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Des Moines Personal Injury Law Blog

After medical malpractice, victims want open communication

Being the victim of a medical mistake can take a serious emotional toll on a person, and understandably so. Patients in Iowa typically expect doctors to treat them with care and dignity, and learning that a serious error has occurred can be devastating. Even victims who have received compensation for medical malpractice sometimes continue to feel a deep sense of dissatisfaction.

A recent study focused on three different hospitals that maintain open lines of communication after an error occurs. These hospitals ditched the traditional approach of denying all medical malpractice accusations and rigorously defending themselves for a more common-sense approach -- simply offering compensation when malpractice caused patient harm. Researchers spoke with 40 people in all, 27 medical malpractice victims, three family members and 10 additional people employed at one of the three hospitals.

Doctor hit with medical malpractice suits for botched surgeries

For some people in Iowa, cosmetic surgery can be a transformative experience, which can have both physical and emotional benefits. Unfortunately, not everyone who undergoes elective surgery receives this type of outcome. Over a dozen out-of-state women recently filed medical malpractice claims against a cosmetic surgeon who allegedly botched their surgeries.

In total, 15 women have filed lawsuits alleging that they suffered disfigurement, pain and scarring from their surgeries. Surgeries ranged from breast lifts and tummy tucks to liposuction. At least one woman had an operation that removed excess skin from weight loss, and she claims the procedure left her with scars, nerve damage and ongoing pain.

Is nursing home care declining?

A recent report from the Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General paints a bleak picture of nursing home care. From 2011 to 2015, the percentage of residents filing a complaint rose sharply. This rate increase included an increase in reports of problems that endangered the lives of residents. These serious incidents became more common even as the total number of nursing home residents dropped slightly.

Location matters

Nurse accused of medication errors facing criminal charges

Receiving the correct medication at the correct time is a cornerstone of modern medical treatment. Withholding medicine or administering the wrong one can have devastating consequences for Iowa patients, which can range from prolonged pain to adverse reactions. An out-of-state nurse is currently facing criminal charges for medication errors that she blamed on working long hours.

The nurse was formerly employed at a nursing home, at which her duties apparently included administrating medications to patients. Questions regarding the nurse's behavior with medication were raised in Nov. 2015, after co-workers reported that she had allegedly given a patient an unknown medication instead of the prescribed oxycodone. It is believed she kept the oxycodone for herself.

When the medical field fails breast cancer victims

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Pink ribbons, merchandise, breast cancer-themed run/walks and advertising campaigns will be easy to spot for the next four weeks. Breast cancer awareness is a positive thing and the campaigns help further that cause. They do little to help the women who do everything right, only to have their doctors drop the ball in identifying and treating breast cancer.

Missed breast cancer diagnosis

$10 million awarded for medical malpractice doctor errors

One family spent over two years unsure of what truly caused their loved one's death. The out-of-state man died at Iowa hospital after he went in for a necessary operation. When the family went to trial over allegations of medical malpractice doctor errors, the truth of what happened finally came out.

The 80-year-old man was admitted to the hospital in Jan. 2015, when he underwent surgery for the removal of his bladder cancer. A follow-up appointment for his rapidly developing complications did not fully address the man's problems. Although he underwent a secondary surgery, he died about a week after the first operation.

We're here to help with medical malpractice doctor errors

Patients generally expect their doctors to be attentive to their symptoms and test results, and rightly so -- many diseases and injuries are very treatable when diagnosed in a timely manner. Unfortunately, medical malpractice doctor errors are not as uncommon as most people in Iowa might like to think. Being misdiagnosed or having a diagnosis missed entirely continues to be a serious risk factor for patients.

The impact of a missed diagnose can be devastating. Sometimes patients find out that if their doctor had ordered the correct testing or interpreted it correctly, their aggressive cancer would have been discovered at a much more treatable stage. Others find out that their heart attack might have been avoided if their attending physician had taken treated their symptoms seriously.

Help is possible after medical malpractice medication errors

It often seems as though every trip to the doctor results in a new prescription that is supposed to better treat chronic health conditions, but some of these medications might be less than safe. Iowa patients suffering from blood pressure issues might be especially vulnerable to medical malpractice medication errors. Many of the drugs used to treat high and low blood pressure pose a serious risk to patients, especially if doctors are not vigilant when considering the potential side effects.

Cardura, which is the brand name for the drug Doxazosin, is a commonly prescribed drug for blood pressure problems. However, while this drug is supposed to be treating a serious medical problem, it can also cause users to suffer from ongoing dizziness and shortness of breath. Patients have also reported developing a yellowing of the eyes and fainting. Unexpectedly losing consciousness can be a serious concern, especially if a patient is unable to brace him or herself before the fall.

The creation and spread of dangerous illnesses

For many reasons, hospitals are an ideal setting for new strains of bacteria to grow and thrive. Hospitals that are lax about cleanliness, follow outdate practices and contribute to the over-prescription of antibiotics are a danger to patients and the population as a whole. Infection is one of the most significant health concerns for patients who receive treatment, particularly surgical patients. A new type of infection has recently been discovered that could endanger the lives of millions of patients.

A combination of pneumonia strains

Young mother's fatal injury caused by medical negligence

For most women giving birth in Iowa this year, the days following the births of their babies will be filled with excitement and joy. That's how things started out for a young mother, her husband and newborn son in another state. However, because of medical negligence, things quickly took a turn for the worse.

The mother worked as an assistant to an orthopedic doctor after obtaining her Master's degree. Her family says the day she and her husband brought their first child home from the hospital was one of pure joy. Concerns arose a few days later when the new mother said she was not feeling well.

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