Personal Injury Blog

Common Types of Medical Malpractice Suits Filed in Texas – Part 3

May 20th, 2015
English: Anesthesiologist using Glidescope vid...

English: Anesthesiologist using Glidescope video laryngoscope to intubate the trachea of a morbidly obese patient with challenging airway anatomy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Anesthesia Errors

Errors in administering anesthesia are typically more dangerous than mistakes made during surgery. If an anesthesiologist makes even a small error, the potential results are brain damage, permanent injury, and death. Prior to administering the anesthesia, an anesthesiologist can commit acts of medical malpractice by:

  • Failing to properly investigate and study the patient’s medical history, for the purpose of identifying potential complications; or by
  • Failing to ensure that the patient is aware of the seriousness of the risks involved with not following pre-operative instructions. For example, it is essential that the patient not eat for a certain number of hours prior to surgery.

Among the common anesthesia errors that occur during surgery are the following:

  • Administering too much anesthesia.
  • Failing to properly monitor the patient’s vital signs.
  • Using defective equipment.
  • Improperly intubating the patient, which involves placing a tube in the trachea in order to assist with breathing.

Surgical Errors

A surgical error is a preventable error that occurs while performing surgery. There are certain elements of risk in all surgeries. What sets surgical errors apart is that they are unexpected and go beyond the basic risks of surgery. The following are some of the reasons preventable surgical errors occur:

  • Poor Communication. There are many ways in which failure to properly communicate can result in a legitimate medical malpractice suit. Examples include: marking the wrong part of the body for surgery; failing to ensure that all needed surgical equipment is sterilized and on hand; and miscommunicating a patient’s prescription dosage.

Learn more about common types of medical malpractice cases in Part 1, Part 2, and this ongoing series. In the next segment, surgical errors will be continued.

–Guest Contributor

Sabra Issues Nationwide Recall of Classic Hummus

May 13th, 2015

In early April, Sabra Dipping Co., LLC voluntarily recalled about 30,000 cases of Classic Hummus. The reason for the recall was possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes. Only five SKUs were included in the nationwide recall, and no other products made by Sabra were affected. No illnesses in connection with the recalled products have been reported.

Listeria monocytogenes, usually referred to simply as listeria, is an organism that causes infections in children, the frail or elderly, and in others who have weakened immune systems. The food-borne infections are sometimes very serious and are sometimes deadly. Healthy people exposed to listeria often suffer short-term symptoms, such as severe headache, high fever, nausea, stiffness, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. In addition, listeria has been known to cause miscarriages and stillbirths among women who are pregnant.

The following is a list of products Sabra recalled. They were distributed in U.S. retail outlets such as supermarkets and food service accounts. The UPC/SKU code and “use by” dates are located on the top of each package. The “Use by” dates on all items shows: 3 059 Best Before/Meilleur Avant 2015 May 11. The only exception is the top product listed below, which also has the use by date of 3 059 Best Before/Meilleur Avant 2015 May 15:

  • Sabra Classic Hummus 10 oz; UPC/SKU: 040822011143 / 300067
  • Sabra Classic Hummus 30 oz; UPC/SKU: 040822014687 / 300074
  • Sabra Classic Hummus without Garnish 32 oz; UPC/SKU: 040822342049 / 301216
  • Sabra Classic Hummus 17 oz Six Pack; UPC/SKU: 040822017497 / 301290
  • Hummus Dual Pack Classic/Garlic 23.5oz; UPC/SKU: 040822342209 / 301283

The possibility for contamination by listeria was discovered by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development on March 30, 2015, during a random, routine sample collection at a retail location.

Anyone who has purchased any of the recalled items is urged to dispose of them or return them to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions about this recall may call the following number toll free Monday through Friday between 9 am and 4:30 pm CST: 1-888-957-2272.

–Guest Contributor

 

Common Types of Medical Malpractice Suits Filed in Texas – Part 2

May 6th, 2015
Newborn child, seconds after birth. The umbili...

Newborn child, seconds after birth. The umbilical cord has not yet been cut. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Childbirth Injuries

Medical malpractice is sometimes the cause of fetal injuries, though reasons other than medical malpractice are often found to be the cause of:

  • Brain injuries, including seizure disorders and cerebral palsy;
  • Erb’s or Klumpke’s palsy, which involve damage to nerves that control the hands and arms; and
  • Fractured bones.

A mother, a fetus, or both are sometimes harmed due to negligent prenatal care, such as when an obstetrician or physician fails to:

  • Identify birth defects.
  • Identify ectopic pregnancies.
  • Diagnose a medical condition suffered by the mother, such as anemia, hypoglycemia, Rh incompatibility, gestational diabetes, and preeclampsia.
  • Diagnose a disease that could be passed on to the fetus, such as neonatal lupus and genital herpes.

A mother or her infant can be harmed as a result of negligence during childbirth. Common medical mistakes that occur during childbirth include the obstetrician’s or physician’s failure to:

  • Competently use a vacuum extractor or forceps;
  • Anticipate complications of birth caused by a tangled umbilical cord or the large size of the infant’s head;
  • Control excessive post-delivery maternal blood loss;
  • Monitor the infant’s oxygen intake before and after delivery;
  • Respond appropriately to signs of fetal distress; and
  • Order a cesarean section when it is appropriate for the health of the mother, the baby, or both.

Learn more about common types of medical malpractice cases in Part 1 and this continuing series.

–Guest Contributor

Dallas, Texas Attorney: Common Types of Medical Malpractice Suits Filed in Texas

April 29th, 2015
English: PACIFIC OCEAN (Aug. 10, 2007) - Lt. C...

English: PACIFIC OCEAN (Aug. 10, 2007) – Lt. Cmdr. Angela Powell, an otolaryngologist assisted by Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Daniel Vogel a surgical technician, performs surgery aboard the Military Sealift Command (MSC) hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20). Comfort is on a four-month humanitarian deployment to Latin America and the Caribbean providing medical treatment to patients in a dozen countries. U.S. Navy photo by Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Jean A. Wertman (RELEASED) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When a patient is harmed due to the negligence of a nurse or doctor, a medical malpractice suit can be filed. Not every mistake made by medical personnel is a valid cause for a malpractice suit. Research shows that there are certain mistakes made by doctors and nurses that account for the majority of all medical malpractice suits.

Delayed Diagnosis or Misdiagnosis

A large percentage of complaints that patients make against people in the medical profession are related to a condition being misdiagnosed and the failure to make the proper diagnosis has dire consequences, such as death or advancement of a serious disease. Although it may seem that the these facts alone prove negligence, that is not always the case. Proving this type of malpractice can be complicated because there are numerous medical reasons for a misdiagnosis.

What ultimately must be proven in this type of case is that the doctor or nurse took actions that would not have typically been taken by others in the profession under the same circumstances. Medical personnel are not blamed for defective medical equipment, for a patient’s choice in concealing information for the sake of discretion, for a language barrier, or for other circumstances which demonstrate that there was a reasonable explanation for the misdiagnosis. Failure to adhere to physicians’ standards or laziness leading to blatant wrongdoing are, however, warranted circumstances for filing a medical practice suit for a misdiagnosis or a delayed diagnosis.

Learn more about common types of medical malpractice cases in this continuing series.

–Guest Contributor

 

Dallas, Texas Lawyer: Three People Die from Listeria, Prompting Blue Bell Recall – Part 2

April 23rd, 2015
Blue Bell Creameries logo.

Blue Bell Creameries logo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Listeria monocytogenes is a deadly bacterium that causes serious and sometimes fatal infections in anyone with a weak immune system, including the elderly and young children. Within the past week, Blue Bell Creameries has recalled their entire product line in all 23 states in which their products are sold, due to Listeria contamination. Evidence has emerged that Listeria contamination at Blue Bell Creameries dates back to 2010 and may be associated with illnesses in multiple states. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that consumers not eat any products under the Blue Bell brand.

After the three recent Listeria-related deaths occurred, as mentioned in Part 1 of this series, more tests were done on Blue Bell products. The company’s products have tested positive for Listeria in various plants and where sold in various locations.  Although several sicknesses have been linked to the same strain of Listeria, the CDC believes that many more people may have gotten sick but that it wasn’t reported.

The CDC also says that there are many possible sources for people to get food poisoning from Listeria, not just from milk or ice cream. In fact, according to food safety experts, it was not the milk used in Blue Bell that may have been the source of the bacteria because the company uses pasteurized milk. However, the bacteria could be carried on foods that go into the ice cream, such as nuts.

There are many reasons that it is challenging to control outbreaks of Listeria, one being that it can lay in a drain for years before getting into the food.

Learn more about Listeria in this ongoing series.

–Guest Contributor

Three People Die from Listeria, Prompting Blue Bell Recall

April 15th, 2015
English: The modern Blue Bell Creameries facto...

English: The modern Blue Bell Creameries factory located at 30.163° -96.379°, Brenham, Texas, United States. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Listeria monocytogenes is a deadly bacterium that kills approximately 260 people in the U.S. every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It is a bacterium that resides in the digestive tracts of animals and can spread to humans if crops contaminated by animal waste aren’t sufficiently washed. According to preventative medicine experts, it can be very difficult to completely clean foods and prevent outbreaks of listeria. After being in business for over a century with no food recalls, Blue Bell Creameries – a company that started out at its Brenham, Texas, facility and produces much-loved ice creams – is now associated with the fatal threat of listeria. Three people recently died in a Kansas hospital after eating Blue Bell products made in the company’s Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, plant.

Operations at the Broken Arrow plant were suspended voluntarily on April 3, 2015, because 3-ounce food service chocolate cups with tab lids used at hospitals tested positive for listeria. The tainted products were available only to Blue Bell’s institutional and food service accounts. The products were immediately recalled, in addition to strawberry and vanilla food service/institutional cups. Blue Bell announced that they identified the machine in which the contaminated products were produced.

Beginning April 4, Blue Bell worked with retail outlets to ensure that all products produced in Broken Arrow were removed. The products can be identified because they have code date endings of O, P, Q, R, S, or T, which can be found at the bottom of cartons.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration notified Blue Bell on April 7 that a pint of Blue Bell Banana Pudding Ice Cream tested positive for listeria. That pint was produced in the Broken Arrow plant on February 12, 2015. All products produced in that production line from February 12 through March 27, 2015, were immediately recalled by Blue Bell. These products had code date endings of either S or T.

In this continuing series, learn more about listeria and who is most at risk from exposure to the bacteria.

–Guest Contributor

Dallas Injury Lawyer: Bounce House Injuries Have Reached Epidemic Proportions – Part 4

April 8th, 2015
English: bouncer, fun games, inflatable games ...

English: bouncer, fun games, inflatable games Deutsch: hüpfburg, hüpfburg lachende kuh, la vache qui rit, laughing cow, hüpfburgen, www.gumpiburg.ch, gumpiburg, gumpischloss, luftburg, château gonflables, vermietung (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Outdoor Setup of Inflatable Bouncers

Correct setup of inflatable bouncers is important, to prevent injuries. The following are the correct procedures for installing an inflatable bouncer outside:

  • Find a flat surface to place the bouncer on.
  • Be sure that the area where the bouncer will be set up has plenty of space on every side.
  • Be sure that the bouncer is not set up near power lines or tree branches.
  • Remove all objects that may be sticking up from the ground, such as sprinkler systems. Also remove objects such as rocks and sticks before setting up the inflatable bouncer.
  • If the bouncer is going to be set up on concrete or some other type of hard surface, a soft surface must be placed all around the entrance and exit to the bouncer.

Indoor Setup of Inflatable Bouncers

  • The ceiling must be at least a few feet higher than the top of the bouncer.
  • The bouncer must be placed several feet away from all walls.
  • If the bouncer is set up on a hard floor, a soft surface must be placed all around the entrance and exit to the bouncer.

Additional Safety Rules

The following are a few additional rules that have been used by companies, to ensure the safety of the children using their inflatable bouncers:

  • Pay attention to the load capacity of the bouncer and do not exceed the load limit.
  • When there is excessive rain or wind, inflatable bouncers should not be used. If there is thunder, lightning, high winds, or rain, all occupants must exit the bouncer immediately. Re-entry should not be allowed until the weather is clear and the inflatable is completely dry.
  • Because inflatables are physically challenging to use, people with the following health conditions should not be allowed on them: high blood pressure; problems with the neck, back, bones, or joints; a disease; a health impairment, or any other type of condition which can cause someone problems when they are physically challenged.
  • Hot objects are allowed in or near inflatable bouncers.

See Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of this four-part series to learn more about the trend in which children are injured in bounce houses.

–Guest Contributor

Texas Attorney: Bounce House Injuries Have Reached Epidemic Proportions – Part 3

April 1st, 2015
English: Photo taken my me (May 19, 2007) and ...

English: Photo taken my me (May 19, 2007) and is an example of an inflatable structure created by Cutting Edge Creations. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Inflatable bouncers are associated with about 30 hospital visits every day, which comes to one child being injured badly enough to require medical attention every 45 minutes in the U.S. Now that parents can buy the inflatable bouncy houses in addition to renting them, there are more children playing on them. No matter what individual or company sets up a bounce house for children to play on, injury prevention should be taken very seriously. The following are tips for preventing injuries in inflatable bouncers:

  • Before entering, participants must remove the following:
    • Shoes
    • Jewelry
    • Eyeglasses
    • Sharp objects in pockets
  • No roughhousing should be allowed. Wrestling, doing flips, and tumbling should also be prohibited.
  • While playing in an inflatable bouncer, children should stay away from the entrance, exit, and walls or sides.
  • Participants should stop playing and carefully exit the inflatable bouncer if it begins deflating.
  • Only children age 6 years old and older should be allowed to jump in inflatable bouncers.
  • An adult who is knowledgeable about how to safely use a bouncer should always be present when it is being used.
  • The best and safest way to use the bouncer is one child at a time.
  • When there are two or more children in a bouncer, they should all be about the same size and age.

See Part 1 and Part 2 to learn more about the trend in which children are injured in inflatable bouncers. In the continuing series, learn how to correctly set bouncers up outside and how to correctly set up bouncers inside so that injuries can be avoided.

–Guest Contributor

Texas Lawyer: Bounce House Injuries Have Reached Epidemic Proportions – Part 2

March 25th, 2015
An inflatable shaped like an elephant

An inflatable shaped like an elephant (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Inflatable bouncers are very popular at birthday parties, summer carnivals, Halloween carnivals, and other child-oriented events. Although they are popular, they are the cause of dozens of injuries every day. Researchers did a study of emergency room visits involving inflatable bounce house injuries. Results showed the following:

  • The average age of the children injured in inflatable bouncers is 7 years old.
  • The most common types of injuries are fractures and sprains to arms and legs.
  • Approximately 20% of the injuries involve the head and neck.
  • Most of the injuries occur when the children fall inside the bouncers, as opposed to outside of them. A larger child than the one injured is often a factor in causing the injury.
  • Only about 3.4% of all inflatable bouncer injuries result in hospitalization.

The reason for a huge increase in bounce house injuries is an easy one to identify. Although moonwalks, inflatable obstacle courses, and bouncy houses have been very popular for decades, today they are available for sale on store shelves. Parents can save money by buying their own rather than renting them. Without professional operators, however, bounce house injuries are far more likely. Instructions need to be carefully followed, to prevent injuries to children.

The Child Injury Prevention Alliance is an organization that has addressed inflatable bouncers and offers best practices that are designed to keep children safe.

See Part 1 to learn more about the trend in which children are injured in bounce houses. In the continuing series, learn tips for injury prevention, proper use of bouncers, how to correctly set bouncers up outside, and how to correctly set up bouncers inside so that injuries can be avoided.

–Guest Contributor

Dallas, Texas Lawyer: Bounce House Injuries Have Reached Epidemic Proportions

March 19th, 2015
An inflatable castle type of moonwalk.

An inflatable castle type of moonwalk. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In October of 2014, two toddlers were injured in a bounce house accident. Both of the children were hospitalized, and one suffered critical injuries. This incident is just a graphic example of an alarming trend. Between 1995 and 2010, there has been a 15-fold increase in bounce-house injuries. Research revealed that, on average, 31 children per day were admitted to emergency departments for injuries sustained in some type of inflatable bouncer.

In the incident that occurred in October, a 2-year-old and a 3-year-old entered a bouncy house that had not been tethered to the ground properly. While they were inside, the wind picked up the bounce house and carried it over a 10-foot fence while the children were trapped inside. The 2-year-old was transported by medical hospital to Tufts Medical Center in Boston, where he was listed as being in critical condition. The 3-year-old was also taken to a hospital, where he was reported to be in stable condition.

In May of last year two 6-year-old boys were playing in an inflatable bounce house in New York when they were suddenly tossed into the sky an estimated 15 feet in the air. One boy landed on asphalt and the other on a parked car. That same week in Colorado, two children were inside a bounce house when strong winds blew the inflatable house across the field with the two children trapped inside.

What is especially alarming is that these types of incidents are not isolated, and they aren’t freak accidents. Learn more about the trend in which children are injured in bounce houses in this ongoing series.

–Guest Contributor