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Ann Arbor Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Guiding you through a medical malpractice action

Going to the doctor or medical specialists is fairly routine in society. With advancements in medical science and technology, patients are able to experience high quality care whether they are seen for a yearly physical, sudden ailment, the pregnancy and birth of a child, sudden injury, serious illness or surgery. Unfortunately, even with these advancements and cutting edge technology, medical errors are still experienced by patients in Michigan and elsewhere.

At Goethel Engelhardt, PLLC, our attorneys understand that patients put a lot of trust in medical professionals. This can make medical errors even more shocking, as he or she would have never expected such an event to occur. Nonetheless, our law firm is focused on helping individuals in the Ann Arbor area understand their rights and options when it comes to taking legal action following a medical mistake.

What happened to cause your baby to suffer a brain injury?

Data from the American Journal of Neuroradiology indicates that lack of oxygen affects as many as two to 10 out of every 1,000 babies. Often this occurs either during delivery or shortly thereafter.

If newborn asphyxia is not treated immediately, the baby may suffer brain damage.

Ann Arbor firm fights for those affected by catastrophic injuries

Last week on the blog, we discussed the first steps that should be taken when treating a spinal cord injury. Unfortunately, these first steps are just a few of the many that spinal cord injury victims must undertake in order to achieve as full of a recovery as is possible under the circumstances, which is often pretty limited.

The physical limitations placed on those who have suffered a spinal cord injury can be devastating to an individual, disallowing him or her to live what was once their normal day-to-day life. This, in turn, can lead to emotional turmoil that is long lasting and difficult to overcome. Lastly, spinal cord injury victims, as well as victims of other catastrophic injuries, are often dealt significant financial losses.

The first steps in treating a spinal cord injury

In the blink of an eye, an innocent motorist can be rocked by a collision caused by a negligent driver. Those who are lucky can walk away with these accidents with nothing more than jittery nerves. In some instances, though, individuals are left with catastrophic injuries such as those that affect their brain and spinal cord. The ramifications of these types of injuries can be devastating, often leaving victims with permanent disability, which may include paralysis.

When an individual suffers a suspected spinal cord injury, emergency medical personal will work quickly to try to reduce damage and protect a victim's well-being. This begins with stabilization, where medical professionals try to ensure that a victim's breathing, blood pressure and spinal integrity are kept as fully intact as is possible. This may involve the use of braces and harnesses that prevent movement, as well as medications that seek to slow spinal damage by reducing inflammation and reduces body temperature.

Study shows human error still major player in medical malpractice

It shouldn't be too much to ask for Michigan residents to want competent care from the medical professionals who treat them. Yet, far too often these medical professionals fail to live up to expectations, which put patients at serious risk of harm. Perhaps the saddest part of these situations is that medical neglect is entirely preventable. A recently released study shows just how prevalent human errors are in the medical field.

The study looked at records pertaining to more than 5,000 operations. Of those surgical procedures, 188 adverse events occurred. Of these adverse events, human error accounted for more than half. The majority of human performance errors took place during operations themselves, with postoperative errors and preoperative errors occurring with less frequency.

Marijuana may increase risk of motor vehicle accident

Michigan recently legalized the recreational use of marijuana, which is inline with the decriminalization that is occurring across the nation pertaining to marijuana-related offenses. Although the drug is becoming more widely acceptable in society, many have concerns about how marijuana use will affect those who are under its influence when they climb behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. Many Michigan residents are well aware of the dangers of drunk driving, but drugged driving, including driving under the influence of marijuana, can be just as dangerous.

Marijuana can have a significant affect on an individual's driving capacities. To start, marijuana use slows reaction time. This may mean that a motorist is unable to slow in time to prevent a collision with a pedestrian at a crosswalk or halt for slowed or stopped traffic. In conjunction with this, studies have shown that driving while under the influence of marijuana can decrease a motorist's ability to concentrate and perceive distance and time.

Vehicle crashes are a major cause of spinal cord injuries

You may know someone with a spinal cord disability. There are several forms, including Multiple Sclerosis, Poliomyelitis and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or ALS.

What you may not know is that many spinal cord injuries result from vehicle crashes, which cause victims to experience changes to the normal functioning of this important part of the human body.

Studies: diagnostic errors common cause of medical malpractice

It happens to just about all of us. We start experiencing some sort of symptom, whether its pain in a certain area of the body, dizziness, confusion or merely a sore throat and a runny nose; however, we hesitate to go to the doctor. Sure, some Michigan residents are concerned about the cost of medical care, but others are afraid of the diagnosis they may receive. Those who find the courage to consult with their doctor may find that their condition is something that is minor and easily treatable. Others may find that their illness is more severe, but a quick diagnosis can lead to effective treatment. In far too many of these instances, though, medical professionals either fail to diagnose a medical condition or provide the wrong diagnosis.

In fact, a few recent studies show just how prevalent diagnostic errors are in the medical field. One of those studies found that more than one-third of all medical malpractice claims that arose after suffering serious disability or death were related to errors in diagnosis. Amongst those claims, nearly two-thirds of victims died or were left permanently disabled. Another study found that diagnostic errors were the most common causes of medical malpractice claims against emergencies rooms.

Teen drivers cause many nighttime car accidents

Parents of teenagers know that teaching them to drive can be a scary experience. These young drivers are given the heavy responsibility of operating a motor vehicle in a safe fashion with no experience. Although parents and driver education programs do their part to ensure these motorists are skilled and knowledgeable before being released on to the roadways, the truth of the matter is that it can take a significant amount of time for some of them to develop the experience and skills necessary to be safe drivers.

One particularly hazardous condition that confronts young drivers is the nighttime. Of course, it's more difficult to see things in during the night, so accident rates are increased for all motorists. Teenagers, however, especially those between the ages of 16 and 17, have triple the risk of being involved in a fatal accident. These accidents aren't solely attributable to late hours, either. In fact, statistics show that more of these fatal accidents occur between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. than between 9:00 p.m. and midnight.

Michigan doctor allegedly reused disposal medical devices

Many Michigan residents are anxiety-ridden when they have to go to the doctor. Their fear is often based on reports of extreme medical neglect and lack of control, both of which are very real concerns. Yet, most of the time, news stories covering incidences of medical malpractice take place far away, giving some a false sense of security. Now one of those reports pertains to a doctor in our backyard.

A Kalamazoo doctor is under fire after it was discovered that he reused certain medical devices, which were intended to be discarded after each use. A former employee even claims that one of these sensors, which are inserted into the body, was used 100 times prior to being discarded. These devices were used to test for medical conditions like constipation and incontinence. Reports also indicate that these devices were only cleaned occasionally between uses. Now, the doctor's patients are being encouraged to receive testing for HIV and hepatitis.

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Our partners are available as local counsel to out-of-state law firms in Michigan medical malpractice and personal injury litigation. Inquiries and referrals welcome.

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Goethel Engelhardt, PLLC
3049 Miller Road
Ann Arbor, MI 48103

Phone: 734-545-8421
Fax: 734-786-0706
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