Newborn baby bundled in blankets

Preventing Birth Trauma In Philadelphia Hospitals

Preventable birth traumas in Philadelphia are unfortunate events that can occur during childbirth due to various factors, often involving some form of medical oversight or error. Philadelphia hospitals are increasingly focused on implementing evidence-based practices and protocols designed to minimize the risk of birth trauma, such as thorough prenatal care, skilled birth teams, adherence to safety guidelines, and the incorporation of advanced medical technologies. Furthermore, these hospitals must foster a supportive and responsive environment for expecting mothers, ensure clear communication, and provide personalized care plans. By prioritizing these measures, Philadelphia hospitals aim to enhance the safety and well-being of both mothers and their newborns, significantly reducing the likelihood of birth trauma and promoting a positive birthing experience.

Factors That Could Lead To Birth Traumas

  • Staff Experience and Response Time: Sometimes, the medical staff might need to be more experienced or quick to respond as needed, which could be because of understaffing, lack of proper training, or simply an oversight. If a problem arises during birth, like the baby not getting enough oxygen or the mother bleeding too much, a delay in action or incorrect action can lead to trauma.
  • Equipment and Facility Issues: The hospital or birthing center’s condition and the availability of necessary equipment can significantly affect birth outcomes. If something crucial is missing, not working correctly, or the environment isn’t kept clean and safe, it could lead to complications for both mother and baby.
    In addition, over-reliance on specific equipment, like vacuum extractors or forceps, can lead to physical injuries to the baby, such as bruising, skull fractures, or nerve damage. Incorrect use of medical equipment, or its failure, can result in complications during birth, leading to trauma, which includes everything from improper use of monitors leading to missed distress signals to failures in surgical equipment. Medical professionals aim to balance the use of equipment to support, rather than hinder, the natural birth process, mitigating risks of trauma while enhancing safety and outcomes for both mother and child.
  • Communication Failures: Proper communication among healthcare professionals is crucial during childbirth. Misunderstandings or lack of information can lead to incorrect decisions or delayed treatments, which might result in avoidable traumas. Effective teamwork and communication among all healthcare team members (including doctors, nurses, and midwives) are essential for safe maternity care. 

Ineffective communication can also affect the continuity of care when the hospital staff shift changes. The staff members on the earlier shift must pass on important information about the mother’s and baby’s condition to the incoming team. Any failure in this process can lead to oversights and errors.

Lastly, miscommunication can lead to healthcare providers dispensing incorrect medication to the mother, affecting the baby’s health. Wrong dosages or the wrong medication can potentially lead to adverse reactions or insufficient pain management.

To mitigate these risks, hospitals and healthcare providers work on improving communication strategies, such as implementing standardized protocols and enhancing teamwork through training. Effective communication is crucial in all areas of healthcare but is especially critical during the birthing process, where two lives are at stake.

  • Prenatal Care: The care a mother receives during pregnancy is also vital. Suppose a healthcare provider fails to identify or adequately address potential risk factors like high blood pressure, diabetes, or infections. In that case, it increases the risk of problems during childbirth that could lead to trauma.
  • Ignoring Patient Concerns: Sometimes, the healthcare providers might not take the pregnant person’s concerns seriously or dismiss them too quickly. This inattention can lead to situations where preventable issues are not addressed in time, leading to trauma during birth.

Takeaway

Healthcare quality can vary widely from facility to hospital, and the risks might be higher in overcrowded or underfunded hospitals. Efforts to prevent birth traumas include improving staff training, better hospital policies, increasing access to quality prenatal care, and ensuring good communication between healthcare providers and expecting parents. In the unfortunate event that a birth trauma does result, you may need to consult with an attorney skilled in medical malpractice situations.  Cooper Schall & Levy has experienced, compassionate attorneys who can provide you with guidance if unfortunate circumstances have resulted in a birth trauma in your family.

Baby girl with a cochlear implant

Cochlear Implant Failures: Proving Liability

Cochlear implants have helped thousands of people with disabilities regain their hearing, but these devices can cause severe harm when they break or malfunction. What’s more, the emotional distress of these injuries, coupled with the sudden loss of hearing after regaining it, can have devastating effects on patients’ emotional well-being.

Unfortunately for people whose cochlear implants have failed, proving the manufacturer or another party caused the failure is often challenging. In this blog, the Philadelphia product liability attorneys at Cooper, Schall & Levy outline the challenges of these cases and explain how our team can help you recover fair compensation for your losses. Read on to learn more.

How Can Cochlear Implants Fail?

A cochlear implant typically includes two primary components: An external sound processor is implanted under the skin on the head. The implant connects to the external processor through an array of electrodes in the ear, bypassing the parts of the ear that don’t function to directly transmit sound to the brain.

When cochlear implants work as designed, they can immeasurably improve a patient’s quality of life. However, like all electronic devices, cochlear implants can fail, causing intense harm when they do. Some common ways that cochlear implants can fail include:

  • Surgical Errors: Incorrect placement or damage during surgery can cause device malfunctions, causing infections, vertigo, tinnitus, or even facial nerve damage.
  • Device Malfunction: The internal or external components of the implant can fail, leading to a loss of hearing, sudden loud noises or shocks, and a return of deafness or severe hearing impairment.
  • Faulty Design: Design flaws can result in the device not working as intended, potentially causing inconsistent sound quality, leading to difficulties in speech recognition and communication challenges.
  • Manufacturing Defects: Defects in the manufacturing process can compromise the implant’s functionality, resulting in intermittent hearing, device failure, or the need for additional surgeries to replace or repair the implant.
  • Failure to Warn: Inadequate instructions or warnings about the proper use and maintenance of the device can lead to misuse, resulting in decreased effectiveness, additional hearing loss, or injury.
  • Battery Issues: Problems with the battery or power source can lead to sudden loss of hearing, which can be particularly dangerous in situations where hearing is crucial for safety.

Who’s Responsible When a Cochlear Implant Fails?

One significant challenge in a cochlear implant failure claim is identifying who caused the issue with the device. Depending on how the failure occurred, the potentially liable parties include:

  • The implant’s manufacturer: The companies that designed and produced the cochlear implant may be responsible if the failure resulted from design flaws, manufacturing defects, or inadequate safety testing.
  • Surgeons and Medical Professionals: If the failure is related to the surgical procedure or post-operative care, the healthcare professionals involved in the implantation and follow-up care may be liable.
  • Retailers and Distributors: The companies responsible for selling or distributing the cochlear implant may be liable if they sold a defective product or failed to provide adequate warnings or instructions.
  • Designers and Engineers: If the failure is linked to the initial design or engineering of the implant, the professionals involved in these processes could be responsible.
  • Regulatory Agencies: In rare cases, regulatory bodies that approved the cochlear implant for use might be scrutinized if they did not adequately assess the device’s safety or effectiveness.

Evidence to Prove Liability in a Cochlear Implant Failure Claim

Proving a device manufacturer, doctor, or another party caused a cochlear implant to fail requires thorough evidence. An experienced product liability attorney can gather evidence to support your claim, which may include:

  • Medical Records
  • Expert Testimony
  • Implant Device Records, including Technical Specifications
  • Photographic and Video Evidence
  • FDA Reports and Recalls
  • The Device’s User Manual and Product Warnings
  • Testimonials from Other Users

Have You Sustained Injuries from a Cochlear Implant Failure? Call Our Philadelphia Injury Attorneys Today

If your cochlear implant failed and injured you, you have the right to be compensated for your injuries. The Philadelphia product liability lawyers at Cooper, Schall & Levy can find all available evidence to prove your case and represent you in your fight for justice. Call us today or complete our contact form for a free consultation.

Gavel and red medical malpractice law book

Important Factors That Make a Good Medical Malpractice Case

Medical malpractice cases are among the most complex and challenging types of legal disputes. If you are a victim of medical negligence in the Philadelphia area, you face a daunting task when seeking justice and compensation for your injuries or losses. Whether you have suffered as a result of a misdiagnosis, a surgical or anesthesia error, or some other type of medical malpractice, at Cooper Schall & Levy, our highly competent medical malpractice attorneys are here to help you. 

We understand the intricacies of these cases and have extensive experience fighting for the rights of those harmed by medical professionals’ mistakes. More than that, we are determined to bring you maximum compensation for all you have suffered. We offer a free evaluation of your claim and will charge you no attorneys’ fees until we recover damages.

What Makes Medical Malpractice Cases Particularly Challenging

Medical malpractice cases are uniquely difficult to win because:

  • It is hard to prove that a healthcare provider’s actions deviated from the standard of care.
  • Medical professionals are, on the whole, widely respected.
  • Medical terminology, devices, procedures, and standards are often difficult for laypeople to understand.
  • It is often an uphill battle to confront corporate healthcare providers backed up by powerful insurance companies and high-end attorneys.

For these reasons, it is imperative to have a proficient legal team at your side. With proven legal ability and determination born of compassion for your plight, our lawyers are well-prepared to defend your right to maximum damages. 

How Medical Malpractice Is Legally Proven in Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, proving medical malpractice requires demonstrating four essential elements:

Duty of Care

We must establish that the healthcare provider owed you a duty of care as their patient. This is usually straightforward, as it is generally accepted that a doctor-patient relationship establishes this duty.

Breach of Standard of Care

We must also show your healthcare provider failed to adhere to the recognized standard of care for their medical discipline.

Causation

We must demonstrate a direct link between the breach and the injury you suffered. This requires showing that the injury would not have occurred without the provider’s negligence.

Damages

Finally, we must prove that you suffered actual harm physical injuries, financial losses, emotional distress as a result of the malpractice. 

The Importance of Strong Legal Representation

Our legal team is ready to pull out all the stops to win your case and bring you justice, by:

  • Gathering evidence, examining medical records, and interviewing witnesses. 
  • Consulting with medical and other relevant experts who can help explain how the defendant’s actions deviated from the standard of care and led to your injuries.
  • Creating a winning legal strategy based on the evidence and expert testimony.
  • Engaging in agile negotiations and persuasive litigation on your behalf. 

Cooper Schall & Levy Will Handle Legal Procedures and Meet Deadlines

Once you become our client, you needn’t worry about Pennsylvania’s strict legal procedures and deadlines. Leave all logistical matters in our capable hands, from meeting the statute of limitations for filing a malpractice claim generally 2 years from the date the injury was discovered or should have been discovered   to navigating every pretrial procedure and submitting every necessary document.

The Takeaway

Filing a successful medical malpractice lawsuit requires in-depth legal knowledge, excellent negotiation and litigation skills, hard work, and determination. Fortunately, the attorneys of Cooper Schall & Levy have spent decades in practice proving that they have each of these qualities. If you have been a victim of medical malpractice, contact our offices today to feel the confidence that comes from partnering with consummate professionals.

Woman sitting with doctor

Dangers of a Delayed Cancer Diagnosis

Delayed diagnosis is a common medical mistake that forms the foundation for medical malpractice actions. Not all delayed diagnosis situations will, of course, equate to medical malpractice but many times this is the case. When a doctor or other medical provider fails to provide the requisite standard of care in evaluating a patient and their symptoms and using this information in the acceptable method to confirm a diagnosis, then they may be held liable for the damage the resulting missed diagnosis or misdiagnosis causes to the patient. Some mistakes regarding patient diagnosis cause more egregious damage than others. For instance, a diagnosis mistake regarding a cancer diagnosis can be devastating, and even fatal, to the patient.

Dangers of a Delayed Cancer Diagnosis

A cancer diagnosis can be difficult to ascertain, especially in its early stages. Doctors must be particularly adept at reading the subtle signs displayed by early cancer as the condition’s symptoms may be de minimis earlier on. However, once the cancer metastasizes or spreads to other parts of the body, then it may be more easily diagnosed. It may also, unfortunately, be more difficult to effectively treat.

Despite the subtlety of early cancer symptoms, a medical professional’s failure to properly observe said symptoms and identify other signs of a potential cancer in the patient can still lead to medical malpractice liability. If it is established that the medical professional had reasonable evidence that other, similarly situated, similarly trained medical professionals would take as evidence of cancer in a patient, then this could be considered medical negligence. If this oversight led to the patient suffering harm, then the medical professional could be held legally responsible for medical malpractice.

A delayed cancer diagnosis can have tragic consequences for a patient. This is due, in large part, to the fact that there is a key window of time in which cancer treatment will be most effective. The more time cancer is left undiagnosed, the bigger the opportunity for the cancer to grow in strength and spread to other parts of the body. Delayed diagnosis of cancer in a patient can mean extended and further invasive treatments for the patient. It can also increase the chances of the cancer proving fatal. So, a delayed cancer diagnosis can literally be the difference between life and death.

Treating physicians and other medical professionals tasked with a patient’s care need to be mindful of even the earliest symptoms of cancer. If not initially diagnosed, they should be mindful of signs of a delayed cancer diagnosis. For instance, if a patient’s symptoms have failed to improve despite their compliance with an active treatment plan put in place to address a different medical condition that may have presented with symptoms similar to cancer, then cancer may be the true underlying medical condition. If a medical professional failed to order appropriate testing considering the symptoms a patient presented with, then this may be another sign that there has been a delay in a cancer diagnosis. Miscommunications between different medical professionals can also signal a delay in cancer diagnosis, regardless of whether the medical professionals work in the same or different facilities.

Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorneys

Have you needlessly suffered due to a delayed cancer diagnosis? The dedicated team at Cooper, Schall & Levy are here to fight for you.  Contact us today.

Doctor examining patient

Can You Sue a Hospital for Medical Malpractice?

Hospitals are supposed to be places where you can find relief and healing for your injuries and other health conditions. Unfortunately, some people receive substandard care at hospitals and, as a result, needlessly suffer. If you were harmed instead of helped at a hospital, you are likely wondering who you can hold legally responsible. Can you sue a hospital for your injuries? It’s possible.

Can You Sue a Hospital for Medical Malpractice?

In some cases, a hospital may be held legally responsible for medical malpractice under the legal theory of respondeat superior. Under respondeat superior, an employer can be held vicariously liable for the negligence of an employee who injured a person in the course of their job duties. This legal principle is in place because employers get the benefit of their employees’ work and should thus also carry some of the risk of employing an individual who may be negligent while working.

So, whether you can sue a hospital for medical malpractice can greatly hinge on whose negligence caused you harm. If it was a hospital employee, you are much more likely to be able to hold the hospital liable for your damages. If it was not a hospital employee, however, it is not likely that you will be able to sue the hospital for medical malpractice.

Who is employed by hospital? Usually, nurses are employed by the hospital. Medical technicians are also often employed by the hospital. There are, however, a number of contract workers at hospitals and the hospital will not usually be held responsible for the actions of contract workers. Doctors, for instance, are usually classified as independent contractors and have admitting privileges and certain hospitals. This means that, most of the time, a doctor at a hospital is not actually employed by the hospital in which they are working. So, should a doctor fail to uphold the requisite standard of care in treating a patient, it is unlikely the hospital can be held vicariously responsible for their negligence.

Further still, if a person is injured by a hospital employee while a doctor is supervising that hospital employee, you still might not be able to go after the hospital. It would require a fact specific inquiry into whether the doctor was responsible for supervising the hospital employee at the time the negligent act occurred. It would require looking to whether the doctor was present at the time the negligent act was committed and whether the doctor could exert enough control in that situation as to prevent the negligent act from occurring altogether.

In some cases, however, a doctor may actually be employed by a hospital and, in such cases, a hospital may be legally on the hook for medical malpractice. To determine whether a doctor is employed by the hospital, there will also need to be a fact specific inquiry that looks to the relationship between the doctor and the hospital. Does the hospital have any control over the doctor that would lend itself to an employer-employee relationship? This may include things like the hospital dictating the vacation time and working hours of the doctor. It may also include something like the hospital being able to establish the fee rates charged for the doctor’s services.

Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorneys

Have you suffered harm due to negligent medical care received in a hospital? Talk to the team at Cooper, Schall & Levy about your legal options for seeking compensation for your injuries. Contact us today.

Shot of a young woman getting her eye’s examined with a slit lamp

Ophthalmologist Malpractice

Ophthalmologists are doctors specializing in the care of eyes and vision. These medical professionals are entrusted with their patients’ sight and, as such, their patients should be able to trust them to provide the highest standard of care. Should an ophthalmologist prove unworthy of this trust, and their negligence leaves a person worse off than they were before, the impact could be severe.

Ophthalmologist Malpractice

While small, the eye is a complex organ and one that we rely on to see the world. Those who seek to specialize in the treatment of eyes are required to go through rigorous training before they can practice in the field of ophthalmology. Still, mistakes do happen. The world of ophthalmology is not immune to malpractice, just as it is with any field of medicine.

When a patient is injured due to ophthalmologist malpractice, that patient can bring a malpractice claim seeking compensation for the resulting harm they suffered. In order to bring this claim successfully, the patient must be able to establish the following elements:

  • Duty:  The doctor had a duty to the patient because the patient was under their care.
  • Breach: The doctor failed to treat the patient pursuant to the acceptable standard of care that should be provided by an ophthalmologist under similar circumstances.
  • Causation: The doctor’s breach of duty was the direct and proximate cause of harm suffered by the patient.
  • Damages: The patient was injured because the doctor failed to uphold the requisite standard of care

Some of the common forms of ophthalmologist malpractice are not necessarily unique to the field of ophthalmology and can often be seen in other fields of medicine. The difference is, however, that these forms of ophthalmology malpractice can easily lead to vision loss or impairment in a patient. For instance, misdiagnosing or failure to diagnose a patient can be seen in a variety of medical contexts, including ophthalmology. And, as in other areas of medicine, the consequences for the patient can be devastating. When it comes to ophthalmology, a misdiagnosis or missed diagnosis can lead to improper treatment or lack of treatment for a condition of a patient. This can, in turn, lead to the condition worsening, resulting in things like vision loss or impairment. Other forms of ophthalmological malpractice may include:

  • Failing to obtain a patient’s informed consent prior to a procedure
  • Failing to treat a condition or delaying necessary treatment
  • Failing to refer a patient to an appropriate, qualified expert
  • Failing to prescribe the correct medication or medication dosage
  • Increasing risk of infection by reusing single-use instruments (often done in an attempt to cut costs)
  • Making surgical errors

All of these forms of ophthalmological medical mistakes could lead to vision loss or impairment, but they can also lead to:

  • A decreased field of vision
  • Perception issues
  • Partial or total blindness
  • “Floaters”
  • Other health complications

Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorneys

It can be scary to even consider a lapse in trusted medical care let alone suffer under one. If you have suffered harm due to your doctor providing substandard care, do not delay in reaching out to the dedicated medical malpractice team at Cooper, Schall & Levy. Contact us today.

Emergency room doctors helping patient

Common Medical Mistakes Made in the ER

The often fast-paced, high adrenaline, and high-pressure environment in an Emergency Room (ER) setting may make it no surprise that it is one of the most common places for medical mistakes to be made. Regardless, however, we trust emergency room doctors and healthcare workers to provide us the best possible medical care. While the chaotic nature of an emergency room may be a contributing factor for medical errors occurring, it is by no means an excuse. The trained medical professionals working in an emergency room remain subject to a duty of care in evaluating and treating patients. When there is a lapse in this duty of care and a patient suffers as a result, there is medical malpractice exposure and the patient may seek compensation for the harm they have suffered due to the medical error.

Common Medical Mistakes Made in the ER

Medical malpractice occurs when there is medical negligence. In other words, a doctor or other health care worker failed to uphold a duty of care and treat a patient as a similarly situated doctor or health care professional would and this lapse in their duty of care was the direct and proximate cause of harm sustained by the patient. This means if a doctor failed to act, evaluate, or treat a patient as a similarly qualified doctor would have done so under comparable circumstances, there could be medical malpractice if the patient was harmed as a result.

There are plenty of common medical mistakes made in the ER setting that can lead to medical malpractice claims. Some examples include:

  • Misdiagnosis: Again, the fast-paced environment along with the wide range of cases that come through an emergency room can contribute to misdiagnosis occurring. A misdiagnosis is when a patient is diagnosed with the wrong medical condition. Unfortunately, this can lead to critical delays in receiving the proper treatment needed for the correct medical condition. It can also lead to the patient receiving the wrong type of treatment leading to other types of damage to the body.
  • Medical procedure mistakes: Another common medical mistake in the ER is the improper performance of a medical procedure. Again, this can be caused in large part due to the rushed nature of the emergency room along with the fact that doctors and medical personnel sometimes must perform procedures which they do not have much, or any, experience performing.
  • Delayed treatment: Understaffed ERs and those with more patients than they can handle will commonly lead to delays in a patient receiving treatment. ER wait times can span hours. In the meantime, patient conditions can quickly worsen leading to irreversible damage or, in some cases, death.
  • Improper discharge: Amidst the hustle and bustle of the ER, medical workers may be overeager to keep patients moving out the door. Unfortunately, this means that a common ER mistake is the improper discharge of patients. Patients may be discharged without receiving proper care or without receiving proper discharge instructions. This type of oversight can land the patient in danger of going home only to need to return to the ER as their condition continues to worsen.

Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorneys

ER mistakes are one of the common grounds for a bringing medical malpractice claim. If you have received substandard emergency room care and have suffered as a result, reach out to the medical malpractice team at Cooper, Schall & Levy. Contact us today.

Doctor reading patient medical results

What is the Cap on Medical Malpractice Damages in Pennsylvania?

So many of us place great amounts of trust in our medical providers to give us the care we need to stay healthy or improve our health. Unfortunately, medical mistakes are far too common. When a medical mistake is the result of substandard medical care, a lapse in a medical professional’s duty of care to their patients, substantial harm to a patient’s well-being can be the result. If you have suffered due to negligent medical care, you can seek compensation for the harm you have suffered. Some states, however, place a cap on recoverable medical malpractice damages. They do this to help dissuade people from pursuing legal action against their doctors and health care providers. Is Pennsylvania one of the states that places a cap on medical malpractice damages?

What is the Cap on Medical Malpractice Damages in Pennsylvania?

Many states have a cap in place to limit the amount of damages a medical malpractice victim can recover. In fact, most states have such a cap in place. In these states, regardless of the catastrophic level of a plaintiff’s injuries resulting from medical malpractice, the jury will be limited to the state’s cap. Pennsylvania, however, is not one of those states. The state currently has no cap on either economic or non-economic medical malpractice damages. Thus, there is not even a cap on pain and suffering damages in Pennsylvania medical malpractice cases.

In medical malpractice cases, as with other types of personal injury claims, the bulk of damages are intended to compensate the plaintiff for harm suffered. As such, these are referred to as “compensatory damages.” Compensatory damages fall into the categories of “economic” or “non-economic” damages. Economic damages include those easily calculable damages such as:

  • Medical expenses
  • Cost of future medical care
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of future earning capacity

Conversely, non-economic damages are more subjective and, thus, are more difficult to put a number on as far as valuation is concerned. Non-economic damages include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium
  • Emotional distress

While there is no cap on compensatory damages in Pennsylvania medical malpractice claims. The state does impose a cap on punitive damages in medical malpractice cases. It should be emphasized, however, that punitive damages are extremely rare in medical malpractice cases. In the rare case where punitive damages may be available, the punitive damage award cannot exceed 200% of the compensatory damages awarded. Furthermore, 25% of the punitive damages awarded in a medical malpractice lawsuit must be paid to the Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error Fund. This fund was established for the explicit purpose of helping to ensure reasonable compensation for those injured as a result of medical malpractice.

Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorneys

If you have suffered as a result of medical negligence, talk to the dedicated team at Cooper, Schall & Levy about bringing a medical malpractice claim seeking full and fair compensation for the losses you have sustained. Contact us today.

Anesthesia injection

Anesthesia Errors and Medical Malpractice

Anesthesia is an integral part of many important medical procedures. When anesthesia errors occur, serious injury to the patient can result. If you have been injured due to an anesthesia related mistake, you may be entitled to compensation through bringing a medical malpractice claim. You should note, however, that not all anesthesia mistakes, or medical errors in general, will result in compensable injuries. In order for medical malpractice to have occurred, the treating medical professional must have been negligence. In other words, they must have provided substandard care which caused injury to a patient. Here, we’ll take a closer look at some of the anesthesia errors that may result in a medical malpractice claim.

Anesthesia Errors and Medical Malpractice

There is a range in types and uses of anesthesia. In the medical context, there are three types of anesthesia. First, there is local anesthesia. This is used to numb a certain part of the body. Local anesthesia is most often used in less invasive procedures. Next, there is regional anesthesia, which numbs a broader area of the body than local anesthesia. One example of a regional anesthesia is an epidural. The third type of anesthesia is general anesthesia. This is the type of anesthesia that puts a patient into total unconsciousness so they are unable to feel pain.

Each type of anesthesia carries certain risks and requires certain procedures be followed in order for the administration of the anesthesia to be effective. The potential for mistakes in administering anesthesia is always looming and the utmost care must be exercised even before the anesthesia is given to the patient. That is why anesthesia errors leading to medical malpractice claims can occur even before the anesthesia is administered.

Preoperative anesthesia mistakes most relate to patient education. Failing to educate the patient about the potential risk of the anesthesia and the procedure they are about to undergo can lead to medical malpractice liability. Failure to review the patient’s medical history to check for potential complications can also lead to liability exposure as well as putting the patient at great risk. 

Then there is, of course, those mistakes that can be made concerning the actual administration of the anesthesia. Some of the most common surgery anesthesia mistakes include:

  • Delayed anesthesia administration
  • Incorrect anesthesia dosage
  • Incorrect anesthesia type
  • Improper monitoring of surgical oxygen
  • Improper monitoring of patient vital signs
  • Failure to identify developing complications

There are also post-operative anesthesia mistakes that can lead to medical malpractice liability. A patient may have been left sedated for longer than necessary. An anesthetized patient may have been left unattended. A patient may not have been provided with proper post-operative instructions. All of these mistakes can lead to patient injury and medical malpractice liability exposure.

Anesthesia errors can have truly devastating consequences for a patient. Potential harm and complications may include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Anaphylaxis
  • Nerve damage
  • Blood clots
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Brain damage
  • Death

Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorneys

Have you suffered due to negligent medical care? Talk to the team at Cooper, Schall & Levy about pursuing a medical malpractice claim to get the monetary compensation you deserve for the harm you have suffered. Contact us today.

pharmaceutical drug defect

Medical Malpractice and Prescription Drug Errors

One common type of medical malpractice claim stems from prescription drug errors. While prescription drug errors pop up frequently in medical malpractice claims, the nature of the prescription drug error can run a wide range. Here, we will take a closer look at the kinds of prescription drug errors that can have serious consequences for patients and lead to the filing of a medical malpractice claim against negligent medical cal providers.

Medical Malpractice and Prescription Drug Errors

Medical professionals owe patients a duty of care. This means they are obligated to provide patients with a level of care comparable to that of similarly situated medical professionals under similar circumstances. This is true of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other healthcare providers tasked with patient care. Prescribing, providing, and administering prescription drugs with reasonable care to help ensure patient health and safety is included in this duty owed to patients. 

Failure to exercise reasonable care when it comes to prescription drugs can have devastating consequences for a person’s health and well-being. Some common types of prescription drug errors that can lead to medical malpractice claims include:

  • Administering the incorrect medication
  • Administering the incorrect medication dosage
  • Mislabeling medication
  • Prescribing medication to a patient with an allergy to said medication
  • Prescribing medication with adverse reactions to other medications being taken by a patient
  • Failure to warn the patient of the common medication side effects

Any of these prescription drug errors can have devastating impacts on the patient. Which medical professional can be held responsible for the harm suffered as a result of such an error will depend on the circumstances surrounding the error. For instance, a physician or nurse may be found liable for the prescription or administration of an incorrect medication. This is true regardless of whether the error was prescribing the wrong medication or prescribing the incorrect dosage. It is also true about errors in medication administration. After all, certain medications will need to be injected into different places in the body. Failure to properly administer medication can also result in harm suffered by the patient.

Doctors can also be held responsible if they prescribe medication that has known adverse reactions to other medications that are being taken by a patient. Some medications do not work well together and can either counteract the effects of other medication or have adverse reactions to other medication. A doctor should take other prescriptions being taken by a patient into consideration when prescribing medication. Failure to do so may expose them to medical malpractice liability.

Pharmacists can also be exposed to liability for medical malpractice should their negligence in labeling medication or providing the incorrect medication or medication dosage to a patient result in harm to the patient. In some instances, it may have been the drug manufacturer’s error that led to the mislabeling of the mediation. In that case, a product liability claim may result should the patient suffer harm due to the mislabeling of the medication.

Philadelphia Medical Malpractice Attorneys

When doctors and other medical professionals fail to exercise due care, people can be tragically and needlessly harmed as a result. The dedicated team of medical malpractice attorneys at Cooper, Schall & Levy fight for the rights of injured patients to recover compensation for the harm they have suffered. Contact us today.