Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice

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skinWhile some skin conditions can be minor, others can have dire consequences for a person’s health. When a dermatologist fails to understand, diagnose, or treat a patient’s skin condition, the patient can suffer severe injuries and, in the most serious cases, death. If you or someone close to you is in this situation, you need the help and guidance of a trusted Syracuse dermatology malpractice attorney. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers, we can meticulously analyze your case and determine whether or not malpractice occurred.

A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that female dermatologists were sued less often than their male counterparts. The report scrutinized features of medical malpractice claims against dermatologists from 1991 to 2015 and found that female dermatologists were sued less because they communicated with their patients more than the male doctors. Specifically, the female physicians would more often elicit and validate patient input, as well as provide encouragement and reassurance. As a result, male physicians were 2.5 times more likely to be sued for malpractice than their female contemporaries. In fact, nearly 70 percent of claims were against male physicians. Most claims were results of medical errors in skin operations, followed by misdiagnoses.

Dermatology errors can happen in a variety of ways, including but not limited to failing to timely diagnose skin cancer, failing to properly treat skin cancer, failing to promptly follow up, failing to prescribe the appropriate skin medication, and failing to understand the patient’s complaints. These and other errors can form the basis of a medical malpractice claim when they cause an injury or death to a patient.

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LacrosseAthletes are more at risk for certain types of injuries to muscles, ligaments, and joints because of the nature of their sports. Orthopedic surgeons are often tasked with repairing those types of athletic injuries. Unfortunately, doctors don’t always perform these surgeries within the requisite standard of care, and as a result, injuries may occur. New York orthopedic malpractice lawsuits arise out of the perception of malpractice, as do malpractice claims in other states. For instance, a recent lawsuit, case number 1:17-cv-00532, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island was filed by a college lacrosse player who allegedly suffered long-term knee damage because of a botched surgical procedure.

The patient’s lawsuit against her orthopedic surgeon alleged that she experienced injuries after an operation on her knee. The damages include continued injuries and pain; although a specific amount of damages is not stated, the complaint states that the damages exceed $75,000.

The plaintiff was a member of a women’s Division I lacrosse team. She suffered a left knee injury while playing the sport and received care from the eventual defendant. The purpose of the procedure was to cure, relieve, and rehabilitate the plaintiff from the effects of her injuries. This did not occur, and in fact, her condition worsened, as the plaintiff alleged in the lawsuit. In addition to the orthopedic surgeon, the complaint names the medical clinic as a defendant as being vicariously liable for the surgeon’s malpractice under the doctrine of respondeat superior.

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Medical malpractice has no place in any health care system, yet it still happens commonly. Fortunately, there are many things you can do as a patient to prevent medical malpractice and protect yourself and your loved ones. What kinds of things should medical providers do to prevent cases against them? What can they do to make you feel more at ease?

There are dozens of steps to follow. For example, you should seek information about the procedure ahead of time and talk to the provider about risks. The provider should provide an informed consent document to you after you learn about the treatment, so he or she knows you had your questions answered.

Beyond that, there are many things you can do to keep yourself safer. Here are three.

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In New York and across the country, needless medical errors cause pain, suffering and even death. Patients can empower themselves and feel more confident about their health care by becoming medical self-advocates.

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, 98,000 people die each year as a result of medical errors. These deaths too often could have been prevented by proper care from medical professionals. Research has shown that patients have better results when they become active participants in their health care decisions. One of the best ways that a patient can self-advocate is to become a better manager of her health care information. A patient should know the medications she is taking and in what doses. She ought to periodically review her medications with her doctor to see if she needs to renew, alter, or end any of her prescriptions. She should always make sure her health care providers know who she is, why she is receiving treatment and any allergies she has to medications. She should endeavor to learn more relevant information about her medications, illnesses and conditions. She should also inform her providers right away if her condition changes or worsens.

The National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship also encourages patients to become self-advocates for their health care. It describes self-advocacy as encompassing four elements which include, “information-seeking, communication, problem-solving and negotiation.” The application of these elements could include such steps as researching diagnosis and treatment options and asking questions to understand the risks and benefits associated with each. It can be working to establish constructive communication with a health care team. When difficult decisions must be made, successful self-advocacy allows a patient to work with her providers to tailor treatment to her personal needs. Self-advocacy is a powerful tool that can offer patients hope and security in their health care choices. It can have life-saving results.

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While many people wish to rely on the expertise, knowledge and compassion of doctors to provide optimal health care, accidents, ignorance and general disregard of protocols are not unheard of. For New York residents who are anticipating receiving health care, they can benefit from doing their research to find a doctor who puts patient needs first and takes the time to create customized treatments.

The Huffington Post shared an article that discusses common mistakes that doctor’s make. However, the content is applicable to patients who are seeking a health care provider they can rely on. Some of the signs attentive patients can look for include:

  • Timely consultation: People should expect their doctor to provide timely consultation following suspicious symptoms. Attentive doctor’s will put everything else aside to properly diagnose a patient’s condition and educate him or her about the general outcomes, treatment options and recovery process.
  • Relationship health: The most reliable health care providers will put relationships with their patients above all else. Individuals receiving care should monitor the type of relationship they have with their doctor and look for signs that he or she really cares and is concerned about their health.
  • Thorough diagnosis: Because so many mistakes are made during the process of diagnosis, it is imperative that patients seek a doctor who is capable of making a thorough assessment. People should look for a health care provider who is willing to answer questions, explain what a diagnosis means and provide insight into what the future holds.

Patients should always expect their health care provider to listen attentively to them and remain focused throughout conversation. According to the New York Times, in 2013, death as the result of preventable medical errors was the third largest cause of fatalities in the nation.   

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Medical malpractice cases often hinge on whether a provider met the standard of care or not. Victims who suffer at the hands of medical malpractice should learn what they can about the standard of care that applies in their case so they can use that information in their claim for compensation.

#1: Standard of care is the minimal care you should receive

The standard of care in any case is the level of care you should receive. This varies depending on the circumstances of the case. For example, the standard of care for a woman with an ectopic pregnancy is different from the standard of care for a woman with a shortened cervix. Several factors determine the standard of care in a case. This makes it difficult to find out what standard of care applies to a case.

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When a heart attack is diagnosed early, it can be treated quickly to stop further damage and possibly save your life. However, the chances are good that you could be misdiagnosed by a New York doctor and not get the treatment you need. This is especially true if you are a woman. At Defrancisco & Falgiatano, we want to be sure that you are aware of this issue so you can prevent it from happening to you.

According to Business Insider, anxiety may be to blame for the failure to diagnose a heart attack in women. Because women often suffer from anxiety more than men and some symptoms of a heart attack can mimic the symptoms of anxiety, women are often misdiagnosed as just suffering from anxiety. This leads to delays in treatment and diagnostics. In the end, this means a woman is likely to die of a heart attack more often than a man. Studies have shown that younger women are at the highest risk of this happening.

Diagnosing a heart attack quickly is essential to administering treatment that can save your life. Men who go to the hospital with symptoms of a heart attack will get treatment in almost half the time as women. Your delayed treatment can lead to additional heart damage and further complications. This is why it is essential to speak up, especially in emergency room triage, and demand that you are given the appropriate tests, so your diagnosis is not delayed. To learn more about medical malpractice, visit our website

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Doctors are meant to relieve us of pain and illness not to cause further damage because of negligence. So, it follows that if they do so then they should be held accountable. However, if decent hard working doctors who have done no harm are accused of medical malpractice then they should not suffer. To protect the doctors and medical professionals there are several defenses available that can be used in court.

  • Standard negligence defenses. General defenses used against negligence claims can also be used for medical malpractice claims because medical malpractice also comes under the category of negligence.
  • Contributory negligence. In most cases, the blame lies with multiple parties in the case of an injury, not just the doctor or medical professional. If the accused can provide evidence for the contributory negligence of others then they very well may have a concrete defense against a malpractice claim.
  • Respectable Minority Principle. In certain cases where general or mainstream forms of treatment are ineffective or not an option, the doctor or medical professional may opt for a radical form of treatment that may be new, risky and rarely used. If a respectable minority of medical professionals back this form of healing, it could be used as a defense.
  • Good Samaritan laws. Many states have what are called “Good Samaritan” laws, which protect citizens and even medical professionals who help someone in an emergency situation.

Medical malpractice claims can be extremely complex and trying, so it may be a good idea to contact an experienced attorney near you.


Related Posts: Failure to diagnose a heart attack, Common forms of defense against medical malpractice claims, Dealing with hospital and medical malpractice, Bring a claim against your doctor for misdiagnosis

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Anyone responsible for your health care can be slapped with a medical malpractice and negligence suit. But it is important to understand that proving fault in these cases is the most crucial aspect. Although doctors generally face malpractice cases, hospitals and pharmaceutical firms might also face this challenge. Going through medical treatment is difficult in itself, without the added worry of medical malpractice. If you feel that you did not receive the medical attention required, you have the right to sue the facility.


If you feel the hospital neglected your medical needs, it can be held liable for any injuries caused. Although the medical staff is part of the hospital and can be sued individually, suing the hospital means that there was some sort of corporate negligence involved. For example, if an incompetent health care professional causes further harm to the patient, the hospital can be held responsible for hiring the incompetent professional.

Large pharmaceutical companies may also be the target of your malpractice lawsuit if their drug caused injuries or death. But it is essential to know that you may only sue the company if they did not warn users about possible side effects. The pharmaceutical company is liable to the doctor, who is a learned intermediary between them and the patient. But if the drug is prescribed under correct circumstances and leads to injuries, you may sue the pharmaceutical company.

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Doctors find themselves in a unique position in our society. Any person with any sort of medial issue consults a doctor to find the solution to the problem. The level of trust and responsibility placed on the shoulders of a doctor requires him to conform to a certain standard of care and diligence. However, doctors, like the rest of us, are at the end of the day merely humans and are bound to make erroneous judgments.

If a patient has been wrongly diagnosed or has not been diagnosed in a timely manner, the patient may suffer harm or injury due to the delay or misdiagnosis. This, in turn, may lead to the doctor being held negligent. Generally, doctors provide a list of probable causes of the illness, and this is known as a “differential diagnosis.” The standard of care is a key factor in assessing malpractice. If the doctor did not conform to the standards expected of a reasonable, prudent doctor while giving out the diagnosis, then a doctor may be held liable for malpractice. However, proving malpractice for misdiagnosis is not easy. If a doctor does not diagnose a patient with a particular illness, and that illness later develops in the patient, it will be hard to hold the doctor liable in such a circumstance.

A doctor may also be held liable where he treats a patient for an illness the patient is not actually suffering from, resulting in harm. Furthermore, doctors may also be held liable for malpractice where they completely dismiss the probability of a patient suffering from an illness, which he, in fact, suffers from.

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