is slurred or if they are hard to understand saying even simple sentences.

Time to call 9-1-1 – If someone you know displays any of the above symptoms, you should call  9-1-1 immediately. Be sure and check the time so that you can tell the doctor how long the symptoms have been present.

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Modern medicine has given doctors the opportunity to achieve miracles when it comes to treating and even curing certain diseases that were once fatal. However, an accurate diagnosis is needed to make a successful recovery. Sadly, every time you visit the doctor’s office or hospital, you run the risk of falling victim to an incorrect diagnosis that could result in a delay of treatment, worsen a disease or even cause death.

Medical misdiagnosis can happen in a variety of situations. In most cases, doctors provide patients with a completely wrong diagnosis. The patient could be suffering from another disease that has no relation to the wrong diagnosis, or they may not be suffering from any type of medical condition at all. Such was the case for a Kentucky-area veteran who was misdiagnosed with HIV in 2004.

The 43-year-old United States veteran has been taking medication to fight off HIV ever since a doctor at the University of Kentucky Medical Center diagnosed him as HIV-positive, regardless of the fact that other tests had come up negative.

doctor.jpgThe man did not learn about any problems with his diagnosis until eight years later when he tried to claim veteran’s benefits for his medical costs. The Veterans Administration requested records of “a confirmatory test” of HIV infection to validate the man’s medical claims, but records show that no test conducted ever confirmed the man had HIV.

The man’s legal counsel clarified that this mistaken diagnosis may have lead the man to contract HIV from an HIV-positive partner he dated after the diagnosis. Additionally, the years of taking HIV medication resulted in serious and unnecessary side effects.

At this time, it is still unknown if the man has even contracted the virus which causes AIDS.

It will be quite interesting to see how this case plays out. Should a jury find that a sensibly practical doctor with similar experience and training would not have diagnosed the man with HIV given the evidence, the doctors from UKMC who allegedly misdiagnosed the man will likely be found guilty of medical malpractice.

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