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Portland Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Remember that cancer doesn't always have symptoms

In many cases, cancer brings on some serious symptoms, such as pain or unexplained weight loss. However, don't make the mistake of thinking that this is always the case. Especially early on in the disease's progression, it may not have any symptoms at all.

Take prostate cancer, for example. It's a fairly common and very dangerous type of cancer that can prove to be deadly for those who get diagnosed. As with most types of cancer, early diagnosis is important.

Hospital workers must know what puts babies at risk

There are numerous risk factors that can make injuries more likely when children are being born. It is very important for hospital workers and staff members to know what these risk factors are so that they can take the proper steps to keep these vulnerable children safe.

For instance, one of the more common risk factors is a high birth weight. This is why the doctor monitors the baby's weight so carefully throughout the pregnancy. While the readings may not be 100% accurate, they can help the staff know if a baby is going to be bigger (or smaller) than average when the mother goes into labor.

Asymmetry is a warning sign for skin cancer

Skin cancer is a very common skin disease, and it can often be treated to prevent any long-term ramifications. It's sometimes just a simple matter of removing the cancerous spot through surgery, and the recovery time may be a few weeks with stitches. Every case is different, of course, but acting quickly is the key. You want to catch skin cancer during the early stages.

After all, cancer of any kind is nothing to take lightly. It can spread. It can become fatal. This is even true for skin cancer if it gets ignored for too long.

Human error, communication and medical mistakes

In many areas where accidents happen, you'll find that human error plays a big role. Despite calling them "accidents," these events take place for a reason. Most often, it's because someone made a mistake. For instance, human error causes most car accidents, leading to thousands and thousands of deaths every year.

The same is true, reports have pointed out, when you look at medical errors. The top leading cause is human error. A doctor, a nurse or some other medical professional makes an avoidable and regrettable mistake, and a patient suffers harm as a result.

What types of cancer are most common?

No matter what type of cancer you have, it is important for your doctor to diagnose it properly, as soon as possible. When medical professionals make mistakes that result in a delayed diagnosis or a misdiagnosis, it can be fatal.

Remember, health officials claim that around 1.7 million new cancer cases cropped up in 2018, and that's just in the United States. They also said that 609,640 people passed away from cancer that year. Both numbers are government estimates, but they certainly show the scope of the issue even if they are not completely accurate.

Infant mortality rates are too high in the United States

We've reached a point in the development of medical technology and tactics that infants should almost always survive childbirth. Infant mortality rates should be incredibly low.

To some degree, they are. If you compare the risks a child faces today to the risks he or she faced 300 years ago, the difference is dramatic. It's clear that advances in the medical field have made a massive difference over the years.

Does your doctor really know what's going on?

Many issues in the doctor's office, such as a failure to make a proper diagnosis, happen because of miscommunication. If your doctor does not really know what is going on with your care, he or she could make mistakes that could have been avoided.

One thing to watch out for is when a doctor, while telling you about the test results or the course of action they want to take, says something to the effect of "Our team decided..." This could mean that the doctor did not make the decision at all.

Communication and retained surgical items

Retained surgical items are those left behind in a patient after a surgery is carried out. While many stories about this involve clearly dangerous items like scalpels and needles, it could also include things like gauze or sponges. No matter what the item is, it can cause serious physical issues for the patient; in the worst cases, these retained items can lead to injuries, infections and even fatalities.

What you may find yourself wondering is why this can ever happen. It's such a clear error and something that should never occur, and yet it does. People suffer because of it. Why is this?

When should doctors find a birth defect?

Doctors search for birth defects in children because they can often address them right at birth. Many issues are far easier to correct immediately, either through surgery or through other means.

The other side of this coin is that it's potentially very dangerous if doctors miss clear defects and make mistakes. If they wait too long, the issues may become harder or even impossible to correct. Some birth defects can be fatal.

Medical negligence leads to many different problems

Negligence in a medical setting can cost you dearly. After all, you trust doctors and nurses with your life, even when you're not thinking about it.

Perhaps you have a deadly allergy to a certain medication, for instance. They assure you that they read your file and they won't give you that medication. You don't know what all of the pills and fluids are supposed to look like, though. You just take what they give you. If one medical worker makes a careless mistake, you could suffer serious harm as a result.

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