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Houston Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Gross negligence in Texas malpractice cases

Having to go to a hospital is usually an experience that raises as many questions while also providing answers. For an expecting mother in Texas, a hospital stay can offer reassurance that a pregnancy is progressing as planned, but it can also bring up many questions about pregnancy, labor, delivery and recovery after birth. In some cases, delivery room negligence during or before birth may cause pregnancy-related injuries - these injuries, in turn, can spark the need for more information regarding negligence in Texas law.

For severe birth injury and pregnancy-related injury cases, a family might encounter the term "gross negligence." As defined by the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, gross negligence means either an act or an omission which entails an "extreme degree" of risk when viewed in an objective manner at the time of occurrence. The risk refers to potential harm done to a patient - in particular, the magnitude and probability of such harm.

Tags: Pregnancy-Related Injuries

Are Texas nurses required to initiate CPR?

Many adults in Texas have likely learned the basics of CPR, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, at some point in their lives. While not everyone may remember exactly what to do, the basics are likely ingrained in many locals' memories. Most Texans will probably never have to use CPR, but those who work in healthcare have different legal responsibilities than do laypersons, especially when it comes to initiating lifesaving measures.

In Texas, registered nurses are required to initiate CPR for patients who require resuscitation. In the absence of a do-not-resuscitate order, a nurse must initiate CPR for a patient who needs it. Typically, it is outside the scope of a nurse's practice to determine that a patient does not require CPR. The Texas State Board of Nursing has important rules for nurses regarding the immediate initiation of CPR as part of their duties towards patients.

Tags: Nursing Negligence

Are Texas nurses required to initiate CPR?

Many adults in Texas have likely learned the basics of CPR, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, at some point in their lives. While not everyone may remember exactly what to do, the basics are likely ingrained in many locals' memories. Most Texans will probably never have to use CPR, but those who work in healthcare have different legal responsibilities than do laypersons, especially when it comes to initiating lifesaving measures.

In Texas, registered nurses are required to initiate CPR for patients who require resuscitation. In the absence of a do-not-resuscitate order, a nurse must initiate CPR for a patient who needs it. Typically, it is outside the scope of a nurse's practice to determine that a patient does not require CPR. The Texas State Board of Nursing has important rules for nurses regarding the immediate initiation of CPR as part of their duties toward patients.

Tags: Nursing Negligence

Brain performance institute to open in Dallas

According to a brain specialist working out of Houston, our ideas about the brain are extremely outdated. Dr. Chapman has been working with patients suffering from cognitive injuries due to traumatic brain injury and says the brain is one of the most misunderstood areas of our bodies. It is true that the brain has just recently become a focus of interest for treating many different type of ailments. For those brain injury sufferers struggling with a TBI, a new research facility is set to open in Dallas in 2017.

The facility would be the first of its kind to test patient's cognitive skills and plan training programs aimed at increasing the brain's ability to function. Beliefs about the brain have changed drastically over recent years. Conventional wisdom once dictated that humans are born with a fixed set of nerve cells, or neurons, that gradually die out as we age. However, it has been discovered that the brain never stops making new neurons.

Tags: Brain Injuries

Misdiagnoses and their potential for serious injury

Receiving the proper diagnosis is key to understanding, managing and treating any sort of medical condition. This is especially true when a female patient is pregnant, as certain conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure can change how a pregnancy needs to be handled. In some instances, a misdiagnosis could even contribute to birth injuries or other serious injury to a fetus, a newborn or a pregnant woman. However, a new government report shows that most Americans will receive at least one misdiagnosis in their lifetime.

The report was released last month from the Institute of Medicine, with the president of the National Academy of Medicine calling the report's findings a "serious wake-up call." He mentioned that diagnostic mistakes actually contribute significantly to harm done to patients, but it's also an issue that hasn't received enough attention. In addition to opening the door to physical harm done to patients, a misdiagnosis can also cause trauma to a patient and their family, create unnecessary treatment plans that are costly to the patient, and can lead a patient to miss the treatment they actually need.

Tags: Birth Injuries

Inducing labor and the health of mother and unborn child

Most Houston-area mothers vividly remember the births of their children, especially if they had a difficult labor. A troublesome or prolonged labor, in addition to being memorable as well as uncomfortable, can also be reason for a doctor to induce labor. Speeding up the natural process of labor, though, can carry risks and is typically only done for legitimate medical reasons.

A negligent physician or careless delivery room staff could inadvertently cause pregnancy-related injuries if inducing labor is not done very carefully. One of the risks of inducing labor is causing the baby to be born too early; a baby's arrival before 39 weeks often means the newborn is more likely to have health issues and experience hospital stays. For women who have had C-sections in the past, some hormones used to induce labor can actually cause uterine rupture. Sometimes, the amniotic sac is broken in an attempt to induce labor, but if the baby hasn't arrived soon after, this can raise the risk of infection.

Tags: Pregnancy-Related Injuries

What can I expect when discussing a medical malpractice case?

A family grieving the loss of a loved one rarely wants to initiate a lawsuit; however, in many instances a civil suit is the only way to hold a negligent doctor, hospital or other entity accountable. Still, taking one's case to a Houston medical malpractice attorney may be very difficult. A family is likely dealing with a variety of intense emotions, coping with ongoing grief and shock and struggling to overcome new financial challenges. What can families expect when they talk to an attorney about medical malpractice and wrongful death?

It's helpful for families to know that there are four main elements of a medical malpractice case. The plaintiff in a medical malpractice suit, including those involving wrongful death allegations, must successfully demonstrate this quartet of elements in order to prove their case. These factors include a duty of care owed to the patient, a deviation from a standard of care committed by the person who owed the duty, a causal link between the deviation and the harm done to the patient and, of course, the actual harm done to the patient.

Tags: Wrongful Death

Premature birth still an issue in America, but hope abounds

How often is a baby born prematurely in the United States? Some Houston residents may be surprised to learn that one out of every nine babies experiences premature birth. Despite huge advances in medical technology, premature birth is still a fairly widespread issue in America and one that can result in damaging birth injuries.

Fortunately, there is good news: it appears that the survival rate for extremely premature babies is on the upswing. According to a study of over 34,000 premature babies, the rate of survival for "preemies" went from 70 percent in 1993 to nearly 80 percent in 2012. The babies in this figure were born between 22 and 28 weeks' gestation. The babies born the earliest actually had the highest increase in survival rate, with an improvement rate of about five percent.

Tags: Birth Injuries

Vaginal birth after cesarean: The risk of uterine rupture

For women who have more than one child, their birth experiences with each child are bound to be different. No two births are exactly alike; this is especially relevant regarding mothers who have experienced both cesarean sections and vaginal births. There are many concerns about vaginal birth after cesarean, also known as VBAC. In some instances injury to the mother and birth injuries to the baby can occur. However, with the proper guidance and care, expecting mothers can make an informed decision about which type of birth to choose and why.

One of the biggest risks involved in VBAC is the potential for uterine rupture. After a previous C-section, mothers will have a rather significant scar. During a vaginal birth after a prior C-section, there is some risk that the uterus could tear along the line of the scar. This can also be the case not only after C-sections, but also after other major uterine surgeries. In any event, if uterine rupture does occur during the delivery process, an emergency C-section is often called-for in order to prevent further complications.

Tags: Birth Injuries

Establishing the cause of a baby's brain injury

Since my practice focuses upon birth injury cases, most of my clients come to me with questions about what happened to their baby, and whether it could, or should, have been prevented.

Tags: Hampton & King, Hartley Hampton, birth injury

Hampton & King Medical Malpractice & Birth Injury Lawyers

Medical Malpractice Attorney Houston Texas

https://hartleyhamptonlaw.com 866-635-0811 Attorney Hartley Hampton in Houston, Texas, handles medical malpractice cases.

866-635-0811 713-574-8660
Contact us today for a free consultation

Hampton and King was given a Tier 1 metro ranking in Medical Malpractice by U.S. News and World Report in 2014 in its Best Law firms in America list.(Copyright Woodward/White, Inc. of Aiken, S.C.) Hartley Hampton has been selected as a Super Lawyer in Medical Malpractice every year from 2003, the year that Thomson Reuters began selecting Super Lawyers, until 2014. He has been listed in the Best Lawyers in America and The Best Lawyers in Texas, Medical Malpractice (U.S. News & World Report L.P., Copyright Woodward/White, Inc. of Aiken S.C.) every year from 2007 to 2014. He is an Advocate in the American Board of Trial Advocates and was president of the Houston Chapter in 2002 and a fellow in the International Society of Barristers. He is a life member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, The Top Trial Lawyers in America, board certified in personal injury litigation by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and civil litigation by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, and AV rated by Martindale Hubbell. Chris King was named a Texas Super Lawyer in 2012-2014 and a Rising Star from 2009 to 2011. (Both Texas Super Lawyers and Rising Stars are services of Thomson Reuters). He is also licensed in New Mexico.