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Queens NY Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Man ridiculed by anesthesiologist during procedure wins lawsuit

Patients in New York and across the nation place their trust in an anesthesiologist when they are undergoing a medical procedure. Part of that trust implies that they will be treated with dignity and respect. One patient who was receiving a colonoscopy was not accorded that professionalism as the anesthesiologist was recorded on the man's cellphone having ridiculed him during the procedure.

The man inadvertently made the recording by leaving his phone on when he had his colonoscopy in April of 2013. When he was on his way home, he listened to it and found that the doctors were ridiculing him the entire time. The anesthesiologist made statements about the patient having tuberculosis in his penis and warned another medical worker that touching a genital rash the man had might result in a sexually transmitted disease.

Nursing homes must care properly for dementia residents

Nursing homes have a duty to properly care for its residents. Every resident's condition requires a unique set of care standards. Patients who have dementia or Alzheimer's disease often require very specific care that changes as the disease progresses. New York residents might be interested in learning more about these mental health conditions and how they should be cared for.

In the case of patients with Alzheimer's disease or dementia, the degrading mental status often means that the person's behavior and cognitive abilities will change. This can lead to the resident having trouble with self-care. In some cases, it can cause confusion, memory loss, lack of restraint, irritability and disorientation.

Research associates drowsy driving with 6 percent of accidents

New York residents may be surprised to learn that government statistics concerning drowsy driving may not accurately reflect the true scale of the problem. According to official figures, drowsy driving plays a role in about 3 percent of road traffic accidents, but research conducted by the AAA Foundation suggests that the true number may be as high as 6 percent. AAA researchers looked into more than 21,000 crashes that occurred between 2009 and 2013, and they used methods designed to identify drowsy driving that had been overlooked by accident investigators and law enforcement officers.

Drowsy driving does not leave investigators with much in the way of physical evidence, and motorists are often reluctant to admit that they fell asleep at the wheel. To overcome these challenges, researchers used a method known as multiple imputation. The data used included police and accident reports, interviews with vehicle occupants and the severity of the injuries suffered by car accident victims.

Research into surgical errors shows the frequency and dangers

A concern for many New York residents who are set to undergo surgery is the possibility of surgical errors. Mistakes such as wrong-site surgery, improper use of medical equipment and surgical equipment left inside a patient might sound unusual, but they do happen and can result in serious injury or death.

According to recent research, these kinds of mistakes are infrequent. For approximately every 100,000 surgical procedures, doctors will operate on the wrong site once. This could mean operating on the right side of the body when the procedure was supposed to be on the left. Out of 10,000 surgeries, it is estimated that one will result in something like a surgical sponge being left inside the patient.

Behavioral factors in surgical errors

New York residents may not be aware of a recent Mayo Clinic study which examined the human behavioral factors behind certain types of surgical errors. These 'never events," named so because they should never take place, were found to be caused by a variety of factors. The researchers discovered 69 of these events over the course of 1.5 million invasive procedures performed over a five-year period at the clinic. Their causes were coded to identify underlying environmental, organizational, job and individual characteristics that led to the incidents.

Nearly two-thirds of these events occurred during minor procedures, such as line placements, endoscopies and soft tissue procedures. Even highly skilled and motivated medical teams experience never events, according to one of the study's senior authors. Multiple factors contribute to medical errors, and team vigilance is necessary in order to prevent potential problems.

The 4 major types of gynecological cancer

Losing the ability to bear children is one of the primary reasons that many New York women fear gynecological cancer, but medical science has made great strides in recent decades. Endometrial, cervical, ovarian and vulvar cancer are relatively rare, and they can often be treated easily if detected early enough.

Endometrial cancer is the most common form of gynecological cancer, and ovarian cancer is the deadliest. The causes of both remain largely unknown, but they often strike post-menopausal women. A number of tests can be used to detect these cancers, but ovarian cancer presents a real challenge for health care professionals. The symptoms of ovarian cancer are often minor in nature, and they are easily attributed to less serious conditions such as Crohn's disease or irritable bowel syndrome. However, the seriousness of ovarian cancer is such that women diagnosed with these other conditions may be wise to seek a second opinion to avoid a possible delayed cancer diagnosis.

The different causes of fatal car accidents

As many New York motorists may know, geography often determines what circumstances cause fatal car accidents. Factors such as weather, reckless and drunk driving as well as dangerous road conditions are found in different areas of the country. In an effort to understand the cause of these incidents nationwide, data obtained by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration involving fatal accidents occurring between 2009 and 2013 was analyzed by the Auto Insurance Center. The information involved passenger, pedestrian and driver fatalities.

The study looked at the type of driving behavior that was associated with fatal accidents on a state-by-state basis. The most common deviation from proper driving etiquette was the failure to remain in the appropriate lane. Others included not yielding to traffic, careless driving and overcorrecting. Road rage leading to a fatal auto accident was found most often in Indiana while reckless driving was a primary cause of death in Arkansas. Changing lanes erratically or improperly was most common in Delaware as well as New Mexico. Failure to yield was seen to happen most often in Mississippi.

Study shows pre-surgery education affects outcome

Patients undergoing surgery in New York hospitals may have better outcomes if they are given pre-surgery education, according to a Gallup analysis. After surveying thousands of patients who had undergone medical device implantations, Gallup researchers found that the patients who were educated about what to expect after surgery were more likely to experience positive outcomes.

Researchers asked patients to report whether or not they knew what to expect after surgery, felt prepared for their post-surgery experience and followed post-surgery instructions. The patients were told to rate these three areas from one to five. Patients who gave a rating of five to at least one of the areas had fewer post-surgery problems and were more satisfied with the outcomes of their procedures. Patients who gave a five rating to more than one area had even greater satisfaction with the results.

Pedestrian accident facts

Every year, thousands of pedestrians are injured and killed while walking along New York streets. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, traffic accidents in the United States resulted in 4,743 pedestrian deaths in 2012. There were also approximately 76,000 pedestrians injured in traffic accidents during that same year.

Adults who are over the age of 65 are particularly at risk for being injured or killed in a pedestrian accident. The CDC estimates that older adults account for 20 percent of all pedestrian deaths as well as 9 percent of all pedestrian injuries. Statistics from 2012 showed that children are also at a high risk of being killed in pedestrian accidents. A majority of fatal pedestrian accidents take place at night while people are walking in urban areas. Almost half of all fatal pedestrian accidents that occurred in 2012 involved a driver or a pedestrian who had been drinking.

Driving on these days can be deadly, report says

Recent findings show that particular days of the year are especially hazardous for people traveling on New York roadways. Across the nation, aggressive drivers, road congestion and intoxicated motorists can potentially put others on the road in jeopardy.

Around the Christmas season and during NFL game days, studies reveal that there is a sharp increase in the amount of aggressive drivers on the roadways. It has been found that on NFL game days in many cities that have teams, accidents sharply increase in the vicinity of the stadium, even more so when the home team loses.

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