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Indianapolis Medical Malpractice Law Blog

How serious is a premature membrane rupture?

One of the steps of labors is the rupturing of the membranes. When this occurs too early, before 37 weeks, it is called premature rupture of the membranes, according to Parents. PROM does not happen often, but it can cause serious issues. That is why your Indiana doctor must monitor you after PROM occurs.

Your doctor may order bed rest or may put you in the hospital for monitoring. In some cases, the doctor may induce labor if he or she feels it is okay for the baby. This occurs typically if you are at least 34 weeks into your pregnancy. At this point, the baby's lungs should have had enough time to properly develop and enable the baby to breathe outside the womb or medical intervention is possible to assist your baby if breathing is an issue.

What should I look for in a doctor?

When visiting your doctor in Indiana, you expect quality care. However, in some cases, a particular doctor's office will provide subpar care, which can actually impact your overall health and well-being. Fortunately, there are some signs you can look out for that may point to poor medical care, as illustrated by U.S. News & World Report.

Not enough time

Delayed treatment a problem in test result errors

If you have to undergo a radiological test in Indiana, you should be able to trust that the information you receive back after that test is accurate. Whether your test is part of a regular, routine screening or something you have done to investigate a suspected problem, correct test data is imperative. Sadly, it appears that many patients do not receive the right information after they have these types of test.

A study released recently indicated a serious gap between test results and the associated follow up. Even worse, this gap is said to contribute to patient fatalities and significant, permanent injuries as reported by Health Imaging. The study found that general practice was the specialty most commonly associated with medical errors involving diagnosis. Radiology was the second most commonly associated specialty. 

Is doctor burnout a problem?

When a doctor in Indiana makes a mistake, it is a huge deal. This is not the type of job where errors can go unchecked. One of the things that may lead to doctor errors is burnout. According to Harvard Medical School, doctor burnout is when a medical professional has a loss of enthusiasm for the job. He or she no longer receives any satisfaction from the work and may feel a detachment from it. A doctor going through burnout may also struggle with work-life balance.

Burnout can mean a doctor gives less care when working with patients. You may notice the doctor does not try to connect to you and may seem distant or as if he or she is not listening to you. It not only affects the way a doctor treats patients, but it can also lead to suicide, depression and substance abuse. The scariest thing is that it happens at a high rate and is expected to get worse in the future.

Has your doctor misdiagnosed you?

Perhaps you woke up one morning with a strange sensation, or you began noticing pain, discomfort or pressure you had never felt before. Maybe your symptoms overtook you suddenly, landing you in the emergency room. Your doctor undoubtedly ran diagnostic tests that may have included blood work, scans and endless questions before referring you to a specialist.

This was a frightening time for you, and the uncertainty may have been as upsetting as the symptoms. When your doctor finally decided on a diagnosis and gave your condition a name, you may have felt relieved to know the truth. If the treatment for that condition did not relieve the symptoms, there is a chance you were misdiagnosed. But how do you know for sure?

Lawsuit alleging negligence settled, patient awarded $2M

When people visit their health care provider in Indiana to seek medical assistance, chances are they have usually done their research to find a doctor who they trust and are comfortable with. However, sometimes doctors can make critical mistakes that leave the well-being and safety of their patients in question. As such, it is important that people are aware of what negligence is so they can immediately respond if they are the recipients of questionable medical care. 

In a recent story out of Columbus, Mississippi, a woman has been awarded a sum in excess of $2M after winning a lawsuit she filed against her OB-GYN in which she claimed that he was negligent. There were multiple accusations against the doctor in which the patient and other witnesses described how the doctor had failed to provide a high quality of care to the pregnant woman. Upon further research, it was discovered that the doctor had left the hospital on more than one occasion to go home. Additionally, he made premature judgments with regard to inducing labor before the infant was ready. Other mistakes included not performing a necessary hysterectomy and allowing too much time to lapse before initiating a cesarean section. 

What does proper prenatal care entail?

If you are pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant, you have probably been told by your Indiana doctor how important it is to get proper prenatal care. This is the care you receive during your pregnancy to ensure your health and the health of your baby. However, what exactly is proper prenatal care and what does it entail?

According to the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the prenatal care you receive will depend on how far along in your pregnancy you are when you first visit your doctor. Pregnancy is broken into three trimesters, each with its own important care guidelines.

Use these tips when filling out medical consent forms

Whenever you visit a new health care provider for the first time, you will be required to fill out medical consent forms. These documents are designed to provide you an opportunity to disclose personal information about your health history and current symptoms. They are also given in circumstances when you may require a certain treatment and your consent is needed to continue necessary procedures. At Garau Germano PC, we have helped many people in Indiana to learn about how their vigilance can help reduce the frequency of medical errors. 

Medical consent forms contain a variety of sections including information about your health history, any medications you are currently taking, allergic reactions to certain drugs and general information including your name and age. When you are handed a clipboard with several papers on it, your first instinct might be to fill them out as quickly as possible. However, paying close attention to the information you provide is absolutely critical in protecting your wellbeing. 

Educated patients can prevent anesthesia errors

General anesthesia provides both patients and doctors with many worthwhile benefits when it comes time for various medical procedures. For doctors, knowing that a patient is under general anesthesia may allow him or her to accomplish necessary treatments without worrying about the patient becoming agitated, panicked or distracting. Likewise, patients can feel more at ease during different treatments and may experience less feelings of anxiety and fear when they know that they will not be awake for their surgery in Indiana. 

With general anesthesia administration being so common, there are undoubtedly times when errors occur. Fortunately, when patients are educated about the risks of anesthesia, they can help to mitigate the risks and keep themselves better protected. According to Web MD, some of the things that patients should be aware of before agreeing to anesthesia include the following: 

  • Whether or not they are allergic to anesthesia.
  • Whether or not anyone in their immediate family has had an adverse reaction to anesthesia.
  • Whether or not there are any alternatives to anesthesia that they may consider.
  • Whether or not there is an option to meet with their team of anesthesiologists to discuss what will happen and any adverse reactions to be aware of. 

Many women do not receive accurate medical diagnoses

When you reach out for medical help, you want your symptoms to be taken seriously. Unfortunately, many women in Indiana and elsewhere find that this does not happen for them. Too many do not receive accurate medical diagnoses. This can result in further physical and emotional trauma or even death.

Why is it that women are more likely to be misdiagnosed than men? How bad is it really? What can women do if they feel medical providers are not taking them seriously?