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Orange County Wrongful Death Law Blog

Fines for nursing home neglect tend to be small

Despite doing the best research possible, some California families still learn that the nursing homes in which they placed loved ones are not as safe as they previously believed. Nursing home neglect is a startling common issue for the elderly and other compromised individuals. Despite the seriousness of mistreating residents, most nursing homes face little more than citations and resulting small fines.

An out-of-state nursing home was fined a mere $2,265 when staff negligence led to a patient's death. First admitted in November 2015, the patient was already in need of extensive care when he arrived. He was later found dead in his own bed the day of Christmas that same year. Two days prior to his death nurses had noted his shortness of breath and informed a physician of his need for oxygen, but proper documentation did not occur, and the oxygen was never administered.

Hit-and-run car accident sends 1 to hospital

California police say that a disabled vehicle caused a chain reaction wreck that sent one person to the hospital. However, police are still searching for the driver of that disabled vehicle. Because of the driver's disappearance, the car accident is currently being investigated as a hit-and-run.

According to authorities, a disabled vehicle was sitting on the southbound side of Interstate 880 at approximately 3 a.m. It was not on the shoulder of the road and did not have any lights on at the time, and it is not clear if the driver was still in the vehicle or nearby. An oncoming 18-wheeler did not see the disabled vehicle in time and, although the driver took action to avoid a collision, he ultimately lost control of the truck.

Defective medical device still in use after causing many deaths

The public relies on both the Food and Drug Administration as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to keep dangerous products out of hospital facilities. When a defective medical device does happen to make it to the market, it is not necessarily unreasonable for California patients to expect the device to be removed from circulation in a timely manner. Unfortunately, the FDA does not always act in in a manner befitting the situation.

A defectively designed scope was last discussed on this blog in Feb. 2015 ("Spread of Bacteria Linked to Alleged Defective Medical Device"). Its flawed design makes it nearly impossible to properly sterilize, exposing patients to harmful bacteria that has been linked to infections and death. The FDA was aware of the problem since at least 2012, yet the scope remains in hospitals across the United States, putting more patients at risk for deadly infections. Recently, the FDA was notified of another eight infections and two deaths.

Misdiagnosed sleep disorders can lead to medical malpractice

Thinking of misdiagnosed cases as an uncommon occurrence can be a comforting thought to California patients, but that thought is not an accurate representation of the reality of the health care world. Patients across the United States of America continue to suffer needlessly after being misdiagnosed by both primary care physicians and specialists, and one class of disorders -- sleep disorders -- is particularly prone to being missed altogether. In such instances, medical malpractice through misdiagnosis makes it difficult or even impossible for patients to receive the correct treatment.

Current data indicates that about 70 million patients suffer from at least one type of sleep disorder. Unfortunately, over 40 million of those patients are not even aware of the disorders that they suffer from. Many sleep disorders end up being diagnosed as something different altogether, even when patients attempt to advocate for themselves and their systems.

Patients hit, punched in case of nursing home neglect and abuse

Two employees are facing criminal charges and several others are out of jobs due to allegations of serious and ongoing abuse in an out-of-state nursing home. Nursing home neglect and abuse is a severe and ongoing problem for many California elders. While criminal charges might address some aspects of the emotional damages related to neglect and abuse, additional action is often necessary for victims to recover financial compensation.

Much of the abuse was actually captured on hidden cameras that were installed following one woman's concern over her father's unexplained injuries. Documents from the resulting police investigation paint a disturbing picture of what transpired behind the closed doors of the nursing home facility. In one incident, a towel was thrown at an elderly patient who suffered from cognitive impairment. The 82-year-old woman tossed the towel back to the employee who then rolled it into a ball and threw it directly into the resident's face.

Car accident orphans 3 California children

Three children are now parentless after a tragic car accident caused by a wrong-way vehicle. The children were also injured in the wreck, as well as two other people, including the driver who apparently caused the collision. California police are still investigating the car accident, although no charges have been filed against the driver yet.

The wreck occurred close to midnight when two parents were traveling with their children and another passenger on Highway 4. As they were heading east, an oncoming vehicle swerved out of the west bound lane and struck the family's van head on, forcing them off of the road. Their van overturned and came to rest in a nearby drainage canal.

Experts claim medical malpractice effected by patient likeability

Patients who have ever wondered if their likeability affects their doctors' abilities to render accurate diagnoses now have an answer -- yes. The more difficult a doctor perceives a patient to be, the less likely he or she is to render an accurate diagnosis. Misdiagnosing patients can lead to devastating instances of medical malpractice and put victims in California at serious risk for further injuries.

Although it has long been suspected that the accuracy of doctors' diagnoses can be affected by how difficult patients are, a recent study actually provided evidence to back up that belief. Researchers gathered 63 family health doctors and presented each of them with a clinical case scenario. There were six different scenarios in all, each of which had two different versions -- a difficult patient version and an easy patient. Difficult patients were described as demanding and having expectations that the doctors would fail to take them seriously.

Veteran blames defective medical device for leg amputation

Antibacterial soap, hand sanitizers and sanitizing processes are all key players in keeping hospitals safe for patients. Whether immunocompromised or recovering from surgeries, California patients require clean, sanitary conditions in order to have the best possible recoveries. Unfortunately, one Vietnam War veteran claims that he was unable to properly recover because of a defective medical device.

After dedicating much of his life to the service of others, first in the military and then as a police officer, the patient required a total replacement of his left knee joint. In June 2007, he underwent surgery to have the joint replaced. While still recovery from surgery in the hospital, staff used a Bair Hugger blanket to help keep him comfortable and warm.

Patients diagnosed with Parkinson's could suffer wrongful death

It often seems as though the number of aging California residents diagnosed with Alzheimer's or Parkinson's is growing all of the time. These diseases are serious and can typically yield better life outcomes for those who are diagnosed and treated as early on as possible, but just how accurate are some of these diagnoses? As it turns out, a significant number of older Americans have been wrongly diagnosed with these diseases, putting them at potential harm for serious injuries and even wrongful death.

It might be difficult to overstate how important it is to get the right treatment for the correct illness, which is why one out-of-state woman sought a second opinion for her husband. Her 66-year-old husband began to forget small things and went from walking to shuffling. According to her, she witnessed her husband appear to age by decades over the course of a mere three-month period. Her husband's first diagnosis was Parkinson's.

Congressman concerned about defective medical device

With the advances of medical technology, there are now many different options available to women in California and across the country in regards to birth control. These options allow women to decide when -- and if -- they will have children. Unfortunately, many women are complaining that one birth control option -- Essure -- is a defective medical device that causes serious harm.  A U.S. congressman has recently raised similar concerns.

Many women claim that they have suffered significant harm as a result of the use of this device. In fact, some reports indicate that 25,000 women have been impacted by serious side effects, and 10,000 complaints have been filed with Food and Drug Administration. Complaints include a variety of different side effects, including miscarriage, pain and other injuries. Some women claim that they are permanently unable to conceive while others say that the device has caused complications with other organs.