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COVID-19 Creating New Medical Malpractice Cases

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As the pandemic continues to impact many industries and ways of life, some are surprised by the increase in medical malpractice cases across the country. Shortages of supplies like personal protective equipment and hand sanitizer in addition to shortages of staffing and rooms in many hospitals has forced medical teams to make difficult decisions that may generate medical malpractice suits.

As courts sift through the many medical malpractice cases with limited staff and limited hours, medical professionals and attorneys who deal with medical malpractice cases say that they have seen more active cases related to COVID-19 or in relation to some of the ramifications of the pandemic. This may mean longer wait times of compensation for those seeking damages from negligent nurses, physicians, or other medical staff.

While the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act that broadly protects those providing medical treatment for covid-19, there may still be individuals who seek compensation on behalf of loved ones who were injured or died due to the negligence of a medical professional.

Additionally, there may still be instances of negligent care for non-coronavirus related medical care because medical staff are overwhelmed from the pandemic, leaving another avenue where patients could seek damages. As the pandemic continues within the U.S., some who have received medical care may want to pursue a claim for negligent care either related to the novel coronavirus, or for another instance of negligence in the medical setting.

What is Medical Malpractice?

A medical malpractice case can arise when a medical or health care professional causes unwarranted or negligent injury to a patient. It could be an action or non-action and can either be an intentional disregard of medical policy or simply an accident.

“Medical malpractice cases can arise in a variety of situations, but commonly occurs in surgeries where a surgical team is in a rush and may fail to sterilize the surgical equipment, or fails to do a proper count before the patient is closed up and mistakenly leaves behind tools or equipment in a patient,” explains attorney Gary Christmas of Christmas Injury Lawyers.

In many instances of medical malpractice, a patient’s life is severely impacted by the action or inaction of the physician or medical team. In the scope of the coronavirus pandemic, some instances that could fall under medical malpractice are premature discharges, failure to recognize systems or order proper testing, and poor follow-up or aftercare.

How Has Coronavirus Created New Medical Malpractice Claims?

As medical professionals continue to learn more and more about the novel coronavirus, their strategies and treatments have adapted. However, there is still a shortage of space and personal protective equipment that threatens hospitals across the country. This means that medical teams may be more likely to release a patient early or incorrectly diagnose a patient to prevent them taking up a bed that could go to a worse-off patient.

Actions like these could cause the severe injury or death of a patient, which is where medical malpractice suits have risen. Whether due to an overwhelmed hospital, or to the lack of awareness in the medical professional treating a patient, some are seeking justice after experiencing medical malpractice in states across the country.

Some claims may be related to inadequate care, and other claims may derive from a patient who entered a hospital for a non-coronavirus related need and was disregarded or insufficiently cared for. In instances like these, patients and their loved ones may benefit from seeking legal representation or assistance. The HHS may have generated broad protections for hospitals and medical teams, but there may still be the possibility of compensation.

Looking Forward

There is still much to be understood about the novel coronavirus, but one thing that is for certain is that it will have profound long lasting effects on how medical professionals and everyday people interact. While there does not appear to be an end in sight, there are still many things a  person could do to protect themselves and the ones they love from the virus, or from negligent medical care.

For anyone thinking of pursuing a medical malpractice claim, it may be beneficial to reach out to a local attorney who handles these types of cases. With the unprecedented situation created by the coronavirus pandemic, laws and regulations surrounding medical malpractice claims may have changed in a way that impacts a person’s ability to pursue their rightful compensation. Lawyers like them could not only help a person understand the nuances of the law, but they could additionally help them navigate their personal medical malpractice case in such a strange time.

Michelle has been a part of the journey ever since Bigtime Daily started. As a strong learner and passionate writer, she contributes her editing skills for the news agency. She also jots down intellectual pieces from categories such as science and health.

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Health

How to Help Your Child if You Think They Might Have Autism

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Do you suspect your child might have autism, but you’re not sure? While only a professional diagnosis can tell you for sure, there are many ways you can support your child while you get a diagnosis and create a plan. 

Here are some of the best ways to support a child you think might have autism. 

  1. Try a variety of therapies

While you’re in the process of getting a formal diagnosis, start trying different therapies with your child to see if anything resonates with your child. Every child with autism is different, so what works for one person may not work for another. There are several types of therapy you can try that are low-cost or free, including play therapy, speech therapy, floortime, ABA therapy, and more.

Although your child will need a formal Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnosis to get ABA therapy, it’s worth noting that once you have a diagnosis, you can get in-home therapy, which will make things easier on you and your child. Organizations like Golden Care Therapy in New Jersey will send an ABA therapist to your home to work with your child in their own environment. Getting in-home therapy will reduce the stress your child may feel from being in a new and unfamiliar place.

The more therapies you try, the better chance you have of getting a head start in supporting your child, whether or not they get diagnosed with autism. 

  1. Get your child some sensory toys

Kids with autism need to stim, which is just a fancy way of saying they need something to stimulate their senses in a way that allows them to mitigate and disburse the sensory overload they’re feeling. Without toys, kids will find ways to stim using just their bodies and their surroundings, but toys can be extremely helpful and less damaging depending on your child. 

Every child is different, so it might take a bit to find toys they like. However, you can find some excellent suggestions from The Aspie World on YouTube. Some toys spin, squish, make noise, or are a series of magnets that can be reshaped. If your child is already fixated on certain types of toys, try to find something that matches their existing interest. For example, if they like soft textures, find some plush toys with a velvety-smooth texture. Try all types of toys to see if they help your child.

  1. Seek a professional diagnosis

Getting a professional diagnosis is the best way you can support your child when you think they might have autism. Once you have a diagnosis, that opens the door to getting services that will help them immensely. Not just while they’re young, but it will help them in their adult life, too. For example, if your child moves out on their own, and they struggle with self-care and household chores, they’ll need a professional diagnosis to get in-home services from the state.

A professional diagnosis will tell you if your child is on the autism spectrum, or if they have a different disorder. Depending on the therapist you choose, they’ll likely be able to diagnose your child with any relevant comorbidities, which are common with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). 

  1. Learn about autism

Next to getting your child professionally diagnosed, learning about autism will help you support your child in many ways. There are many misconceptions about autism that can make it hard to spot the signs of autism. One of the best people to learn from is Tony Attwood. He’s considered the leading expert on Autism Spectrum Disorder and is extremely knowledgeable.

One of the most important things you can learn from Attwood is how to spot Autism in girls. For various reasons, it’s harder to spot autism in girls and some girls don’t get diagnosed until they’re in their 40s. Attwood gave an excellent talk about Asperger’s in girls back in 2015, and you’ll learn a lot from this speech.

Although Attwood’s speech focuses on Asperger’s, it is part of the autism spectrum. As a diagnosis, Asperger’s has been officially merged into the diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Disorder.

Support your child in every way you can

When you suspect your child might have autism, it’s important to support them in every way possible. While you’re seeking a professional diagnosis, start trying simple solutions, like play therapy and toys for stimming. See how they respond. Once you get a diagnosis, your child’s therapist will suggest next steps to help your child long-term.

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