Nursing homes carry a heavy responsibility: caring for those who cannot be cared for by their loved ones. While many institutions are prepared to fulfill this duty, others fail. When a lapse in care occurs, residents can fall victim to bedsores and other serious injuries. This nursing home neglect is unacceptable, and homes that cause these injuries should be punished and should pay to make victims whole again.
Miami residents, like others across the country, take prescribed medications without any qualms. Patients rightly expect that their doctors are competent enough to prescribe needed drugs at the proper strength. Doctors, unfortunately, sometimes fail to live up to these expectations. A recently released study shows just how vulnerable seniors are to medication errors.
Miami patients put a great deal of trust in the doctors, nurses and hospitals that treat them. If a condition is diagnosed, a patient believes that the diagnosis is accurate. If a surgery is performed, patients believe it is necessary. Likewise, when medication is prescribed, patients expect that they will not be harmed. Unfortunately, when the wrong medication is given to a patient, complications can arise. For this reason, the findings of a Johns Hopkins University study carry great importance and should not be taken lightly.
Many times, Miami doctors tell patients to take several precautions prior to having an operation. These measures could include changing diet, abstaining from liquids and stopping medication. Since most patients do not know what steps need to be taken prior to surgery, they rely on doctors to inform them. When this information is not conveyed, serious injury or death can occur. These instances of medical malpractice are traumatizing, as is evidenced by one family's loss of a wife and mother.
Gauze sponges are common in operating rooms. These tools are used to soak up blood so that surgeons are able to see what they are doing. Though sponges may sound like a benefit to a patient, they can easily turn into threatening, even deadly, devices. When sponges are left inside a patient they can pierce organs and disrupt normal body functions. Since a forgotten sponge is a serious error that can occur at every hospital, Miami residents may be interested to know that a new technology has been developed that may help prevent this type of surgical error.
There is some good news for Miami residents. According to a recent nationwide study, 18 Miami-Dade and Broward County hospitals are worthy of an A grade when it comes to patient safety. The study, by Leapfrog Group, took into account several factors, including the occurrence of patient death, bed sores and hospital falls. Yet, the news is not all good. Six hospitals in the area received a C grade and, since the study did not give grades lower than a C, three hospitals received a "grade pending" rating. Those hospitals were given time to improve their scores.
Nursing homes throughout the nation, and in Florida, serve an important purpose in our society. These institutions are meant to provide quality care to the elderly when that care cannot be received at home. Families rightly expect nursing homes to treat their patients like family. This means safety should come first.
The mother of a girl who may have been the victim of medical malpractice received some good news recently. A Florida appeals court has ruled she may go forward with her lawsuit against Jackson Memorial Hospital. The decision follows a similar ruling by a Florida trial court regarding the possible medical malpractice.