Our medical malpractice lawyer in Plano helps clients who have been harmed due to medical or surgical errors, birth injuries, nursing home abuse, bedsores, or other healthcare negligence.
Facts about Plano, Texas
Plano, Texas is part of the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area, but is a healthy city in its own right. The population of Plano is more than 288,000 people. The city is considered a hub for corporate business, and there are a lot of families living in the area. Of the 99,000 households, more than 69,000 are comprised of families. Plano has made the list of safest cities in the United States.
Plano is fairly diverse, with the population comprised of:
- Caucasian – 58.4%
- Asian – 16.9%
- Hispanic – 14.7%
- African American – 7.6%
- Native American – 0.36%
The City of Plano has a strong presence in corporate business. It is home to Capital One Finance, Toyota Motor North America, Frito-Lay, and J.C. Penney Company, Inc. Together, these corporations offer more than 13,000 jobs.
Plano also has a strong presence in the medical industry, with 10 hospitals in Plano. Children’s Medical Center Plano and the Heart Hospital Baylor Plano are both renowned for their quality care. Texas Health Plano and Medical City Plano are both large sources of jobs in the area, offering more than 3,200 jobs.
Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Plano
When we are injured or become ill, we rely on healthcare providers to help us get better. We trust that we will be properly diagnosed, and that our medical team will initiate the best treatment possible for our health and wellbeing. Most of the time, healthcare providers do practice safe and quality care. But “most” unfortunately means that sometimes they do not.
When healthcare providers violate the standards of care, they put patient lives at risk. At MedMalFirm.com, our medical malpractice lawyer in Plano has worked with many clients suffering from illness or injury due to substandard or negligent healthcare. We believe that patients who have been harmed by negligence deserve the opportunity to stand up for their rights, hold responsible parties accountable, and get the compensation they deserve.
Examples of Texas Medical Malpractice Claims
There are many situations that may result in a medical malpractice claim. The majority of these cases involve improper diagnosis, misdiagnosis, and other medical errors. Among the most common examples of medical malpractice that our office sees are cases involving:
- Negligent prenatal care
- Negligent acts or omissions during childbirth
- Failure to diagnose or delayed diagnosis
- Surgical errors
- Medication errors
Healthcare negligence is a significant problem in the United States, and patients must be vigilant in understanding their rights.
Our healthcare system has experienced an increase in the number of medical mistakes and other acts resulting in harm to patients. In fact, preventable medical errors have been listed as the third leading cause of death among patients in the U.S. This is a tragic situation for our healthcare system and patients must take action to protect themselves, their health, and their legal rights.
If you have experienced an unfortunate medical outcome, and you believe that your injuries or illness are the result of negligence, it is important to contact MedMalFirm.com right away. Our first step is determining if your injuries were caused by negligence. If so, then we can help you build a case against the parties responsible. Our medical malpractice lawyer in Plano has resources and is skilled at getting clients compensation for expenses and losses caused by negligence.
Birth Injury Lawyer in Plano
We all want to believe that doctors and nurses have our best interests at heart. While most of the time this is true, sometimes mistakes are made. When mistakes are made during labor and delivery, the results can be tragic for your entire family. Doctors and nurses must be held accountable when they violate the standards of care and cause harm to patients.
While mistakes can happen, and sometimes are truly a mistake, the majority of birth injuries during labor and delivery are caused by negligence. Such negligence may include a doctor who fails to monitor vital signs, fails to order a Cesarean section, or improperly uses delivery tools. Nurses can also be negligent, such as improperly administering medication or failing to properly communicate with doctors.
Doctors and nurses must be held accountable when they violate the standards of care.
Birth injuries often result in physical injuries, emotional trauma, and financial hardship. While there is no real compensation for your child being injured, a birth injury lawsuit could help you recover what you have lost financially, and help cover future related medical expenses. To learn more about birth injury lawsuits and your legal rights, contact a medical malpractice lawyer in Plano today.
Examples of Preventable Birth Injuries Caused by Negligence
- Improper monitoring of vital signs during labor
- Improper pulling or twisting during delivery
- Inappropriate use of vacuum extractor or forceps
- Failure to schedule or perform a c-section in a timely manner
- Administering the wrong medication or dosage
Understanding Doctor and Nurse Responsibilities
Doctors and nurses are required to abide by the medical standards of care when managing patients. These standards may be formal or informal, and are considered generally accepted. Doctors and nurses obtain a great deal of training before being allowed to manage patients, and as their practice continues, they are required to follow guidelines established by various sources, including (as applicable):
- Clinical practice guidelines
- American Academy of Family Physicians
- AMA Code of Medical Ethics
- Association of American Physicians and Surgeons
- American Nurses Association
- Various associations by specialty
- Formal diagnostic or treatment practices
- Guidelines established by evidence-based practices
- Guidelines set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
- Policies and guidelines set by medical device manufacturers
In the United States, there are a variety of sources that help doctors and nurses provide the best care possible. It is up to them, however, to choose how they will interpret these guidelines and whether they will deviate from the standard of care.
The Standard of Care
If you ask your doctor what the standard of care is, he or she may not be prepared to answer. The reason for this is because the term “standard of care” is most often used in a legal context, not a medical context.
The standard of care refers to the type of care and level of care that a “reasonably competent and skilled healthcare professional” would have provided under the same circumstances. This is determined by exploring how other healthcare professionals in the same medical community, and with a similar education and background, would have acted in the same, or a similar, circumstance.
The Standard of Care and Medical Malpractice Cases
In terms of medical malpractice cases, proving that the healthcare provider violated the standard of care is important. This is done by interviewing expert witnesses who can identify how the healthcare provider deviated from what is generally accepted. These expert witnesses are healthcare providers with similar background who work in the same medical community. Expert witness testimony is a crucial part of proving that your injuries were caused by negligence.
As you can see, medical malpractice cases can be complex. There are many factors to consider when filing a medical malpractice lawsuit, including the guidelines of healthcare providers, the standard of care, and whether you can prove that your injuries were caused by the healthcare provider’s negligence.
Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer in Plano
Nursing home abuse is so sadly common that there are very strict guidelines and expectations in place that nursing homes must follow. Neglecting these standards often constitutes neglect or abuse, the consequences for which are severe, and can range from jail time to fines and civil settlements.
When it comes time to consider nursing home care for your loved one, be aware of the standards of care they are entitled to and be ready to contact a nursing home abuse lawyer in Plano if you find a nursing home failing to meet the standards.
Nursing Home Standards of Care
- Care Planning
- Accommodation of Needs and Preferences
- Adequate Staff
- Adequate Food and Hydration
- Assistance with Incontinence
- Medical Care and Medication Assistance
- Infection Control
What Should I Expect for my Loved One in a Nursing Home?
First, your loved one should be treated with dignity and respect. Their privacy and inherent human dignity should be respected at all times. Residents of a nursing home should not live in fear or shame. Be concerned if your loved one seems to fear or abhor their caregivers.
Your loved ones basic needs must be met. Housekeeping should be maintained in a sanitary manner. Their living area and common areas should be organized in a manner that prevents falls. Residents should bathe or be bathed regularly. They should have access to nutritional meals and snacks. They should have all the water they need. Residents should never be isolated involuntarily from social contact or left unattended in public.
Medical needs of each individual resident must be met by nursing home staff. Each resident should receive their medication on time and in the right dosage. They should have help exercising or doing physical therapy. Any resident with social or mental disabilities should have access to the professional help they need.
Nursing homes should be safe homes for their residents. Your loved one should not feel threatened by the visitors of others and certainly should not feel threatened by the staff.
What the Law Says about Nursing Home Safety
There are a variety of laws designed to protect nursing home residents from abuse, neglect, and crime. The Nursing Home Reform Act (NHRA) has specific standards that must be met by nursing homes that receive Medicaid or Medicare funding. NHRA requirements include:
- States receiving Medicaid or Medicare funding must utilize a state agency dedicated to enforcing NHRA and other legal standards.
- Nursing homes receiving Medicaid and Medicare funding must “attain and maintain the highest practical mental and psychosocial well-being of each resident”.
- Nursing home residents must not be physically or pharmaceutically confined or restrained for the convenience of staff, or as punishment.
- Sexual abuse is a violation of federal and state criminal laws. Sexual abuse may constitute standard laws and elder abuse laws, which may result in harsher punishment.
- All nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities must provide care and an environment for each resident that will enhance and maintain their quality of life.
- All residents must be given identical policies and practices related to services, transfer, or discharge, regardless of the method and source of payment.
- Resident finances must be managed independent of facility accounts. Nursing homes must not require residents to deposit funds within the facility.
- Nurse aides and staff members must demonstrate competency and complete training and continuing education to ensure they uphold standards.
Pressure Ulcer Lawyer in Plano
When your loved one is a resident of nursing home, there are many standards of care the facility must follow to provide for his or her basic needs. Failure to adhere to these standards leaves the facility vulnerable to claims of abuse and neglect. At MedMalFirm.com, our medical malpractice lawyer in Plano has worked numerous abuse and neglect claims. We understand what your family is going through, and we are here for you.
Understanding the Standards of Care
With regard to pressure ulcers, or bedsores, the standards of care are mostly preventative. Since pressure ulcers are an entirely preventable injury, an important focus in the care for patients with limited mobility is on preventing pressure ulcers.
For example, if your mother suffers a stroke and loses the ability to walk without assistance, she may rely on caregivers to help her move about. Such patients are at risk of developing a pressure ulcer in areas of the body where weight rests on a bed or chair.
If the caregivers in the nursing home fail to properly reposition your mother or help her move around, she is at further risk. Also, if a caregiver makes note of redness that could indicate the formation of a pressure ulcer but fails to change your mother’s treatment plan to prevent progression, the caregiver has failed to provide the standard of care designed to prevent and manage pressure ulcers.
Worse, if the staff notes the formation of an open sore but does nothing to restore blood flow to the affected area and or to treat the wound, it could become infected and require surgical repair. Infection resulting from a pressure ulcer is a failure in the standard of care for the treatment of any pressure ulcers that do form.
How Serious is a Pressure Ulcer?
One pressure ulcer is already too many. If your loved one entered a facility without pressure ulcers, and then later developed one, his or her caregivers have failed to provide the standard of care.
Pressure ulcers can also occur while a patient recovers from major surgery if they spend too long in a bed or wheelchair without repositioning. For these patients, pressure ulcers pose a significant threat to their health. Once pressure ulcers reach a certain stage, they must be treated surgically. For a convalescent patient, another surgery is the last thing they need and could put their health and life at risk.
Once pressure ulcers form an open wound, your loved one is susceptible to painful complications and infection. Infection can lead to sepsis, and sadly, death. Nursing home patients with bedsores have a much higher mortality rate than patients who receive adequate preventative care.
Pressure Ulcer Stages
There are four stages of pressure ulcers that help doctors identify the severity of the injury. The stage will also guide doctors in treatment and possible risk factors. The four stages are:
- 1: Skin is red or discolored, but not broken
- 2: Top layer of skin is broken, and the wound may leak
- 3: The wound deepens to fatty tissue. Infection risk is high.
- 4: The wound extends to the muscle and bone. Dead tissue and drainage are visible.
- Unstageable: There is too much tissue loss, pus, and injury to stage the wound.
No matter how minor skin inflammation seems, pressure ulcers are like icebergs. What is visible is often only a small indicator of the extent of the injury.
Treating Staged Pressure Ulcers
If you or a loved one has developed a pressure ulcer, the most important immediate focus is getting the treatment you need to heal. For pressure ulcers that are staged 1-4, treatment options vary depending on the extent of the wound and your overall health. As a general rule, treatment options include the following:
For a stage 1 pressure ulcer, treatment options are primarily preventative. The focus is on relieving pressure to the area, and allowing blood flow to return to normal. Treatment will also include:
- Keeping the area clean and dry
- Drinking lots of water
- Eating a diet high in vitamins and protein
- Keeping an eye on the area for signs of worsening
Generally, stage 1 pressure ulcers heal within a few days if pressure is relieved, treatment is initiated quickly, and the patient is monitored carefully.
Stage 2 pressure ulcers are deeper wounds, and require a more thorough examination before determining treatment. Most often, treatment will include the strategies for a stage 1 ulcer, but will also include medical intervention for cleaning the wound and keeping the area sanitary.
Stage 2 pressure ulcers can take anywhere from three days to three weeks to heal.
At stage 3, pressure ulcers require medical intervention to treat. At any sign of tissue exposure, drainage, or a foul odor, get medical attention immediately. Treating a stage 3 ulcer includes keeping the area clean, moisturized, and well ventilated. Specialized wound care is common. Infection risk is very high.
Stage 3 pressure ulcers can take from one to four months to heal if there are no complications. Complications or infection can increase this time.
A stage 4 pressure ulcer often requires surgical intervention. Procedures may include debridement (cleaning away dead tissue), surgical dressings, negative pressure wound treatment (vacuum therapy), and in severe cases, amputation of the affected area. Infection, sepsis, and gangrene are all risk factors at this stage.
Stage 4 pressure ulcers take considerable time to heal. With adequate treatment and no complications, healing can take anywhere from three months to two years.
Pressure ulcers in healthcare are a serious problem. The consequences of these injuries are tremendous for the patient and his or her loved ones. Not only are the physical consequences devastating, but often so are the financial consequences. That is why our medical malpractice lawyer in Plano fights for clients harmed by negligent healthcare providers.
Bowel Perforation Lawyer in Plano
Bowel perforation injuries are very serious and can result in a vicious cycle of corrective surgery after corrective surgery. Worse, bowel perforations can also be fatal.
Bowel Perforations: Risk Factors and Causes
Anytime medical instruments enter the abdominal cavity, the patient is at risk of a perforated bowel. As such, patients at risk of a bowel perforation include those undergoing procedures such as:
- Cesarean section (C-section)
- Bladder repair
- Intestinal repair
- Bariatric surgery
- Laparoscopic procedures in the abdomen
Most often, the risk refers to the rupture of the delicate intestinal tissues after abdominal surgery or a procedure in the abdomen. In somewhat more rare cases, a surgeon may mishandle instruments and accidentally puncture the bowel during surgery.
Examples of Medical Malpractice Leading to a Bowel Perforation
- Operating on an uninvolved part of the body
- Performing a surgical technique incorrectly
- Performing the incorrect surgical procedure
- Reckless use of operating tools
- Failure to recognize risk factors
Patients who are experiencing the effects of a bowel perforation should take care to explore their legal rights. Many bowel perforations are the result of medical negligence.
The Standard of Care for Bowel Perforations
If a surgeon nicks or cuts the bowel during surgery, he or she must repair the perforation during surgery and take action to prevent infection. In the case of the bowel rupturing during postoperative recuperation, medical professionals should closely monitor the patient for the symptoms of a bowel perforation and be prepared to treat it at the first sign. Symptoms of a post-operative bowel perforation include:
- Abdominal swelling
- Internal feeling of achiness or pain
- High fever
- Nausea and vomiting
Bowel Perforation Medical Malpractice Cases
The majority of cases a medical malpractice lawyer in Plano will handle are those instances of bowel rupture after a surgery. These cases often involve the medical team failing to notice the patient’s worsening condition in a timely manner. The symptoms of a bowel perforation may also be misdiagnosed.
For a bowel perforation that occurred during surgery, most instances of surgical negligence occur when the surgical team fails to notice the injury and close the incision. This causes the victim to experience complications including:
- Organ damage or organ failure
- Permanent digestive disability
Treatment Options for a Bowel Perforation
Once diagnosed, the treatment for a bowel perforation is focused on managing infection. If a patient receives treatment early after diagnosis, their prognosis is generally pretty good. In contrast, the prognosis is poor for patients who are already showing the signs of infection or sepsis upon diagnosis.
The Wait-and-See Approach
If a patient’s blood pressure seems stable and there are no signs of infection, some physicians may opt to wait and see whether the perforation will heal itself. This is not a common occurrence. It’s very difficult to diagnose a bowel perforation without also seeing signs of infection unless the patient received X-rays and CT scans very soon after surgery.
Surgery: The Preferred Method
In the majority of cases, the treatment of a bowel perforation is surgical.
- Some patients do well with a laparoscopic repair.
- Most patients with severe symptoms of deterioration and instability will need an open procedure to repair the bowel and treat any damage caused by infection.
- Abscesses that form can be successfully treated with Interventional Radiology.
Compromised Quality of Life
Bowel perforations are themselves often a complication of abdominal surgery, but the corrective surgery often has complications of its own including:
- Further Infection
- Multi-organ System Failure
- Bowel Obstruction
- Fistula Formation
The treatment option for each of these complications is often surgical. Stuck in a vicious cycle of corrective surgery after corrective surgery, it is easy to see how victims of a bowel perforation injury become buried in medical bills.
If your bowel perforation was caused by a negligent healthcare provider, he or she may be liable for the damages you are experiencing. The surgeon or medical professional can be held financially responsible for the costs of treatment and recovery via a medical malpractice claim.
When to Call a Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Plano
At MedMalFirm.com, our medical malpractice lawyer in Plano has helped numerous clients who have been injured as a result of negligent healthcare. Our goal is to help clients understand their legal rights and options, and secure the best outcome possible for their case.
A successful medical malpractice claim can provide compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages or income, pain and suffering, and more. To find out what you may qualify for, contact us today. Call 877-887-4850 for a free consultation.