Menu

Anaphylaxis (allergic reactions) and Minnesota Medical Malpractice

Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that occurs quickly after a sensitive person is exposed to an allergic trigger, and if not treated quickly and correctly, it is often life-threatening. Common allergens that trigger anaphylaxis, usually at the second or later exposure to the allergen, involve certain foods, latex, medication, insect stings. It can also be caused by exercise.

Anaphylactic reactions occur when the body’s immune system overreacts to a benign trigger, causing drastic and harmful effects. The symptoms of anaphylaxis vary from person to person, but commonly, an anaphylactic attack first involves itching of the face, mouth, and eyes. It can progress to vomiting, hives, abdominal pain and cramping. Without quick treatment, anaphylaxis symptoms get worse and more dangerous, including chest pain, weakness, low blood pressure, rapid heart rate, blue skin, unconsciousness, and potentially death.

Anaphylaxis must be treated quickly, because symptoms progress to dangerous levels within a very short period of time. A timely, accurate diagnosis prepares patients to take four important steps that can save their lives:

  • Know their triggers and avoid them, including by informing others (teachers, restaurant workers, coworkers, etc.) that they are at risk for an attack
  • Know the symptoms of anaphylaxis so they and those around them can recognize attacks at their beginning stages
  • Keep medication (typically two epinephrine auto-injectors) on hand at all times
  • Be prepared to dial or have someone dial 911

Unfortunately, allergies and anaphylaxis may be misdiagnosed as a variety of illnesses that have similar symptoms. These “red herring” misdiagnoses include asthma, panic attacks, and sepsis. It is also more common than it should be for doctors or other medical professionals to underestimate or downplay the severity of a patient’s allergic reactions, or to fail to inform the patient that they are at risk for anaphylactic episodes.

If you or a loved one have suffered an anaphylactic attack and suffered serious injury as a result of your doctor’s negligence, failure to warn, or misdiagnosis contact us for a free initial consultation to discuss the facts of your case.

Contact us Today if you have been the victim of Medical Malpractice

If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed as a result of medical malpractice contact the Minnesota Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Kuhlman Law at our number below or fill out the intake form.  We offer a free initial case evaluation and handle cases on a contingency fee which means that you pay no money unless we recover.

We handle cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton, and Hillsboro.

We also have an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota and take medical malpractice cases throughout the Twin Cities, including St. Paul, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, Washington County, Anoka County, Scott County, Blaine, Stillwater, and Saint Paul Minnesota.

Please act quickly, there is a limited time (Statute of Limitations) in which you can bring a claim under the law.

Diabetes and medical malpractice, Oregon Attorney Explains

Type 2 diabetes is a disease that interferes with the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar (glucose). Our bodies naturally manufacture insulin, the hormone that regulates blood glucose levels and helps use glucose as an energy source. But someone with type 2 diabetes is insulin resistant, and their pancreas struggles to provide an ever-increasing amount of insulin to make up for the difference. After a while, as the disease progresses, the pancreas can no longer provide enough insulin, and glucose stays in the blood instead of becoming food for the body’s cells. Additionally, without treatment, a diabetic person is prone to both dangerous highs and lows in his or her blood sugar levels.

Unmanaged diabetes can lead to blindness, kidney disease, nerve damage, injury to the heart, and atherosclerosis (plaque in the blood vessels). Atherosclerosis narrows the blood vessels and blocks blood from flowing through the arteries, particularly to the legs. This causes a complication called peripheral vascular disease. With such reduced blood flow, a diabetic is prone to infection in the feet and legs, and infections can get serious much faster for a diabetic person than for a person without the illness. A serious enough infection may require a diabetic person’s leg to be amputated. A person with peripheral vascular disease may also suffer from skin discoloration in his or her limbs and toes, pain while moving, and other foot symptoms.

Diabetes can be effectively managed through lifestyle change, pills, and insulin injections. But in order to walk the tightrope between too much and too little blood sugar, a patient needs to monitor his or her own blood glucose levels at home. If he or she has bloodflow problems, he or she needs to minimize risk of foot and leg infections. Without proper training and education, however, diabetes patients cannot care for themselves effectively. Patients need careful, ongoing contact with their medical caregivers: communication is essential. Doctors must make accurate, timely diagnoses to prevent their patients’ blood sugar levels from escalating to dangerous heights and causing possibly irreversible damage.

Contact an Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorney for help

If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed as a result of medical malpractice contact the Oregon Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Kuhlman Law at our number below or fill out the intake form.  We offer a free initial case evaluation and handle cases on a contingency fee which means that you pay no money unless we recover.

We handle cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton, and Hillsboro.

We also have an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota and take medical malpractice cases throughout the Twin Cities, including St. Paul, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, Washington County, Anoka County, Scott County, Blaine, Stillwater, and Saint Paul Minnesota.

Please act quickly, there is a limited time (Statute of Limitations) in which you can bring a claim under the law.

Malignant Hyperthermia

Malignant hyperthermia (MH) is a life-threatening reaction to general anesthesia. If not treated immediately, it can kill an otherwise healthy patient on the operating table. A survivor of a malignant hyperthermia episode may be left with injury to various vital organs, including the brain, as well as muscle impairment.

In a malignant hyperthermia crisis, the heart rate jumps, muscles go rigid and then break down, the blood becomes acidic, and the body’s temperature heats up dangerously. Because this all happens so suddenly and often unexpectedly, all anesthesiologists must be prepared for any given surgery patient to develop malignant hyperthermia. Any operating room where patients undergo general anesthesia should be equipped with measures to intervene in a malignant hyperthermia episode, such as a hypothermia blanket and a blood/respiration chemistry monitor. The recovery room should also be well-equipped for this sort of crisis.

Malignant hyperthermia susceptibility is genetic. Anyone with a close biological family member who has died or experienced anesthesia-related complications during surgery should tell his or her anesthesiologist, even if this person him or herself has taken anesthetics without any problem before.

If you or a loved one have experienced malignant hyperthermia during surgery, contact a Minnesota medical malpractice attorney at Kuhlman Law, PLLC at (612) 349-2747 for a free consultation to discuss your or your loved one’s case.  If we accept your case, we will help you look through the evidence and determine whether the anesthetist took the right steps to prepare for and treat the crisis, or made a potentially fatal error.

How often does the Plaintiff win in a Medical Malpractice Trial?

While newspaper headlines of million dollar jury verdicts draw a great deal of attention, the majority of Plaintiffs in medical malpractice trials actually lose their cases and receive nothing.  In fact, on average, when a medical malpractice case proceeds to trial, a plaintiff has roughly a 25% chance of winning the case, which is half that of any other tort case.

This low likelihood of victory at trial is why there are fewer attorneys who actually handle Plaintiffs’ medical malpractice cases and why they generally charge a slightly larger contingency fee rate than a standard personal injury case.

There are many theories as to why victims of medical malpractice have such a difficulty of prevailing at trial.  Some people believe that juries put a lot of trust and faith into doctors and modern medicine and have difficulty accepting that a doctor could cause such drastic harm to anyone by departing from the proper standard of care.

Other people believe that one of the reason Plaintiffs have difficulty winning medical malpractice cases is because some juries may be intimidated when asked to dissect the complex medical evidence and testimony presented at trial and, out of confusion or caution, side with the doctor or Defendant.

To combat this problem, a good Plaintiff’s attorney should take care to carefully guide the jury through the medical evidence in a manner so that they can clearly understand it and recognize how the doctor departed from the standard of care in the particular case at hand.

To aid the jury in their understanding of the medicine, a Plaintiff should present doctor witnesses (expert witnesses) at trial competent in the field of medicine at issue.  These expert witnesses should be able to fully explain to the jury the medicine or medical procedure at issue.  Instead of just focusing on the expert witnesses’ resume and credentials, a good medical malpractice attorney advocating for victims should also make sure that the expert witness doctor is capable of and willing to break down the medicine for the non-physician jurors so that they can understand key concepts and appreciate what truly happened and how it harmed the patient.

If you believe you have a medical malpractice claim, it is important to speak with a medical malpractice attorney immediately.  A Minnesota medical malpractice lawyer can help you to navigate the pitfalls of litigation and prepare your case in a manner that increases your chance of prevailing at trial.

Does signing a release prohibit me from filing a medical malpractice claim?

Does signing a release or informed consent paperwork prohibit a medical malpractice claim if something goes wrong?  

A commonly held belief by victims of medical malpractice is that by signing a release or informed consent form prior to the procedure, that they waived their ability to bring a medical malpractice claim.   This is not true.

Minnesota law protects victims of medical negligence.  No one can consent to medical malpractice.  As such, releases and informed consent forms do not waive your right to sue your doctor if he or she commits medical negligence.

The purpose of informed consent is to make sure a patient has received information on and agrees to the procedure that is performed. A health care provider may require an individual to consent to various procedures, such as therapy, an operation, or a clinical trial. By giving their consent, typically in writing, an individual has in no way, however, agreed to allow the doctor to commit negligence during the procedure.  Accordingly, even if the patient did sign a waiver, they can still pursue a medical malpractice claim.

Before a patient signs a consent form, it is imperative that their provider completely informs them about the proposed procedure.  This not only includes allowing the patient to ask questions about the procedure. Several topics that should be addressed with your doctor before he or she performs the treatment include: the costs of the procedure, the associated risks, available alternatives, and what to expect during recovery and or recuperation.

When a patient is reviewing a consent form, it is important that the specific procedure or treatment to be undergone is identified at the outset.  By doing this, the patient can be assured that there is no miscommunication between him/her and the doctor and that both parties are on the same page as to what medical procedure is to be done.

If you have questions about releases or informed consent forms and wish to speak to a Minnesota medical malpractice lawyer, contact us at (612) 349-2747.

Brief overview of a Medical Malpractice Claim in Minnesota

In a medical malpractice lawsuit, a patient must prove that the negligence of a health care provider directly caused the patient to experience an unnecessary injury.   To prevail in a medical malpractice case, the Plaintiff must establish the following elements at trial:

(1) the applicable standard of care accepted by the medical community for the specific procedure the patient underwent ;

(2) that the health care provider deviated from the applicable standard of care;

(3) that the deviation from the applicable standard of care directly resulted in the patient being injured; and

(4) that the injury caused the patient to suffer damages.

Due to the fact that most jurors and judges are not medically trained doctors, the Plaintiff usually retains expert doctor witnesses to explain to the jury what the correct medical procedure should have been and how the Defendant doctor did not follow the correct procedure.  Key pieces of evidence in a medical malpractice claim can often be found in the patient’s medical records and the testimony of the doctor and his supporting medical staff.

It goes without saying that nobody wishes to be injured by the negligence of his or her health care provider. However, when a patient becomes a victim of serious negligence it is imperative the health care provider is held responsible. Doing so not only brings justice for the victim, but also serves to improve the quality of health care for all.

If you or a loved one suspect you were the victim of medical negligence or have other questions, contact us immediately to see if we can assist you in determining the truth of what happened and whether you have a viable claim.