New Mexico Medical Malpractice Attorneys Curtis & Lucero

Albuquerque Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Wet floors, bed sores, and hospital negligence

There are many different ways in which patients are mistreated in hospitals, whether they suffer because of a surgeon's mistake during a procedure or are hurt by a medication error. However, patients may also fall victim to hospital negligence, which can take all sorts of forms in Albuquerque and across the state of New Mexico. From slippery floors that are left unattended to bed sores that develop because hospital staff failed to attend to a patient, hospital negligence happens in all sorts of ways and can be devastating for victims and those they love.

Victims of hospital negligence may struggle with a myriad of problems. For example, someone might slip on a floor that was not taken care of and have a hard time with a broken bone or physical pain. Moreover, some hospital negligence is so severe that it even leads to the loss of life. Sometimes, patients may not realize that they were not treated properly, whether they were heavily medicated or unconscious. However, those who violate the rights of patients and fail to fulfill their responsibilities as medical professionals must be held fully responsible for any suffering they cause.

The long-term consequences of brain injuries

With brain injuries, there are all sorts of topics to consider. For example, people sustain these injuries in many ways, sometimes because of the negligence of others. For example, someone may sustain a brain injury after being hit by a drunk driver or because a medical professional failed to provide them with the level of care that they deserved. In Albuquerque, and cities all around New Mexico, we know that these brain injuries can present a variety of long-term challenges that make life hard for victims and those they love.

Depending on the extent of damage, a brain injury may completely upend one's life. Whether they can no longer drive, have memory problems, or face other issues, these injuries can be incredibly challenging. Worse yet, some people are never able to fully recover from the injury and have to struggle with memory problems, difficulty balancing, dizziness, strong emotions, and other consequences for the rest of their lives. Furthermore, it is not always clear how much of an impact a brain injury will have on someone until later on. For example, someone may suffer a brain injury and believe that the consequences were minimal, only to find out down the road that the injury caused damage.

Poor medical care may have caused nursing home resident's death

When providing care for seniors, nursing home staff in New Mexico have a responsibility to do what it takes to ensure that residents are able to live their fullest life possible. This includes medical attention, appropriate medications, nutritional food and an environment free from hazards, as well as other physical, psychological and social needs. Neglecting any one of these factors can put an elderly person's life at risk.

According to a recent lawsuit, a New Mexico nursing home resident suffered from abuse and neglect that his daughter claims were part of a long history of such issues. Records provided by the State Health Department indicate that the facility did, indeed, receive citations for dozens of violations of state regulations since 2004. The year that the resident died, an inspection revealed 23 violations. 

Anesthesia errors and wrongful death

When patients prepare for a surgical operation, there are a number of potential risks that may lie ahead, some of which are impossible to prevent. Tragically, there are also many mistakes that can occur as a direct result of a medical professional's carelessness. In Albuquerque and other cities in New Mexico, some of these mistakes prove fatal and leave families with lasting emotional pain, financial problems, and additional hardships. While wrongful death cases in medical settings take many forms, anesthesia errors are especially concerning.

There are different ways in which a patient may suffer because of an anesthesiologist's mistake. For example, an anesthesiologist may administer the wrong drug to a patient. Or, perhaps they fail to notice that a patient is allergic to a particular drug. Moreover, they may make mistakes during intubation or cause a patient to suffer because of another error. These mistakes can happen for various reasons, whether a medical professional is not experienced or properly trained or they are in a rush and fail to set aside enough time to perform their job properly. Sometimes, anesthesiologists may be distracted or feel as if they have performed their job duties so many times they cannot make a mistake.

Steps to avoid prescription medical errors

As concern grows regarding the safety of patients in light of common medical errors, it is imperative that individuals seeking health care be proactive about their protection. For people seeking treatment in New Mexico, proper education and careful attention can provide them with an added measure of safety.

While medical errors encompass a variety of mistakes, one particular misstep involves prescription medication. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, patients who have been prescribed medications can better protect themselves by doing several things. These include the following:

  • Disclose any drug allergies to their health care provider. 
  • Make a thorough list of all medications, supplements and vitamins they are taking and give their health care provider a copy.
  • Ask their health care provider what the purpose of the medication is, what kinds of side effects may be experienced and whether or not it could be harmful when taken with certain substances or other drugs.
  • Receive verification from their doctor regarding how frequently the medication should be taken.
  • Consult with their pharmacist to guarantee that the proper medication is being received, dosages are correct and potency is appropriate for what the doctor prescribed.
  • Ask the pharmacist any questions they have in regards to information found on the prescription label. 
  • Double check to make sure there is a measuring device included for liquid prescriptions. if not, they should ask their pharmacist what type of device is appropriate for accurate dosages.

Which kinds of wrong-site surgery are most common?

We have examined some of the different kinds of wrong-site surgical errors on this blog, from wrong-patient operations to surgery involving the wrong part of a patient's body. However, you may be wondering how prevalent these errors actually are and which types of surgical errors occur the most frequently. In Albuquerque and cities all over the state of New Mexico, all types of surgical errors are extremely serious. Victims of these mistakes deserve a voice and if you have suffered because of a medical professional's carelessness, do not waste any time in working to have them held responsible.

According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, wrong-side surgery, where an operation is performed on the wrong side of a patient, is the most common type of wrong-site surgery. Next, operations performed on another incorrect site, such as the proper side but the wrong part of a patient's body, is the second most common type of wrong-site surgery. Finally, the wrong procedure and the wrong patient are even less common but do occur and can shatter victims' lives.

What is wrong-patient surgery?

We have provided information related to various types of surgical errors on this blog, such as wrong-site surgery. Sadly, in Albuquerque, and other cities in New Mexico, patients may also suffer as a result of other types of surgical errors, such as wrong-patient surgery. If you or a member of your family have had life thrown upside down due to a surgical mistake, it is pivotal to stand your ground and know your legal rights.

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality states that wrong-patient surgery occurs when a surgeon performs an operation on the wrong person. Although this is considered to be a never-event, this type of surgical error does take place and the consequences can be devastating for victims. If you are a patient who had an operation performed on you that was intended for another patient, you may be going through a great deal of emotional and physical pain. Moreover, you could have scarring or a serious health condition that only happened because of a medical professional's carelessness. Tragically, these mistakes can even lead to fatalities.

The dangers of misdiagnosing bipolar disorder

People in New Mexico who struggle with psychological health issues know that mental health crises can be just as painful and dangerous as physical difficulties. Mental health providers who fail to provide an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment can make things even more difficult.

As reported by Psychology Today, most people with bipolar disorder face a gap of 10 years or more between the time they are diagnosed with the disorder and when their symptoms first manifested. One important reason that this gap exists is that it can be difficult to distinguish symptoms of bipolar disorder from other psychological disorders. For example, the restlessness, diminished need for sleep and impatience that is associated with a manic or hypomanic episode of a person suffering from bipolar disorder can easily be mistaken for the fidgeting, wakefulness and impulsivity of a person experiencing symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. 

How does a doctor determine if your head trauma is serious?

If you hit your head, you or someone who is with you may decide you need medical attention at a New Mexico hospital. According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, before sending you home with a traumatic brain injury diagnosis, the doctor should do a thorough examination that may involve a number of tests. 

Your doctor should use the Glasgow Coma Scale to rate your ability to speak, open your eyes on command and move about. The resulting score should only be one aspect of the diagnosing process, and does not necessarily have any bearing on your recovery. Unconsciousness of any kind is also a factor, although even if you did not lose consciousness, you could still have a mild TBI. Memory loss that lasts less than 24 hours could also be the result of this level of injury. A lower GCS score and prolonged periods of unconsciousness or memory loss mark the difference between moderate and severe TBIs.

Deaths may be due to faulty device or surgical error

Sometimes, a medical device appears to hold particular promise for people in New Mexico with certain health conditions. There are many factors that may affect safety, though. Not only is there a potential for adverse reactions or complications, the procedures for putting the device in place may create a risk.

Deaths and complications have been reported since the release of a new device that is intended to assist people who have a high body mass index with losing weight. Rather than undergoing bariatric surgery, hundreds of people in the United States have opted for the insertion of a balloon in the stomach. It is delivered through the esophagus, so doctors claim that the procedure is minimally invasive. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has put out an alert that the balloon system or the procedure may be responsible for five deaths since the beginning of 2016.

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Curtis & Lucero
215 Central Avenue NW
Suite 300
Albuquerque, NM 87102

Phone: 505-633-7998
Fax: 505-242-0812
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