New Mexico Medical Malpractice Attorneys Curtis & Lucero

Albuquerque Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Brain injuries and personal relationships

From financial consequences to problems at work, headaches and memory issues, brain injuries often come with a long list of challenges that people will struggle with. Sadly, many patients have suffered a brain injury at the hands of a medical professional who was careless, and these injuries can be even more difficult to address because they may take months (or even years) to become apparent. In this post, we will look into some of the ways in which brain injuries can disrupt a victim's personal relationships, an especially upsetting facet of this injury for many people in New Mexico.

After sustaining a brain injury, someone may see their lives unravel in countless ways. Unfortunately, some people experience problems in their relationships, whether they are married or have been involved in a short-term or long-term romantic partnership. Moreover, people may lose friends and run into difficulties with family members as well. There are a lot of reasons why brain injuries can disrupt relationships, whether someone experiences significant changes to their personality or they lose interest in certain things. For example, someone may no longer want (or be unable) participate in an activity that they used to enjoy with their friends, leading to the breakdown of these relationships.

What is a survival action?

Most in Albuquerque likely associate wrongful death lawsuits with action taken by a deceased person's representatives against those whose negligent actions contributed to one's death. Yet what about cases where your loved one was injured, yet did not immediately die (or later died from causes that might have only been loosely related to the injuries caused by an earlier incident)? Are you then allowed to bring action for the damages and losses your family member or friend incurred? 

You are, but not necessarily in the form of a wrongful death lawsuit. Any action that you take would be classified as survival action. The U.S. Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals (which has jurisdiction over Albuquerque) described survival actions best in a 2006 ruling: "personal injury claims arising from negligence survive the death of the would-be plaintiff." What this means is that if your loved one had a cause of action to pursue a liability claim while they were still alive, that cause of action remains valid even after their death. 

Surgical errors and the loss of a loved one

People unexpectedly lose loved ones for many reasons, from motor vehicle crashes to cancer. Sadly, so many of these deaths were totally preventable and only took place because of negligent behavior. In the medical world, wrongful death is especially concerning and so many patients have passed away because of careless physicians and avoidable errors. In this blog post, we will examine some of the challenges facing those who have lost a loved one due to surgical errors.

Surgical operations can be terrifying for patients and their loved ones. If your family member has recently passed away following an operation, you may be experiencing a wide variety of hardships. Setting aside the strong emotions you may have, whether you are angry with a surgeon or depressed due to your loss, you could be facing other major challenges as well. For example, you may have unmanageable hospital expenses and other financial challenges which make your life even harder.

Misdiagnosis leads to unnecessary surgery

It is frightening to even think about, but doctors make mistakes. And when they make these mistakes, they can be life-changing.  These are the types of mistakes that will haunt a person for the rest of their life.

Take for example the recent case involving a woman who had both of her kidneys removed, only to later learn the surgery was completely unnecessary. Now, the woman is spending 12 hours per week going through dialysis, just waiting for the day when she’s healthy enough to get on a kidney transplant list.

Helping your parent recover from hospital negligence

Hospital negligence can disrupt the lives of patients in countless ways, and many people have suffered as a result of medical professional mistakes. Those subjected to hospital negligence may suffer physically, from a worsened condition to an injury. Moreover, they may also face emotional hardships and financial difficulties. For some people, such as older adults, hospital negligence can be especially devastating. If you have a parent who has suffered because a medical professional failed to provide them with the care that they deserve, it is important for you to help your parent recover, which may include looking into legal action.

Sometimes, people are hesitant to stand up for themselves, whether they are already facing many other physical and mental challenges and do not wish to wrap themselves up in legal action or they are unaware of their rights. Some older adults may feel as if they are too tired to deal with litigation, or they may be opposed to filing a lawsuit because they think that they are not the type of person who wants to take these cases to court. However, negligent medical professionals must be held accountable for their actions.

What happens when hospital staff fail to remove surgical sponges?

Anytime you go under the knife in New Mexico, you assume some degree of risk, but the risks you face decrease to some extent when you have a competent, attentive medical team tending to your needs. Regrettably, however, surgical errors are actually quite common, and one such error, which involves surgeons or surgical assistants failing to remove surgical sponges after surgery, happens more than you might like to think.

Though Live Science reports that failing to remove surgical sponges is classified as a “never event,” meaning it is something that should absolutely never happen in medical settings, it still does, although there is some disparity over exactly how common an occurrence this actually is. Current estimates suggest that surgeons and medical professionals fail to remove sponges from patient bodies in somewhere between 1 in 5,500 operations and 1 in 18,760 operations. However, the occurrence appears to be more common among women who are undergoing gynecological surgeries.

Three types of preventable surgical errors

In New Mexico, hospital staff works hard to ensure that patients get the care they need every day. Unfortunately, chaotic environments, overworked hospital staff, and overcrowded hospitals can all contribute to the occurrence of preventable errors. This can be especially damaging when it comes to surgery.

The Patient Safety Network looks at three types of preventable surgical errors. They are:

  • Wrong-procedure surgery
  • Wrong-patient surgery
  • Wrong-site surgery

Will your surgeon reveal the surgical error (s)he made?

When you enter an Oregon hospital for the purpose of undergoing a surgical procedure, you do not expect that your surgeon or anyone else on the surgical team will make a mistake. Unfortunately, however, statistics show that in the U.S., upwards of 250,000 patients die every year due to surgical errors.

Even if the mistake that happens before, during or after your surgery does not kill you, do you have any reason to expect that anyone from the surgical team will tell you that an error even occurred? CBS News reports that the answer to that question is not necessarily yes, even though it should be.

Readmission to the hospital after surgery

When a resident of New Mexico undergoes surgery for any type of medical condition, the last thing they want is to end up readmitted for a preventable problem. Unfortunately, this happens all too often. According to CBS News, 6 percent of people who had emergency surgery were readmitted within 30 days.

Healthcare Business & Technology provides the most common reasons patients end up back in the hospital after surgery:

  •       Infection
  •       Nutritional deficiency/dehydration
  •       Anemia/bleeding
  •       Venous thromboembolism
  •       Graft or prosthesis issues

Wrongful death suit includes claims of malpractice and conspiracy

No one in New Mexico should die because of someone else’s negligence or mistakes. According to the New Mexico Alliance for Life, a New Mexico woman died after receiving an abortion, and her mother and sister sought an attorney to file a lawsuit against Southwestern Women’s Options and the University of New Mexico. The wrongful death suit also claims that the UNM Office of the Medical Investigator’s Pathologist conspired to cover-up the cause of death.

Attorneys say the woman sought an elective abortion at 24 weeks from the UNM Hospital and was denied the procedure. She then visited the SWO for the elective procedure several weeks later on a referral from the hospital. The SWO’s website lists post 32-week abortions as a service only on a case by case basis and completed the procedure.

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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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