New Mexico Medical Malpractice Attorneys Curtis & Co.

Albuquerque Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Finding the courage to hold a negligent doctor accountable

From a patient’s perspective, medical errors and negligence can be terrifying. Patients are subjected to numerous forms of medical professional negligence, and far too many doctors have gotten off of the hook. Often, victims are afraid to stand up for their rights because they believe that their case will be rejected and that they are powerless. However, many people have been able to secure the benefits they deserve by speaking out after suffering due to medical malpractice.

From an error that takes place during surgery to mistakes involving prescription medication and various types of abuse, there are many ways in which patients have suffered at the hands of a negligent doctor. Physicians who are responsible for unnecessary suffering should have to answer for the consequences of their behavior, especially if a patient was injured, sustained mental trauma or was dealt a financial blow as a result of the wrongdoing.

Is suing the best response to hospital negligence?

America is often branded as the most litigious nation in the world. Americans know their rights and they are not afraid to exercise them. Thus, when it comes to hospital negligence in New Mexico, seeking legal recourse may seem like the most sensible response. However, whether or not it is the best solution for you depends on a lot of factors, such as the specifics of the incident you suffered.

Are Americans really suing at record highs though? Not when it comes to medical malpractice, says Forbes. America is actually experiencing a decades-long low, seeing claims dropping to more than half of what they were in the 90s. Even so, the payments made per claim are increasing. When inflation adjustments are included, malpractice payments have risen by 25 percent.

Medical errors due to doctor burnout

Many New Mexico residents have suffered misdiagnoses, botched surgery and even the death of loved ones due to medical errors. In several instances, the gross negligence of medical practitioners was identified as the reason for this. However, according to a CBS News report, doctor burnout is now one of the key factors putting patients at risk.

According to the national survey cited by CBS, more than half of doctors are burned out. This makes doctors far more likely to commit medical errors that can harm or cost lives, rather than save them. In fact, more than 10 percent of respondents in the survey said they had committed at least one major medical error within the three preceding months of the survey.

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

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

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