Advocates for Patients Injured by Substandard Health Care Providers
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When patients seek medical treatment, there is a common tendency to view the practice of medicine almost like magic. Physicians divine what ails us, then provide a “magical” pill or procedure to relieve our symptoms and/or cure our illness or medical condition. Unfortunately, the practice of medicine is not magic and arguably is more akin to art than science. Medical errors and omissions cause severe injury and medical complications far more frequently than most patients care to consider.
The insurance industry and the American Medical Association (AMA) have inundated the public with claims of overly litigious patients driving up health care costs for quality health care providers who rarely make mistakes. However, health care data tells a different story. A study conducted by the Institute for Medicine found that preventable medical errors are responsible for 98,000 fatalities annually while injuring far more. If the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) included medical malpractice as a cause of death, medical errors and omissions would constitute the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. Despite this high number of medical errors, medical malpractice lawsuit are fairly rare.
Medical Malpractice Claims Pose Unique Challenges
Patients who have been victimized by medical malpractice and their families find it harder to locate an experienced medical malpractice attorney in recent times. The cost to litigate medical malpractice cases has risen sharply while legislatures across the country have enacted so-called “tort reform” legislation that has made it more difficult for patients to prevail in lawsuits. These challenges are compounded by the highly technical nature of evidence in medical malpractice cases along with challenges in proving that substandard care caused a patient’s bad outcome. In most states, a medical malpractice cases cannot even be initiated without a medical expert evaluating the records to determine the appropriate standard of care and that the medical professional failed to meet the applicable standard of care.
Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer Steven Chung understands these especially difficult issues. Mr. Chung draws on his experience handling a wide range of medical malpractice claims as both a personal injury attorney and former insurance defense lawyer. Mr. Chung has an established network of health care experts with whom he can consult to review medical records and assist in the process of identifying substandard medical care.
Common Examples of Medical Malpractice
Because of Mr. Chung’s expertise and experience, his medical malpractice law firm handles a broad spectrum of medical malpractice cases that include:
Birth Injuries (cerebral palsy, Erbs palsy): Birth injuries can be caused by improper prenatal care, mistakes during delivery like improper use of forceps, failure to respond appropriately to fetal distress, prescription of drugs unsafe for expectant mothers and other medical mistakes. Birth injuries can result in brain damage and other severe disabling injuries that require lifelong supportive care.
Failure to Diagnose Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT): A patient might visit his doctor or an emergency room complaining of pain and swelling of the leg. The doctor might fail to conduct tests to diagnose DVT, which amounts to a blood clot in the deep veins of the leg. Failure to diagnose DVT can result in a fatal pulmonary embolism.
Anesthesia Errors: This type of mistake can arise from failure to adequately review a patient’s medical history, administering an improper amount of anesthesia, lack of monitoring of the patient and other errors. Delayed Diagnosis of Cancer: When physicians fail to order appropriate diagnostic tests based on a patients symptoms, history and other factors, or such tests are not reviewed or interpreted properly, this can result in a delay that facilitates the ongoing progression of cancer. When this delay results in a less favorable outcome, this can be actionable medical negligence.
Hospital Acquired Infections: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that one in 25 patients treated in hospitals suffer some form of hospital acquired infection. While appropriate sanitary practices, including medical providers washing their hands, will typically prevent such infections, many people suffer serious complications, MERSA infections or sepsis because of improper infection control procedures.
Failure to Diagnosis a Heart Attack: Sometimes patient visit emergency rooms complaining of classic heart attack symptoms, but the emergency room physician fails to request proper diagnostic screening. The patient is often sent home only to suffer a fatal heart attack because the patient’s coronary artery disease is not diagnosed and treated.
Never Events: This term refers to incidents that should never occur and reflect serious underlying safety issues. Example of “never events” include wrong site, wrong patient and wrong procedure surgeries. When a foreign object is left in the body following surgery, this type of error also is considered a never event.
Call Philadelphia Lawyer Steven Chung Today!
These are only a few examples of common types of medical negligence that might constitute a basis for pursuing a medical malpractice claim. Steven Chung works with top medical experts when building support for a medical malpractice claim. Mr. Chung offers a no obligation free consultation to evaluate your case and advise you of your rights and options. Call Steven Chung at (215) 883-4100 to learn how we can help.