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Louisville Medical Malpractice Law Blog

A Trend To Watch For: The New World Of Digital Health

Expanded health care coverage for digital health services and the general growth in the consumer market for medically-oriented digital products. Seen as a catalyst for improving health outcomes, digital advancements are sought after by clinics and providers alike to facilitate better health. With this new frontier of digital integration in becoming a reality in medicine, will there be a rise in liability issues with medical services and products?

What is the newborn-linked brachial plexus injury shoulder dystocia?

We note the term "brachial plexus injury" on a medical malpractice page of our victims' advocacy website at the established Louisville law firm of Morris & Player, PLLC.

The brachial plexus is a neural network that transmits spinal cord signals to a person's shoulders and hands. If a doctor exerts undue pressure by pulling on a baby's head or at the wrong angle, or improperly uses a vacuum or forceps, nerves can be damaged. The results can be materially adverse and permanent.

Improper medical treatment may mandate monetary damages

Medical malpractice in Kentucky and elsewhere exists when a medical professional provides services that are recognizably substandard and below the minimum standard of care required of a reasonably competent practitioner under the same or similar circumstances. This standard of due care under the circumstances is the familiar obligation that must be honored in all cases based on negligence. Where substandard or improper medical treatment is provided to the patient, the provider is generally liable to compensate the patient for all damages flowing directly and substantially from the negligence.

Negligence requires a duty owed, a breach of the duty and causation between the breach and the harm caused. The duty is automatically established by virtue of the relationship of doctor and patient. The breach of duty consists of falling below the standard of care in the services provided. However, even if a doctor is negligent, he or she is not liable for damages unless it is proved that the injuries complained of were caused substantially by that negligence,

FDA puts e-cigarettes on unsafe products list, warns retailers

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is a federal agency that is tasked with warning consumers and retailers in Kentucky and elsewhere about defective or unreasonably dangerous products. One product that is becoming a known danger in the FDA lexicon of unsafe products is the e-cigarette. The agency has issued warnings to retailers to stop the illegal sales of vaping products to minors under the brand Juul.

The product has been tagged with a large amount of evidence that presents it as carrying health risks, including as a potential gateway to acquiring the smoking habit for life. In addition, FDA officials report that the device can overheat and explode if mechanically defective. Young people have used the product to "vape" at school and in public. The process involves heating a liquid into an aerosol device and inhaling the smoke, which is called vaping.

Unsafe products can lead to product liability claims

Every day, Kentucky residents purchase products for a variety of reasons. Perhaps the product is intended to make a task easier to perform, or perhaps it is intended to enhance the individual's appearance. Regardless, when the individual purchases the product, he or she expects that it will perform as advertised. Unfortunately, not all products do, and some can, in fact, be considered unsafe products.

When the consumer begins to use the product, he or she anticipates that it will perform as expected. He or she does not anticipate that the product will create injury in some way. However, if the product does cause injury to the consumer, it is possible that a valid products liability claim can be brought against the manufacturer and/or business responsible for selling the product.

Traumatic brain injury can represent a serious damages claim

Kentucky has its share of traumatic brain injury cases from a variety of sources, such as sporting events, automobile accidents, pedestrian accidents, workplace injuries and other traumatic events. Brain injury is not always as easy to prove as it is to diagnose. Sometimes, brain scans do not pinpoint the injury, or they reflect a limited picture of the true extent of the damage. Medical science is beginning to learn more about traumatic brain injury and concussions, which are suffered by victims of car and truck accidents, other traumatic accidents, as well as football players and other contact sport athletes.

In a typical rear-end collision, the rapid-fire, intensive back-and-forth movement of the head causes the brain to be knocked violently against the skull and to cause a bruising of the brain. The mechanics of this "whiplash" process is often associated with severe cervical damage to the neck and related areas, but it also may result in a serious concussion that may create a whole host of brain injury symptoms for the accident victim. A fall from a ladder and striking the cement below with one's head can result in a similar concussion kind of injury, and there are many other traumatic accidents that can lead to a similar outcome.  

Improper medical treatment includes a wide scope of factors

A medical malpractice case, whether occurring in Kentucky or elsewhere, is based on the existence of negligence. This is the standard concept that applies in many other kinds of personal injury claims. In its simplest expression, it means the failure of the medical provider to use the degree of due care required under the circumstances. It can be manifested in cases involving improper medical treatment, surgical errors, misdiagnosis, birth injuries, errors in administering anesthesia and numerous other mishaps.

Negligence is just one of multiple factors that the plaintiff must prove. First, there must be a legal duty imposed on the defendant to act to keep the plaintiff safe from harm. This applies automatically in the typical doctor-patient relationship. Second, there must be negligence, the failure to use due care. Third, the plaintiff must prove legal causation, i.e., that the defendant's negligence is a substantial factor in having caused the plaintiff's claimed injuries. 

Pediatric cancer must be timely and accurately diagnosed

Going to the doctor when you think something is amiss with your health is the first step in finding out what is wrong. For parents, there is often a guessing game that comes with determining when something is wrong with your children's health. You count on the doctors to diagnose what condition your child has when there is something that just isn't right.

It is interesting to note that each of a child's life stages has some specific health concerns. For newborns, the most common issue is a birth injury. There isn't much of a chance that the baby will be born with cancer, but it could happen. As the child moves beyond the newborn stage, there is an increased risk of pediatric cancer. In fact, an average of 43 children are diagnosed with cancer each day in this country.

Signs and consequences of traumatic brain injury

Not every person injured in a Kentucky motor vehicle collision is immediately aware of the injuries suffered. A victim may feel capable of going home or may even may even hear from a physician that he or she is able to go home, then experience symptoms later than prompt a return trip to the hospital. Traumatic brain injury may or may not be immediately apparent; either way, such injuries often have long-lasting and even permanent consequences.  

An accident victim who has lost consciousness may have a brain injury. Impact upon collision often involves blunt force trauma to the head. However, a person with a brain injury could also appear in normal condition. The most serious and often life-threatening situations often involve extended periods of unconsciousness.

New tool helps with assessing traumatic brain injury

An injury to the brain can understandably be frustrating, negatively impacting a patient's quality of life in Kentucky. However, scientists have developed a brand-new assessment tool based on the well-known Glasgow Coma Scale, or GCS, in an effort to offer more information about the severity of a brain injury. The tool may also provide more information about the prognosis of patients with traumatic brain injuries.

The GCS made its debut in 1974 to assess impaired consciousness and coma. The scale essentially describes variations in a patient's verbal, eye and motor responses. The scale has been used across the globe by emergency medical technicians, physicians and nurses.

When you need help after an injury or accident, talk to the attorneys at Morris & Player PLLC in Louisville, Kentucky.

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