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Indianapolis Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Woman's case challenges state's damage caps

Any medical or surgical error can wreak havoc to the lives of those that suffer from them. At the same time, not every medical malpractice case in Indianapolis is created equal. The hope is that those injured by mistakes by doctors and other practitioners are able to return to a similar state of health to that which they enjoyed before. The reward that may come from a medical malpractice lawsuit can certainly go a long way in ensuring that. There are, however, certain cases in which victims will never come close to completely recovering, and thus may require significant compensation to deal with both their medical costs and the change in their quality of life. 

Medical malpractice damage caps may prevent such victims from claiming sufficient compensation. That is the argument being made by the attorney (as well as several others) of a Wisconsin woman whose malpractice case resulted in the loss of her four outer limbs. A jury initially awarded her $25.3 million to compensate for her pain and suffering. Wisconsin law, however, caps the amount that one can earn from non-economic damages in malpractices cases at $750,000. 

A closer look at the purpose of a vacuum extractor

For many women, childbirth is an exciting time filled with many emotions including joy and anxiety. For mothers who experience complications during the labor process in Indiana, they may wish to learn more about what could happen during the process of delivery. One of the resources that their doctor may use is called a vacuum extractor. This device was invented to facilitate the safe delivery of babies that may be stuck inside of the birth canal. 

According to the Mayo Clinic, using vacuum extractors during delivery pose a threat of injury to both the mother and the baby, especially if the doctor uses the tool incorrectly or forcefully. There are a few standard circumstances under which this resource may be considered during delivery including the following:

  • A baby's heartbeat is slowing and the infant is showing signs of distress.
  • A mother has spent considerable time pushing, but the baby is not progressing through the birth canal.
  • A doctor suspects a threatening health concern in either the mother or the baby. 

Did the radiologist miss something, and you suffered harm?

You went to the doctor with a specific set of symptoms. Your doctor then ordered tests to help come to the appropriate diagnosis. The radiologist reviewed the results of those tests and provided your doctor with an opinion, which then led to a course of treatment.

In a perfect world, this would be the end of it and you would recover from whatever ails you. Unfortunately, radiologists make mistakes just like anyone else. The issue is that when a radiologist makes mistakes, it could cause harm to patients, including permanent or fatal injuries.

What should you know about informed consent?

Whenever you begin to experience symptoms that have left you feeling unwell, one of the first things you usually do is contact your health care provider. You may set up an appointment to be evaluated and receive insight into how you should combat your symptoms and regain your health. However, when the time comes to visit your doctor in Indiana, it is important to be familiar with what informed consent is, so you can be confident in your decision to receive treatment from your physician. 

According to, informed consent is when you give permission to your doctor for him or her to go through with prescribed treatments. You should be able to have an open and informative discussion with your doctor where you will be given detailed information about the procedure that is being recommended and the types of interactions you may expect. Your consent must be voluntary for your health care provider to go through with treatment. When procedures are especially risky or require invasive measures, written consent should be explicitly given to you before the scheduled treatment. 

What are some common errors made in emergency rooms?

If you have a medical emergency in Indianapolis, your first thought may be to go to a local emergency room. You, like many other people who go to emergency rooms, expect to receive a certain level of care for their medical concerns. However, emergency rooms are staffed with doctors and nurses who are people just like you and likely to make mistakes. 

Emergency rooms are fast-paced. Doctors and nurses see numerous patients each day. They work long hours and are under a lot of stress. According to MSU Today, increased levels of stress lead to an increase in near-miss events and errors. When health care workers make mistakes, they put the health and safety of their patients at risk. In order to reduce the chances of you becoming a malpractice victim, learn about a few common errors that occur in urgent health care settings. 

Using mental activity to protect your loved one in a nursing home

If you have made the decision to place your elderly loved one in an Indiana nursing home, chances are you have begun to compare your options to find a facility that best mirrors the needs of your family member. At Garau Germano PC, we know it can be challenging to help your loved one make the transition from being independent to needing help. We have been able to help many families to navigate the challenges that sometimes arise in a nursing home environment. 

When you begin looking for a facility, you may have compared factors such as how accessible medical care is, the demeanor of the staff and residents, and the location. However, another important aspect to look at is the activities and community involvement of the facilities you are considering. Because nursing home injuries can sometimes happen, you may wish to encourage your loved one to stay active and exercise his or her mental aptitude in an effort to stay vigilant and aware. This kind of awareness may help to protect him or her as recognition and disclosure of potential hazards can occur before an accident happens. 

Be ready to substantiate your medical malpractice claim

When you entrust your health care to a licensed physician, nurse or practitioner, you can reasonably expect that those caring for you will provide any and all treatment necessary to maintain or restore good health. If you have a particular condition that requires surgery to rectify, there's an obvious personal risk involved with undergoing treatment. However, even leading up to, during and following surgery, you are entitled to high quality care, according to accepted safety standards and existing industry protocol and regulations.

If you suffer injury because a care provider was negligent, you shouldn't have to bear the financial consequences associated with the situation. If a surgeon mistakenly leaves gauze or some other object inside your body during surgery, you should not have to pay for the additional surgery needed to remove the object. Medical malpractice laws are quite complex, and the burden of proof is on the plaintiff, so if you're considering pursuing litigation regarding a medical negligence incident, it's always best to seek clarification of Indiana laws ahead of time.

What can you expect during your preemie's NICU stay?

If you are expecting the arrival of your new baby in Indiana, chances are you have spent considerable time preparing and organizing to make your little one's transition smooth and exciting. However, there are undoubtedly times when infants arrive earlier than anticipated and may require extra care before they are allowed to return home with their parents. If you are concerned about your infant being premature or have received word from your doctor that your baby could be a preemie, you may benefit from understanding what types of equipment and procedures are used in the NICU to provide reliable assistance to your new little family member. 

According to, there are many types of staff members you may encounter that each specialize in various practices. Some of the people that may help care for your baby include respiratory therapists, social workers, dieticians, neonatologists and occupational therapists among others. Your newborn may require help breathing depending on his or her condition and reason for being in the NICU. Some of the things you may notice include ventilators, oxygen hoods and C-PAP machinery. Your baby may need an endotracheal tube which is designed to give him or her direct access to warm, humidified air. 

What risk does a vacuum extraction pose during childbirth?

Expecting mothers in Indiana have numerous tools at their disposal to aid in a difficult labor. Sometimes, natural births are not possible or healthy for you or your child. In these situations, an alternate method may be proposed. Vacuum extraction is one possibility.

The Mayo Clinic describes vacuum extraction as a medical procedure in which a vacuum pump is applied to the baby's head during contractions. It's used to aid the mother in pushing and will help pull the child from the birth canal. This is usually done if no progress is being made during natural delivery or if health and safety reasons demand an immediate delivery.

2 common surgical mistakes patients should know about

Many people in the Indianapolis area place their trust in surgeons and health care staff without realizing they are human too. Health care professionals are prone to mistakes, especially in the operating room. In the medical world, surgical mistakes are referred to as never events. According to, never events are medical errors that should never occur that often have catastrophic consequences for patients. 

There are ways patients can lower the chances of them becoming medical malpractice victims. One involves learning the types of surgical mistakes that are most likely to occur during their procedures.