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Portland Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Family sues over ammunition-related death

A lawsuit has been filed against a contractor who provided powder to a man who was inside a World War II-era tank at the time of his death. According to the news report out of Oregon, the man who was killed was with a friend, also deceased, at the time of the incident.

It's reported that the 51-year-old man and his assistant, a 22-year-old man, were working inside a 1944 M-18 Hellcat at a gun range located in Bend in 2015. They were using the powder supplied by a contractor to attempt to fire from the tank. Unfortunately, while trying to fire a round, it exploded. The assistant died immediately, but the family states that the 51-year-old man survived around a half-hour following the incident.

Surgeons should be leaders in safety

Surgical errors are simply mistakes made during an operation, before the operation or after it has been completed. For example, taking the wrong patient to the surgery may be classified as a surgical error. The same could be said if the surgeon operated on the wrong part of the patient. Of course, not recognizing a patient's infection or complications could count as surgical errors once the surgery ends.

Avoiding surgical errors should be at the forefront of every surgeon's mind. Beyond "never events," which are things like operating on the wrong patient or body part, there are other kinds of errors, like miscalculating anesthesia or causing nerve damage due to positioning problems during an operation.

Prescription medications: Adverse events can kill

With prescription medications, there's always a risk of complications for patients. A patient may not know that they're allergic to a medication, or a patient might have medications that interact with one another and take them without knowing the risks.

It's impossible to prevent every adverse event from happening, but doctors and pharmacists can try. Here are a few things to know about adverse events and how to prevent them.

Man dies from overdose; Mother sues jail for negligence

When a person is in jail, they still have a right to medical care. They should receive care for illnesses they have and injuries they suffer. If they are not treated appropriately, then it's possible that they could pass away.

When that happens, parents and family members may opt to pursue a claim against the hospital or staff member who was meant to treat the patient. In this case, a lawsuit was filed against the medical provider at the jail as well as the jail itself by a grieving mother.

Surgical centers: Not as safe as you may believe

Surgical centers are becoming more common across the United States. These are centers not located inside a hospital but instead on their own. The centers are prepared to work with patients' needs, but they're not there for traumatic emergencies.

At surgical centers, doctors often leave at the end of their shifts. Often, night workers include nurses and aides who can call for help when needed but who otherwise can handle sleeping, recovering patients. If a patient suddenly has complications, those complications can become life-threatening quickly.

Parents sue after child dies following heart surgery

A family living in Oregon has claimed that a hospital was negligent and that the negligence led to the death of their child. The story about a 3-month-old child details how the little one had surgery for a congenital heart defect at Oregon Health & Science University Hospital (OHSU). The parents are now seeking $8 million in damages following her death.

OHSU has been accused of negligence following the surgery. The complaint details that the physicians operated on the baby in February 2017. The heart defect, when properly treated, was not life-threatening.

Burnout leads to patient injuries and deaths

One thing that is interesting to know about is when doctors understand their mistakes and confess to them. Admitting to making serious or fatal errors is not easy, but it can help people learn from the mistakes that were made.

Knowing what can go wrong is one step closer to being able to prevent those problems in the future. For example, a doctor who admits to seeing too many patients points out a serious issue among many hospital staff members: burnout.

Don't expect an apology from your physician: Here's why

One question that has been coming up more frequently as time goes on is whether or not doctors and hospitals should apologize for making medical errors. People are raised to apologize when they do something wrong. It's called taking responsibility.

While patients don't want to hear that a mistake was made, apologizing could be a way to prevent lawsuits. The trouble is that many facilities believe that apologizing immediately makes them liable for injuries; essentially, apologizing is admitting fault.

Hospital negligence: Disinfectants are a requirement

One of the things all patients want is to know that a hospital is clean. It is a hospital's responsibility to clean as best as possible to prevent the spread of infection. It isn't just surfaces that have to be cleaned; medical equipment, beds, sheets, sinks and other items all have to be cleaned regularly and with the right cleaning supplies.

Hospitals should use hospital-grade disinfectants when cleaning. Normal disinfectants may not be enough to prevent the spread of superbugs that develop in hospitals.

Lawsuit seeks $2.5 million for the wrongful death of 62-year-old

Patients going to the hospital or an outpatient facility for routine surgery aren't expecting to die on the table. Their families believe they'll be home in just a few hours and recovering safely. Sadly, that doesn't always happen. Mistakes can be made, and when they happen, patients could lose their lives.

A $2.5 million lawsuit was filed against Northwest Anesthesia Physicians, who are accused of causing a man's death in Oregon. According to the news report from Aug. 24, the family of the man is seeking $2.5 million for his death, after he passed away on the surgical table.

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