Just like you wouldn’t take an adult to a pediatric surgeon, you wouldn’t take one to a children’s hospital. Like doctors, most hospitals specialize in certain areas. For example, some have a reputation for treating heart disease, while others are more known for treating cancer. But while the specifics may differ, there are certain similarities. All hospitals are held accountable by federal and state regulations to ensure the safety of their patients. Hospital employees in most higher-profile positions must be certified in their specialty, to show a general level of competence.
Contact Our Tucson Lawyers
If you believe you may be the victim of medical malpractice, set up an appointment with Khalidi Law Firm, PLLC for a free consultation to evaluate the merits of your claim as soon as possible. Khalidi Law Firm, PLLC has more than two decades of experience operating from offices located in Tuscon’s Barrio Historico. Arizona law sets strict statutes of limitation, or deadlines, for filing medical malpractice lawsuits, so it is imperative you seek legal help sooner rather than later. You should seek legal help as soon as you suspect negligence has played a role in an injury or the loss of a loved one. We handle medical malpractice cases on a contingency fee basis, which means you will not pay any out-of-pocket expenses and we receive no attorney fees unless we secure compensation for your injuries.
Tucson Area Hospitals
The Tucson, Arizona, area is lucky to have several excellent hospitals with several specialties. They can be broken down to three broad categories. There are several systems of ratings for each hospital, but two of the most frequently cited are from Consumer Reports and Healthgrove. A 2015 report from The Arizona Daily Star about the overall quality of Tucson hospitals and statistics shows that some may be underperforming.
- Diamond Children’sMedical Center
- TMC for Children
- Children’s MedicalCenter of Tucson
- Children’s MedicalCenter-Tucson
Children’s hospitals are subject to their own unique challenges. While the ultimate goals, as with all hospitals, are the same, the means of getting there may be different. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the most common source of malpractice suits is misdiagnosis, especially concerning meningitis and appendicitis, primarily because symptoms mimic those of several other maladies. If misdiagnosed, both can cause lifelong medical damage or, with appendicitis, even death.
According to an article in The Atlantic, part of the reason for so many misdiagnoses is the sheer breadth of knowledge that pediatricians must have, including signs, symptoms and other information for each stage of a child’s development. Another issue is that children themselves, because of relative lack of experience, aren’t always sure when they are ill; and if they do notice something wrong, they are unsure how serious it is. Additionally, children — especially very young children — may have trouble expressing what is happening because of a limited vocabulary.
The Journal of Pediatric Pharmacology and Therapeutics suggests several reasons for the issue, including these facts: most medications for Brachial Plexus injuries are packaged for adults; more than 70 percent of drugs in pediatrics have not been tested on the age group; 95 percent of hospitals in the U.S. treat primarily adults; dosage based on weight and surface area are inconsistent.
Birth injuries are also a significant cause of malpractice suits, including brachial plexus injuries, bone fractures, spinal cord injuries and even cerebral palsy, among others. For more information visit one of these pages: Pediatric Malpractice, Misdiagnosis on Kids, Infant Medication Errors.
The VA hospitals, of which Southern Arizona VA Health is a part, has its own set of unique challenges, primarily because of the size of the system. Lawyersandsettlements.com reports that the VA system has roughly 19,000 doctors in 152 hospitals and serves 22 million veterans.
Since 2003, the VA system has paid out roughly $100 million a year for about 3,000 claims. Part of the problem, according to a 2015 story in The Washington Post, is misuse of funds, including purchases of multimillion-dollar works of art and restructuring used to give raises during a freeze. They also cite the scandal involving unacceptable wait times for patients seeking urgent help. An influx of soldiers from the recent conflicts in the Middle East is also exacerbating the issue.
The website Labor Notes suggests that a large part of the issue is understaffing, and a possible solution for many of these issues is to simply hire more staff; however, with chronic underfunding and potential misuse of funds already, the resources to hire new staff may not be available. For more comprehensive information, visit: “Veteran Medical Malpractice“, “VA Spent $6.3 million on Statues and Fountains” and “To Fix VA Waits, Hire More Staff“.
General Hospitals and Medical Centers
- University Medical Center
- Univ Physicians Healthcare
- Tucson Medical Center
- HEALTHSOUTH Rehab Institute
- Kindred Hospital – Tucson
- Carondelet St Joseph’s Hosp
- Cornerstone Hosp of SE Arizona
- Tucson Heart Hospital
- Carondelet St Mary’s Hospital
- Northwest Medical Center
- Sierra Tucson
General hospitals are subject to malpractice claims from all segments of the medical profession. According to thedoctors.com, a recent Hospitalists study of 464 claims against hospitals from 2007 to 2014 examined the most common causes of malpractice suits. According to the study, the cases broke down to:
- Diagnosis-related (failure, delay, wrong) — 36 percent. Misdiagnosis may be lethal. If a physician treats a patient for the wrong issue, not only is the treatment unlikely to work, but it may cause harm.
- Improper management of treatment — 31 percent. If the specific procedures in place to treat different maladies are adjusted incorrectly, it is unlikely the procedure will meet with success.
- Improper performance or delay in treatment or procedure – 11 percent. If a procedure is done incorrectly or treatment is delayed for some reason, its effectiveness may be substandard.
- Failure to treat – 5 percent. Obviously, if a serious medical issue is left untreated the results can be disastrous.
- Medication-related error – 3 percent. The wrong medication may treat the wrong issue, or the right medication in the wrong dosage may potentially do more harm than good.
- Failure to monitor physiologic status – 3 percent. Medical professionals may not notice and treat a change in condition, an allergy or an additional or new issue in a timely matter.
To access the full report, visit this link.
Help for You and Your Family
If you believe that you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice at an Arizona hospital, contact Khalidi Law Firm, PLLC today. Our team of experienced lawyers are here to help. Set up a free consultation to make sure your rights are protected by professionals.