When you need surgery to help with a health issue, it can be a frightening ordeal. Even the most minor surgery could easily cause serious health issues if it is not handled properly, and while we may trust our doctors, everyone can make mistakes. Unfortunately, when it comes to issues of surgery and personal health, mistakes can be the difference between health and serious injury or even life and death.
Sometimes the culture within medical facilities can affect Pennsylvania healthcare workers' ability to talk to each other or report errors. A 2005 study by VitalSmarts and the American Association of Critical Care Nurses found medical staff often do not communicate with each other when their coworkers break rules, commit errors, micromanage the people working under them or act incompetently. The 'Silence Kills" study also found that a fear of punishment or alienation keeps healthcare workers from speaking up. Less than 10 percent of the 1,700 doctors, nurses and clinicians in the study talked with their coworkers when they witnessed errors in judgment or medical shortcuts even though these actions could potentially be harmful to patients.
Pennsylvania parents may be interested to learn about a recent study that shows administering certain medications can help prevent the occurrence of permanent brain injuries in infants who are born prematurely. The study demonstrated that a neurotransmitter helps to prevent brain injuries and abnormalities from occurring following a premature birth.
For people in Pennsylvania and throughout the country, a brain injury can have many long-lasting effects on one's well-being. The exact effects of such an injury depend on which side of the brain was hurt. For instance, if the right side of the brain was hurt, an individual could have trouble moving the left side of their body. It may also be harder to think of "the big picture" when making plans or trying to solve problems.
Many Pennsylvania residents are the victims of infections they contract as a result of a surgical procedure. Even when medical professionals catch and treat these infections early, they can lead to a host of consequences that may require victims to undergo further surgeries or other treatments to avert further injury or death. The expense of these treatments and the disabilities that often follow them are costly to treat and may send medical malpractice victims deep into debt.
Among people in Pennsylvania with traumatic brain injuries, the symptoms can span a wide range of physical, behavioral and cognitive changes. Sometimes a person can recover, but others may require care and support for the rest of their lives.
Concierge medical practices are growing throughout Pennsylvania and the entire country. However, there may be changes ahead in how these companies screen their doctors and advertise after a Feb. 10 ruling. A jury in Florida awarded $8.5 million to the widower of a woman who had a leg amputated in 2008 after a doctor with MDVIP, the country's largest concierge medical practice, repeatedly failed to diagnose a circulatory problem that was causing her leg pain. Since the woman died four years later of leukemia, the award went to her surviving spouse. The physician had settled out of court.
Patients in Pennsylvania and their family members may have reason to be vigilant for medical mistakes when they are admitted to hospitals. A study that analyzed a sample of 4,200 medical records indicates that medical errors in hospitals could contribute to hundreds of thousands of deaths every year.
Doctors in Pennsylvania are bound by law to provide reasonable information to patients about their injury, and patients must consent to any treatment offered before it can be given. This is called the law of informed consent. When doctors fail to properly inform their patients, or they proceed with treatments without proper consent, they can be held liable.