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New Jersey Medical Malpractice and Product Liability Law Blog

Almost 80 percent of kids not screened for developmental disorder

Let's say that the medical industry receives or makes a very serious recommendation that involves the health of patients. You would expect the industry to respond to this recommendation with vigor, right? You would think that the doctors, nurses, surgeons and everyone else involved in the medical field would do everything in their power to ensure that the recommendation is fulfilled.

It appears that when it comes to kids and screening them for potential developmental disorders, recommendations don't mean much. It was recommended that doctors screen young children once a year for potential developmental disorders. In a perfect world, these screenings would happen -- but in our world, few children actually receive the screenings. Worse still, the whole matter of kids and developmental disorders seems to be dismissed.

'Toxic culture of perfection' and how it impacts medical industry

We have talked about medical errors and their fatal consequences on this blog before. In addition, there have been reports recently that suggest the medical industry isn't exactly undergoing a seamless transition to new error reporting methods. Given these two factors, and some recent comments by a physician at the Bellevue Hospital Center at New York University, we're going to touch on the the medical error issue again today.

The physician made an interesting comment about the "toxic culture of perfection" in the medical industry. It may seem on the surface that a "culture of perfection" would be a good thing. However, it becomes "toxic" with the medical industry in the sense that the pressure to be perfect leads to doctors, nurses, surgeons and all medical staff members alike to conceal or hide (or at least have the urge to conceal or hide) their mistakes.

New 'level' system identifies surgical centers for kids

More than a month a month, we wrote a post about how there are very few people who are confident they can grade a doctor's skill or quality of care. It really is a tough job to find out which doctor is a good one. It requires a lot of research and investigation, and sometimes a reference from a friend or family member is the best way to find your doctor.

But this raises an especially important question regarding health care: if it's difficult for us to judge the quality of care of doctors, then how confident are we supposed to feel when we send our children into surgery?

Who can you sue when you file a medical malpractice claim?

Imagine that one day while you are receiving medical care at a hospital, some sort of error or complication occurs and you are dealt a significantly worse medical outlook as a result. Which party do you sue, the doctor or the hospital? What other parties or entities could be caught up in the lawsuit?

When a patient affected by a medical error, hospital negligence or a pharmaceutical error considers legal action, that patient will ultimately file a medical malpractice lawsuit. This lawsuit could amass some crucial compensation for the victimized patient, who will have to deal with wrongfully incurred medical bills as well as immense pain and suffering.

Chronic Kidney Disease affects 20 million adults in US

Have you ever heard of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)? If you haven't, it's time to gain some awareness of this condition which affects an estimated 10 percent of the United States adult population. That's about 20 million people, and when you consider the potentially dire consequences of living with CKD, it becomes clear that this condition poses a major health threat.

Chronic Kidney Disease is a relatively simple condition in which a person's kidneys are damaged or otherwise malfunctioning, and thus these kidneys can't filter blood in the same way that healthy kidneys would. Because of this reduced filtration rate, people can suffer a number of medical complications down the line. If left unchecked and untreated, CKD can cause someone to endure an unhealthy life, with the ultimate risk being kidney failure, which would require a transplant or regular dialysis.

Medical pros, institutions struggle to adjust to error reporting

A few weeks ago, we wrote a blog post about the hundreds of thousands of deaths that occur every year as a result of a medical error. The report that post referenced found that about 325,000 people die each year because of medical errors.

What this data obviously shows is that far too many people suffer the ultimate penalty for going to the doctor. In light of the information, it would seem like most hospitals and doctors would be on board with some new rules about error reporting to ensure that patients receive better care -- in addition to bolstering the ability of medical professionals to learn from the mistakes of others.

Here are a few signs that you may need a new doctor

Many people want to change doctors, but don't. Since the hassle of such a change deters people from seeking out a new doctor, they may stick with a medical professional who fails to provide them with the care they deserve. As tough as it may seem to change doctors, that effort is minimal compared to suffering through medical care that may not be up to your standards, or even medically acceptable standards.

So when is it time to finally call time on your relationship with your doctor? Are there any clues or indicators that you should look for to finally take the step out of your doctor's office and into a new one? Here are a few factors to consider:

Few people think they can judge doctors' quality of care

Let's say you are in the market for a new doctor. How would you go about the search? How would you ultimately choose which doctor to go see? Would you trust your insurer to provide you with recommendations? Would you do a quick search online to find doctors who have been reviewed by other people? Or would you try some other method to find your next doctor?

Chances are, you received a reference from a friend, colleague or other medical professional and trusted that reference. There's nothing wrong with that course of action -- this hypothetical situation was merely meant to illustrate the confounding process of searching for a new doctor, and the inadequate resources, grades and data we have at our disposal to pick new doctors.

Report: 325,000 people die every year due to medical errors

If someone were to walk up to you on the street and ask "how many people die every year as a result of medical errors in the United States?," what would be your answer? Would you guess somewhere in the thousands? Maybe in the tens of thousands? As it turns out, those guesses would be well below the figure that a report back in April uncovered. According to that report, 325,000 people die every year as the result of medical errors.

This bit of news is not meant to scare you into resisting medical treatment -- far from it. Instead, it is merely meant as a way of getting you to realize the scope of the medical error problem. Medical mistakes are inherent to the medical system. No matter how much training a doctor or surgeon receives, he or she will always be susceptible to making a mistake.

Study finds droppers, not spoons, should be used for medicine

Imagine you are in the hospital being treated for a fairly serious illness. It's treatable, and you will eventually feel better once a proper medication course is completed -- but in the meantime, you're dealing with some serious symptoms. Over the next few days, you're continually fed little cups of medicine to help you deal with the sickness. They come out in a tray that is filled with 30 or 40 such cups because the nurse is distributing the medicine to numerous patients.

After a week or two, you feel better. You dealt with some side effects from the medicine, but you're healthy again, so what's the big deal?

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