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Study shows brain injuries increase risk of dementia

Many people are aware of the immediate consequences of trauma to the brain. Delaware residents with brain injuries face large number of immediate challenges, from headaches through to loss of senses or functioning. But what are the long-term effects of this kind of trauma? According to a new study, increased risk of developing dementia is one of the previously unknown side effects of traumatic brain injuries.

A recently published study followed almost 2.8 million people over 36 years, observing the differences between those who suffered brain injuries and those who did not. The study found that those who experienced traumatic brain injury were 24 percent more likely to be diagnosed with dementia than their uninjured counterparts. The more injuries a person had, the higher their risk, according to the study.

The most common surgical errors in U.S. hospitals

Going into the hospital for a major medical operation or surgery can be nerve-wracking. While most procedures go according to plan, patients still run the risk of surgical errors when they enter a hospital. Here are some of the more common mistakes that result in legal action from patients in Delaware and throughout the country.

Many surgeries involve taking medication, such as anesthesia. When medical professionals administer the wrong amount of medication, overdoses can occur and cause serious complications or even death. Another common mix-up is receiving the wrong blood in a transfusion. Although this is a rare situation, it is the leading cause of preventable deaths at hospitals.

How common are diagnostic errors?

The first professional Wilmington residents usually see when they are ill or injured is their doctor. They rely on physicians to properly evaluate their symptoms, complaints, test results and medical history to diagnose their conditions and provide treatment. No one goes to the hospital, medical office or emergency room with the expectation that the health care workers they rely on will make diagnostic mistakes that ultimately cause them harm. 

According to CBS News, each year, approximately 12 million patients are victims of diagnostic errors. It is important for patients to receive the right diagnosis. When medical errors occur that result in patients receiving the wrong procedures, treatments and surgery, the consequences are often catastrophic. It is not uncommon for people to die after their physicians drop the ball and do not follow proper protocol with their patients. Common medical mistakes that are often the result of diagnostic mistakes include surgical errors and medication identification and administration problems. 

Surgical errors involving sterilization leave patients at risk

Even if a surgery appears to be successful, the issue of cross-contamination can have life-threatening impacts. Delaware patients should be aware of the risks of improperly sterilized equipment, as these surgical errors can lead to the contraction of bloodborne viruses like HIV and Hepatitis. A recent medical malpractice case has placed several patients at risk of such diseases after a hospital sterilization breach.

According to a state health department official, it was found that the process for cleaning the surgical instruments after orthopedic or spine surgeries at the hospital was inadequate. The hospital is now responsible for contacting all patients from the period of July 21, 2016 to Feb. 20, 2017 in order to advise them of the risk. Currently, the surgical error has been resolved and that current patients are not at risk.

Surgical errors: Doctor accused of leaving OR during surgery

A serious complicated surgery is difficult for any patient to undergo, but many make the choice every day in Delaware and across the country. Many choose to risk the possibility of surgical errors because of the trust they have for their surgeon, and the hope for a healthy outcome. One family in another state was recently awarded millions in a lawsuit due to a surgeon's choice to leave his patient before the surgery ended.

The family filed a lawsuit against a popular surgeon after their loved one had serious complications at the end of his surgery. The 70-year-old patient's health required an open heart surgery, which appeared to go well until the end of the surgery. The surgeon decided to delegate the end of the surgery and closure of the patient to a physician assistant. The surgeon not only left the operating room but left the hospital to attend a business lunch.

Birth injuries: Needle left in woman's spine for 14 years

Childbirth can be dangerous for either the mother, baby or both. There are numerous medical concerns that must be handled with care. Delaware mothers who have suffered injuries or their child has suffered birth injuries may be interested in one mother's ordeal following her cesarean section.

Most C-sections use epidural anesthesia for a pain-free operation for the mother. The anesthesia is popular to use because it allows the mother to be awake during the delivery of her child and results in fewer side effects than general sedation.  To administer an epidural, a doctor must place a nerve blocking medicine into the patient's spinal fluid with the use of a long needle, but the needle is removed following placement of the medicine. One woman recently discovered that part of the needle used in her procedure broke in a piece of her vertebrae.

3 apps to stop you from texting while driving

Smartphones have been around long enough for most people to be aware of the fact they should never text while behind the wheel. In one survey conducted by AT&T, nearly 75 percent of respondents said they texted while driving. This can involve a person reading a text while stopped at a red light or sending a text while the car is actually in motion. 

Distracted driving is a common source of many Delaware car accidents. If you cannot help yourself while driving, then you should download one of the following apps that disable your phone in various ways so you will not feel tempted to check your messages while operating a motor vehicle. 

Surgical errors: Woman claims surgical tools left in abdomen

Operating room technicians and nurses have strict protocols they must follow prior to a patient's surgery completion. All aspects of surgery are important, but the sponge count at the end of a surgery is extremely important. During the surgery, technicians and nurses keep track of the number of sponges and tools used on the patient and physically recount the items just before a patient is closed up to ensure that no items are left in the patient at completion. When items are left behind, they can cause great harm to the patient. Delaware patients may be interested to learn of a woman's ordeal involving surgical errors that left surgical tools in her abdomen following surgery.

The woman received surgery to repair a hiatal hernia and to remove a gastric band all in relation to a weight loss procedure. The surgery was performed by Dr. Younan Nowzaradan, who has become well known from the reality television show "My 600-lb Life." In the show, Dr. Nowzaradan helps patients achieve weight loss through surgery who have been unsuccessful with weight loss through diet and exercise.

Birth injuries: Lawsuit settled for improper disposal of baby

Losing a child is devastating for any parent no matter the age. Sadly, many expectant mothers lose a child before they are able to meet in person. Sometimes a death prior to birth is random, and sometimes it is due to suffering birth injuries. One mother in another state lost a child prematurely to natural causes, but the hospital's actions following her child's birth has caused her emotional distress. Delaware readers may be interested to learn why she chose to file a lawsuit.

Reportedly, the mother experienced premature labor a little over halfway through her pregnancy. Sadly, the labor resulted in her son's premature birth at 22 weeks. He did not survive. According to records, the mother denied the offer for an autopsy but accepted the hospital's offer for a respectful cremation.

Birth injuries: Parents awarded $800,000 after chiild born dead

When an expectant mother goes into labor there is a lot of excitement, anticipation and naturally some fear. Having made it to the end of a pregnancy, most mothers would not expect to suffer or have their child suffer a birth injury. Unfortunately, birth injuries do occur and may threaten the life or quality of life of the child. Delaware parents may be interested to understand why one couple filed a lawsuit following the birth of their child.

After realizing she was in labor, the expectant mother called the hospital to notify them of their pending arrival. The couple expected to arrive within 30 minutes but made the trip with five minutes to spare. Despite the forewarning, documents in the lawsuit indicate that the mother was not examined by a physician until an hour after her arrival.  

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