New Mexico Medical Malpractice Attorneys Curtis & Lucero

Albuquerque Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Dealing with infant brain damage

Medical malpractice can be incredibly hard for different reasons, such as the financial problems that can arise due to a medical professional's error, the physical pain that a victim has to endure, and the emotional hardships that family members go through. However, all of these problems can be especially difficult when an infant sustains trauma because of medical professional negligence, such as brain damage. For parents in Albuquerque and across all parts of New Mexico, this can be incredibly upsetting, but it is pivotal for those who have experienced this devastating problem to stay focused on helping their child and holding accountable those who caused the trauma.

Sadly, infant brain damage often occurs during childbirth and can be extremely upsetting for parents. In some instances, an infant's brain is damaged due to trauma during delivery, such as failing to use the right tools. In other cases, an infant may sustain brain damage because they are deprived of oxygen. Regardless of how an infant's brain becomes injured, children who sustain brain damage may have a number of difficulties, depending on the severity of trauma. In some instances, they may need to be taken care of for the rest of their life and the brain damage might have a permanent impact on their future.

Medical professional negligence during childbirth

Medical malpractice affects patients in many different ways, but it can be especially upsetting for some, such as women who give birth and their loved ones. Expectant parents often believe that their physician and the medical professionals who provide care will do their best to protect the mother and her infant during the birthing process, as they should. Unfortunately, some medical professionals in New Mexico and other parts of the country have failed to provide patients with the care that they deserve. When negligence occurs during childbirth, the consequences can be especially devastating for entire families.

These mistakes can be incredibly harmful to mothers and infants. Mothers may suffer as a result of vaginal tears, pre-eclampsia, an infection they acquired in the hospital, or mistakes made during a caesarian section. Infants, on the other hand, may suffer due to Erb's palsy or cerebral palsy, shoulder dystocia, or brain damage brought on by a lack of oxygen. For mothers and children alike, these mistakes can even prove fatal. When someone passes away during a delivery, their loved ones may never be able to recover from the emotional pain brought on by the loss.

When a surgeon performs the wrong procedure

We have discussed some of the different surgical errors that patients suffer from, such as those involving the wrong site or the wrong patient. However, there are others that occur, such as wrong procedure errors, which can be especially devastating, depending on the incorrect operation that was performed. There are a variety of reasons why a surgeon may perform the wrong procedure on a patient, but the consequences can be extremely damaging regardless of the factors that led to the mistake. In Albuquerque, and across all of New Mexico, a patient who has an incorrect procedure performed on them may suffer a number of harsh consequences, from worsened conditions and completely unnecessary suffering to the loss of their life.

Unfortunately, some medical professionals make errors because they are very limited on time, even though this is no excuse. A medical professional could write down incorrect information or a surgeon who is in a rush might fail to properly read information about a patient, all of which can lead to a dangerous mistake. Miscommunication, inefficiency, inadequate training, and other problems are very concerning from a medical standpoint. When patients suffer because of these mistakes, it is critical for them to look over their rights and pursue any resources that could assist them in their path to recovery.

When a misdiagnosis proves fatal

People suffer at the hands of medical professionals in many ways and we have discussed a lot of them on this blog. From surgical errors to mistakes involving prescriptions, patients are seriously hurt and even lose their lives far too often because of this serious problem. Moreover, many people find their lives upended by misdiagnoses, which sometimes prove fatal and leave their families with an unbearable amount of loss as well as financial difficulties. Our New Mexico law office believes that people in Albuquerque and across the whole state who have suffered or seen their loved one suffer due to a misdiagnosis deserve justice.

Misdiagnoses happen for diverse reasons. Sometimes, they are caused by incompetence or inexperience, while other cases are the result of a medical professional failing to devote enough time to his or her patient. When someone is misdiagnosed, the mistake could lead to the loss of their life in a number of ways, whether they move forward with a completely unnecessary procedure that proves fatal or pass away for another reason. Sadly, when this happens, the families of these victims often also have a very hard time. Whether they are struggling to pay funeral costs or are unable to keep up with bills and other expenses because their loved one's income has dissipated, these fatal misdiagnoses can make life hard for many.

Sleep deprivation and doctor errors

When it comes to doctor errors, there are all sorts of risk factors that can increase the chances of a physician making a serious mistake, thereby harming their patient. For example, a doctor who is intoxicated due to medication, inexperienced, or exhibiting poor communication may be more likely to make mistakes. In some instances, sleep deprivation can also cause them to make a mistake, putting their patients in harm's way. Even though some doctors may be very busy and their work may interfere with their sleep, there is no excuse for an avoidable error that causes a patient to suffer.

Sometimes, medical professionals and those who work in other fields believe that consuming caffeine allows them to stay alert and carry out their job properly. However, doctors should not count on these tactics, especially when someone's life and well-being is in their hands. There are a myriad of doctor errors that take place and we have covered some on our blog. Unfortunately, these mistakes can be incredibly serious and often leave victims with problems, some of which are life-threatening. To make things worse, some people who suffer at the hands of a doctor or become victimised by another type of medical malpractice choose to stay silent.

How does the court determine wrongful death damages?

If you have recently suffered the loss of a loved one because of the careless or reckless actions of another person, you may be wondering how a New Mexico court would determine how much to award you. Of course, no amount of money can make up for the loss. However, there are many financial burdens associated with losing a family member, and the judge or jury will take these into consideration.

According to New Mexico state law, there are quite a few factors that may contribute to the amount, including compensation for direct costs, such as funeral expenses and medical bills. The law recognizes that you may have also lost the standard of living provided by your loved one's earnings currently and into the future. Even if your loved one did not have an income currently, the court may consider his or her earning capacity and award you with an amount based on that figure.

Challenging New Mexico's medical malpractice cap

It is a scary thought to even think about, but medical mistakes and errors happen. And these errors happen a lot more than you probably realize.

According to a 2016 study by researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine, more than 250,000 people in the U.S. die each year due to medical mistakes. This number means that medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the country. Put another way, medical error is the cause of 10 percent of all deaths in the U.S.

Taking a look at mistreatment in nursing homes

If you are searching for a nursing home for your loved one to live in or you are a resident of an assisted living facility, you might have a wide range of concerns. However, the mistreatment of patients by nursing home employees is an especially troubling problem that occurs far too frequently across the country. Sadly, there are workers who fail to respect their duties and provide patients with the care they need and deserve. Moreover, mistreatment in these facilities takes a wide variety of forms.

In some instances, patients may be neglected, resulting in bedsores and other issues such as dehydration. Whether an employee dislikes a particular resident or simply fails to perform their job properly, this is very upsetting and too common. In other instances, a resident might even be physically or sexually assaulted by a nursing home worker. Moreover, some residents are subjected to verbal abuse or exploited financially. If you have experienced any of these problems yourself or believe that you have suffered due to nursing home negligence, you should examine all options that are on the table.

Recovering from a prescription error

Medical malpractice occurs far too often in the U.S., often leaving victims with serious hardships. From worsened medical conditions to unnecessary suffering and medical costs, far too many negligent medical professionals have upended the lives of patients who they were supposed to take care of. Currently, many people need to take prescription medication for various conditions. While these medications have been very helpful for many people, some have suffered due to medication errors, such as those which occur due to a doctor’s writing mistake.

Prescription errors can happen for different reasons. For example, a physician may not set aside enough time to take care of his or her patients and could rush, leading to a mistake while they are writing a prescription. Or, a physician could accidentally get two medications mixed up because they sound alike or accidentally write down the incorrect dosage. Moreover, some physicians may have poor hand writing, or a pharmacist could have difficulty reading a prescription. Sadly, these types of errors take place too often and the consequences are sometimes devastating for patients who take the wrong prescriptions.

How can hospital policies lead to errors?

In your workplace, the policies and procedures of the company guide you in the proper way of doing your job. In a New Mexico health care setting, good policies and procedures can save your life--or cause serious harm.

According to Patient Safety & Quality Healthcare, administrators and others who develop policies and procedures should follow these guidelines:

  • Provide definitions for any terms that are used
  • Avoid absolutes such as "must" or "do not" unless they are necessary
  • Name the policy in a way that is easily recognized and understood
  • Combine similar policies so there is no confusion between them
  • Explicitly state who is responsible for carrying out actions defined in the policy

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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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