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Louisiana and Mississippi Medical Malpractice Blog

Are hospitals hiding 'superbug' outbreaks from the public?

Reuters Investigates recently published a multi-part exposé on antibiotic-resistant bacteria, or "superbugs" linked to excessive use of antibiotics. Noting that there is no national database of outbreaks, the reporters filed public records requests in every state to determine how outbreaks of potentially deadly pathogens are being handled. The results were not very promising.

For one thing, only 29 states provided any information at all. The others claimed to have had no outbreaks or to be prohibited by law from sharing the information. The reporters sent additional information requests and drew from academic literature to fill in the picture, and they ended up with one of the most comprehensive counts of superbug outbreaks ever created, albeit one lacking some very desirable information. For example, it wasn't possible to determine how many people have been sickened or killed by drug-resistant bacteria.

How do you prove medical malpractice?

When we are sick, stricken with disease or facing an emergency, we rely on doctors and hospitals to heal us. Most of the time, they do heal us, and in so doing, they provide society with an invaluable service. Nine times out of ten we owe them our lives and a whole lot of gratitude. However, doctors and surgeons are humans, too, and are thus susceptible to the same things we all face: bad days, forgetfulness and even malice.

Are fatigued physicians as dangerous as drowsy drivers?

Ask any trucker who drives on I-10 in and out of New Orleans and they will tell you that drowsy drivers are dangerous drivers. Research shows that fatigue slows reflexes, diminishes judgment and sometimes blurs vision.

Think about this, though: Why is it widely acknowledged that it is dangerous for people to drive while drowsy, but accepted in the medical community for fatigued doctors to prescribe medications, make diagnoses and even perform surgery?

Decedent's daughter says nursing negligence killed her mother

Many adult children in Louisiana and elsewhere face various challenges when seeking appropriate care facilities to provide for aging or ailing parents. When tragedies occur due to nursing negligence, anger and frustration set in. An intense desire for justice leads many to file medical malpractice lawsuits concerning injured or deceased parents.

A 68-year-old woman diagnosed with dementia a few years ago. She lived in a nursing home and apparently had a history of falling. The woman died in 2014, and a controversy erupted surrounding the incident, as the coroner's office said it received three varying accounts from nursing staff members regarding what had happened.

Ebola survivor settles hospital negligence case

Many people in Louisiana and beyond have dreamed of becoming famous one day. None, however, would likely wish their notoriety to come by way of contracting a potentially fatal, communicable disease. This, unfortunately, is exactly what catapulted a nurse in a neighboring state to fame;  she became ill, then filed a hospital negligence claim.

Nina Pham was thrust into the media limelight as a nurse who cared for the first patient to be diagnosed with the Ebola virus in the United States. She was part of a medical team who was appointed to care for the man. At some point, Pham became infected with the virus. She survived, but later filed a lawsuit against the hospital, asserting that not enough was done to protect her from contracting the highly contagious disease. 

Jury finds that misuse of forceps caused birth injuries

Parents whose child has permanent brain damage are reportedly grateful for a recent verdict that came after a two-week trial. The child was born in 2010. Approximately two years later, a lawsuit was filed in a civil court outside Louisiana against the hospital and clinic, seeking justice on behalf of the child for the birth injuries he suffered.

Attorneys for the defendants denied that wrongdoing or lack of proper care occurred during labor and delivery. The parents of the severely injured child asserted otherwise. They claimed that forceps were misused during their son's birth. Also, there were reportedly breathing problems left unaddressed while the child's condition continued to decline. The parents' attorney further noted that there was evidence that the child's electronic medical records had been corrupted.

Many families have been devastated by birth injuries in Louisiana

In Louisiana and throughout the United States, many families have endured great suffering due to medical negligence. Birth injuries, in particular, often have serious and long-lasting effects. In fact, sometimes injured infants who survive remain in need of daily assistance simply to function for the rest of their lives.

Having a baby is typically an exciting and joyful experience. When a doctor or nurse is negligent in his or her professional duties, the results can be utterly devastating. What was meant to be a happy time, may quickly become a tragedy.

Jury says defendants 100 percent liable for hospital negligence

A woman in a county outside Louisiana has reportedly been working two jobs to make ends meet since a devastating medical error caused her husband to become permanently disabled. The 52-year-old man had worked as a press foreman for approximately 15 years before hospital negligence caused him to suffer serious, permanent injuries. Jurors recently awarded him nearly $9 million, the largest medical malpractice verdict in the county's history. 

The man had initially undergone surgery for a colovesical fistula, a condition involving an abnormal connection between the colon and the urinary bladder. A month later, a surgeon followed up the procedure by removing 6 inches of the man's colon and stapling the rest of it back together. After that, the man was reportedly in and out of the hospital several times because he never seemed to fully recover from the follow-up surgery.

Justice often prevails for victims of surgical errors

Louisiana medical patients no doubt understand there is a certain amount of risk involved in any type of medical procedure. However, doctors, nurses and other medical professionals are obligated to keep patients as safe as possible when providing care and treatment. One can imagine how horrific it would be to undergo an operation in the obvious hope of resolving a medical problem, only to suffer even more when surgical errors occur.

There have been numerous reports in recent years of wrong-site surgeries, surgeons leaving foreign objects inside patients' bodies and other disastrous mishaps that cause injury, and in many cases, death to patients. It is only right that those who suffer be able to seek monetary judgment against those deemed responsible for their pain. In such situations, it is crucial to carefully and thoroughly document all details pertaining to the events that led to an injury or death. In cases of death, an immediate family may take action on behalf of a deceased loved one.

Judge says public has the right to know about birth injuries case

Entrusting oneself to the care of obstetricians/gynecologists when preparing to give birth always involves a certain amount of risk. However, every Louisiana patient has the right to reasonably assume that all medical professionals involved in their care will provide services according to the utmost levels of accepted safety standards. Substandard care has been known to result in serious birth injuries, and in worst cases, even death.

One mother lost not only twin babies but all hope of ever conceiving another child after things went wrong when her infants were being born. Events turned tragic and led to the mother filing a wrongful death lawsuit as she mourned the loss of not one, but both her children. Her claim states that her children's deaths, as well as her own need for an emergency hysterectomy, was caused by doctors failure to properly monitor her condition during pregnancy.

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