New Mexico Medical Malpractice Attorneys Curtis & Lucero

Albuquerque Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Health care worker burnout puts hospital patients at risk

Many people in New Mexico experience burnout at their jobs. For some, the answer is a vacation or a change in job duties. For physicians and other health care providers, though, the issues may run much deeper, and the results can be devastating.

According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the primary characteristics of burnout are emotional and physical exhaustion. Doctors and other staff become detached and unable to meet their job demands. 

How traumatic brain injuries affect emotions

Most people in New Mexico probably associate traumatic brain injuries with problems relating to thought and memory, and perhaps also to physical conditions such as seizures or a coma. However, as well as cognitive issues and physical disabilities, a person who sustains a TBI may begin to suffer emotional challenges, particularly when it comes to anger and depression.

According to the Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute, as much as a third of those who have a TBI struggle with anger and irritability. The injury itself can make controlling emotions difficult, but the frustration due to the mental and physical disabilities may also cause people to become angry. TBI often leads to a loss of independence, and activities enjoyed before the injury may become impossible. 

Do the benefits of an epidural outweigh the risks?

Epidural is the common form of pain relief during labor, according to the American Pregnancy Association. More than 50 percent of women who give birth in American hospitals use this type of anesthesia to help mask the pain of labor and delivery. Though epidurals are common, they are not risk-free. If you plan to request an epidural when you go into labor in New Mexico, it is important that you understand both the benefits and risks of getting one.

The administration of an epidural is an extremely delicate and risky practice, as it requires an anesthesiologist to insert a needle into a dulled area close to your spinal cord in your lower back. Once the needle is in place, the specialist will thread a catheter through the needle in the epidural space. The specialist will then remove the needle and leave the catheter in place so that you may receive medication through intervallic doses or ongoing infusion. 

Doctors practice in other states after serious errors

After a doctor makes a serious surgical error that results in lasting harm to a patient, people in New Mexico may expect that the state medical board would take action and revoke his or her license. However, this is not always the case.

The Journal Sentinel reports that over the past five years, more than 250 doctors across the country voluntarily surrendered their licenses in one state due to unprofessional conduct, surgical mistakes, medication errors and other misconduct, and then began practicing medicine in another state. By volunteering to give up their licenses, many of the physicians sidestepped any trouble at all. Even those that did undergo disciplinary actions were not likely to have any public disclosure of the incident, and most did not undergo any scrutiny by the medical boards in the states they moved to.

Congress seeks to lower maternal death rate with new law

Many people in New Mexico may believe that the United States is one of the safest places to give birth. However, research shows this is simply not true. In fact, according to USA TODAY, complications in childbirth kill around 700 women each year, and about 50,000 more suffer serious harm. About half of those who die from complications could have been saved if their doctors had taken proper care to diagnose and treat those complications.

Recognizing that provider error causes more than 300 deaths each year has spurred federal lawmakers on both sides of the aisle into action. The result, H.R. 1318 - Preventing Maternal Deaths Act of 2018, focuses on ensuring that states identify which deaths could have been prevented through best medical practices.

Wrongful death and medical malpractice lawsuits

When a medical error occurs and harms a patient in New Mexico, the doctor or other medical professional who is responsible for the damages can typically be held liable. This is usually done through a medical malpractice lawsuit. However, if the patient dies, family members may want to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Although both types of lawsuit may arise from the same medical mistake, they are not the same legal actions.

FindLaw explains that a medical malpractice case can be filed when a person suffers an injury because a medical professional does not act with a reasonable standard of care. For example, a doctor fails to diagnose a dangerous condition because he did not suggest tests that a physician could reasonably be expected to order for a patient exhibiting those symptoms. Or perhaps an anesthesiologist does not review a medical chart before a surgery and fails to discover that the patient is on medication that will react dangerously with the anesthesia normally used for that procedure.

Family alleges hospital negligence to blame for overdose

Doctors and nurses in New Mexico face the challenge of communicating consistently, effectively and responsibly between multiple parties during each one of their shifts. Their vigilance in observing patient conditions, prescribing treatment plans and implementing options that are customized to meet individual needs is critical in maintaining patient safety and health. 

In an unfortunate and controversial situation that happened in Florida, a disheartened family is mourning the injuries of their family member is they claim was the victim of hospital negligence. The man's family discussed how his successful career as a heart surgeon at the very hospital where he was injured, was full of notable successes. He was a prominent figure at the hospital where he was the chief of cardiovascular surgery. 

Appreciating the impact of cognitive deficits

Many of those who come to see us here at Curtis & Lucero after seeing a family member or friend suffer a traumatic brain injury automatically assume the worst. If you have had a loved one suffer a similar injury, then it is easy to understand how overjoyed you might have felt to see them awake and alert following a TBI. You should know, however, that simply surviving a TBI does not mean that are out of the woods altogether. 

One of the unfortunate companions of a TBI can be cognitive deficits. Cognitive processes are all of those related to basic daily functions, such as motor function, attention, memory and perception. Even a mild TBI can effect these processes. Per the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, your family member or friend may have difficulty remaining focused, processing information, retaining information, or being able to formulate strategies related to goals and achievements. They might even suffer from poor spatial recognition (being able to comprehend the environments they are in) or regulating their emotions and tempers. 

Protecting your loved one from delayed treatment

With your loved one's upcoming transition to a nursing home in New Mexico, you have been carefully comparing different facilities to find the one that is the best fit for your family member's needs. At Curtis Lucero Attorneys, we have helped protect many families and their vulnerable loved ones from suffering the unnecessary consequences of nursing home abuse. 

The abuse of elderly residents in nursing homes can take on many forms including financial exploitation, sexual abuse, physical assault and even delayed or negligent treatment of symptoms. Delayed treatment occurs when your loved one is denied required or needed medical care that ultimately results in his or her suffering unnecessary injury or discomfort. 

'Defensive medicine' leads to huge rise in cardiology malpractice

Have you heard of the term "defensive medicine"? It is used to describe when doctors make treatment decisions not based on what is necessarily in the patient's best interests, but instead in effort to protect the doctor from potential medical malpractice claims.

The authors of a recently-released analysis of medical malpractice claims within cardiology concluded that defensive medicine is contributing to the decline of healthcare quality in the United States, while at the same time malpractice claims are on the rise.

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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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