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December 2013 Archives

28-year-old man killed in car accident, 2 more injured

A tragic accident has claimed the life of a 28-year-old man and left a 30-year-old woman and an 8-month-old girl injured. While the woman and girl were flown to two different Pittsburgh hospitals, it is still unknown just how serious their injuries are. Moreover, there is little information on whether doctors believe they will ever recover.

Mother awarded $6.5M for negligence that caused son’s brain injury

Cerebral palsy is not a birth defect; rather it occurs after a traumatic brain injury during birth. In other words: it is preventable. This is what a first-time mother learned after researching the condition that doctors told her that her newborn son would probably suffer from cerebral palsy.

Dosage mistake causes baby brain damage, hospital settles for $7M

In a recent post, we wrote about how hard limits on IV pumps can prevent medication errors. But even hard limits cannot prevent a dosage mistake if an adult pump is used on an infant while being treated at a Pittsburgh hospital. It is imperative to use the proper equipment for the proper purpose to prevent patients from suffering a serious injury. A medical malpractice suit that was recently settled in Illinois is a prime example of this.

Doctor shortage could delay treatment for brain injuries, more in ER

Most people in Pittsburgh expect that when they go to the emergency room seeking medical treatment, they will get the best care possible. Yet, that is not always the case. There are any number of things that could prevent physicians from properly diagnose and treat certain conditions. Lack of communication during shift changes, taking shortcuts to decrease wait times, medical malpractice and shortages of non-primary care specialists can all have a significant impact on the quality of care that a patient receives.

Hard limits on IV pumps could prevent medication errors

The drug heparin is often used after a patient has surgery to prevent blood clots. It is also commonly used to break down blood clots in stroke patients. While there are many beneficial uses for heparin, administering too much of the powerful drug can cause internal bleeding and other serious problems for patients in Pittsburgh.

With more older adults on the roads, drivers need to watch out

While the statistics show that older drivers are the safest drivers on the road, many people in Pittsburgh are likely to be concerned that the number of drivers 65 and older is on the rise. In fact, since 2003, the number of older drivers has grown by 21 percent. There were an estimated 35 million drivers 65 and older on the roads in 2012, says the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The holidays can be a time for sorrow, too

For most people in Pittsburgh, the holiday season is filled with fun, friends and family. It is a time to use up vacation days, go to holiday parties and spend time with loved ones. For many, this may mean having a drink or two, but there are also some who drink too much and then get in their cars.

Multi-million dollar verdict in pharmaceutical birth defect case

Not all prescription medications are safe to take during pregnancy. Pharmaceutical companies are required to disclose any potential side effects that could harm the fetus—or the mother—during pregnancy in order to get FDA approval. Doctors should also discuss how a particular drug could affect a pregnancy with their patient before prescribing it. Sometimes, however, one or both parties fail to properly inform women of the potential birth injuries or birth defects that can occur.

Doctor accused malpractice could permanently lose license

Many residents of Pittsburgh turn to medical professionals in their darkest hours. For some it may be to get a second opinion after being diagnosed with cancer; for others, it may be to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. Most of the physicians in Pennsylvania have the necessary credentials and have been thoroughly vetted by the health board. Sadly, however, just because they have a medical license hanging on the wall behind them doesn’t mean that they can be trusted. There will still be a few incompetent doctors who make surgical errors, defraud their patients or commit some other form of medical malpractice.

VA Hospitals pay more than $800 million for medical malpractice

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is supposed to provide patient care and federal benefits to the brave men and women who have served our country. Yet, veterans are visiting VA hospitals in Pennsylvania for routine procedures and instead of receiving the standard of care that they deserve and expect, many leave with serious illnesses or suffer from permanent disabilities as a result of the hospitals negligence.

After six-year decline, car accident crash rate increases

A recent finding by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration may raise more questions than it answers. Specifically, NHTSA data indicates that motor vehicle accidents increased in 2012. The finding is especially disheartening considering that crash rates have been declining in the past six consecutive years.

Teaching Methods changed to prevent more medical misdiagnosis

In a past post, we discussed how better patient-doctor communication in Pittsburgh can help prevent misdiagnosed cancer and other serious ailments. For instance, patients are encouraged to ask physicians why they arrived at a particular diagnosis and also if there is a possibility that the problem could be something else. Doctors are also being trained to better assess situations and complete more thorough exams.

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