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San Antonio Personal Injury Law Blog

Why male breast cancer has lower survival rates

Men in San Antonio who have breast cancer may not be getting the care and attention they need. A study published on September 19 in JAMA Oncology has found that American men are less likely to be considered for clinical trials and don't receive the same cutting-edge treatments that women with breast cancer receive.

Many diseases provide women with treatments and medications that were predominately tested in men. However, the study found that the opposite is true in those with male breast cancer. An estimated 2,670 men develop breast cancer each year in the U.S. Because so few men develop the disease, many treatments aren't aimed to treat male breast cancer. The study found that this results in men faring worse than females with the disease.

Premises liability lawsuit filed by Walmart mass shooting victims

The Texas Supreme Court ruled several years ago that premises owners cannot be held legally responsible for actions taken by criminals in their establishments when no warning was given and the violent acts committed were not foreseeable. Those who suffer injury at the hands of a criminal while visiting a store, hotel or other establishment can prevail in a premises liability lawsuit only when they can establish that the defendants knew about, or should have known about, the threat.

This long-standing legal doctrine is being challenged in the wake of a mass shooting incident at an El Paso Walmart store that claimed the lives of 22 people and left 24 others injured. Two people who suffered serious injuries in the shooting have filed a lawsuit that claims the big-box retailer acted negligently by not hiring and deploying armed security guards.

Tip to police reveals ongoing nursing home abuse

Stories of shocking abuse remind people that they cannot make assumptions about the safety of nursing home residents in Texas. A recent case in a neighboring state came to light after the local police department received a tip about abuse by caretakers at a nursing home. The investigation resulted in the arrest of one certified nursing assistant. Police expect to arrest three other former employees of the facility suspected of abuse.

The police chief said that he later learned that someone had filed a complaint with the Department of Human Services months before the police department received a tip. He said that DHS should have alerted his department at that time, but a statement from DHS said that the agency was not required to inform law enforcement.

Beware of common insurance company tricks

A car accident can leave you and your loved ones rattled. Another driver's negligence could leave you facing catastrophic and life-changing injuries, and you are not sure how to move forward. You know you can recover compensation, but how?

Many people believe that they have to rely on the insurance company to get them the help they need. Unfortunately, many insurance companies are more concerned with their own profit than your well-being and best interests after a car accident. 

The most common causes of medical malpractice lawsuits

Doctors in Texas and around the country face medical malpractice litigation when the care they provide fails to meet generally accepted medical standards and their patients suffer injury, loss or damage as a result. This type of lawsuit is often filed when doctors fail to diagnose a serious medical condition or diagnose the wrong condition. A delayed or missed diagnosis can result in patients being denied potentially life-saving treatment or suffering the side effects of unnecessary treatment. To prevail in court, medical malpractice patients must convince a jury that another doctor with the same set of facts would have made an accurate or timelier diagnosis.

The consequences of prescription drug interactions can be catastrophic, and this kind of medical mistake remains worryingly common despite improvements in the software used by doctors, hospitals and pharmacies. Surgical operations are closely monitored in hospitals, but thousands of patients every year undergo unnecessary surgery, have the wrong procedure performed on them or develop complications because a sponge or piece of medical equipment was left inside them.

Study finds human error behind half of surgical mistakes

More than half of all surgical adverse events suffered by patients in San Antonio and elsewhere are the fault of human error, according to a new study. The study was published in JAMA Network Open on July 31.

Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine conducted a six-month analysis of surgical adverse events to identify preventable surgical errors and improve the quality of care. The data came from three teaching hospitals and involved adverse events from abdominal transplantation services, acute day care surgery, cardiothoracic surgery, general surgery and vascular surgery. Over the period of study, 5,300 surgeries were performed. During those surgeries, 188 adverse events occurred, including those that involved infection, bleeding, neurological complication, rehospitalization and death. Of those 188 adverse events, 106 were attributed to human error, including lack of attention, lack of recognition and cognitive bias. Nearly 55% of the events happened during surgery, 8% happened in pre-op, and about 27% happened in post-op.

Staying safe on an escalator

Many people in the San Antonio area may feel that they don't need to be told about escalator safety. However, accidents do happen, largely because of unsafe riding practices. The National Elevator Industry has some safety tips that riders should take into consideration.

First, passengers must look at the moving steps before stepping on and off, firmly hold the handrail and remain clear of the escalator's sides. If they have a young child with them, passengers should hold that child's free hand and keep him or her from sitting on the steps or approaching the side area. Anyone with loose clothing must especially be wary of the sides.

Aging Committee calls out poor oversight of nursing homes

In a rare bipartisan gesture, the two chairs of the U.S. Senate Committee on Aging released a list of nursing homes across America that the federal government itself thinks need closer oversight. The so-called “secret list” includes facilities in Texas.

There are differences of opinion about the meaning of the list, but all agree it release is designed to agitate for better federal oversight of nursing homes. The move also suggests the U.S. Senate is noticing that angry voters are calling for nursing home reform.

One-third of misdiagnoses lead to death or severe disability

Diagnostic errors in a primary care setting affect some 12 million Americans every year. San Antonio residents should know that misdiagnoses, in particular, can have serious consequences. Roughly 40,000 to 80,000 Americans every year die as a result of such mistakes. Inaccurate diagnoses are the leading factor in malpractice claims that involve death or a serious disability.

This was the conclusion of a study conducted by the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Researchers analyzed over 55,000 diagnosis-related malpractice claims that resulted in death or serious injuries. Of these, 74.1% involved one of three conditions that researchers dubbed "The Big Three." They are cancer (37.8%), vascular events (22.8%) and infection (13.5%). Lung cancer, stroke and sepsis were the most frequently misdiagnosed conditions in each of these categories.

Surgeons' behavior and patient complications

Texas residents who may need to have surgery in the future should be aware that a link has been found between a higher chance of post-operative complications and surgeons whose unprofessional behavior was reported by co-workers. This is according to a study examining the reports made by the co-workers of 202 surgeons from two academic medical facilities.

The researchers also studied the medical records of 13,653 patients to glean information regarding any medical or surgical difficulties that occurred no later than 30 days of an operation. The unprofessional conduct included in the reports regarding surgeons pertained to polite and clear communication, not fulfilling professional duties, a lack of honesty and inadequate care.

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