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Medical malpractice occurs all over Pennsylvania and even right here in Norristown. In 2016 there were 105 medical malpractice cases filed in Norristown alone. This number may not be an accurate reflection of 2016 medical malpractice cases in Norristown however, because it does not include settlements that were agreed to before cases had to be filed. A trend our medical malpractice experts at The Weitz Firm, LLC have been noticing over the last few years is that more and more malpractice cases involve smartphone distractions that cause medical professionals to make mistakes causing patient injuries and even death.

Common smartphone uses by doctors

Doctors and other medical professionals use smartphones for some legitimate reasons that aid in their practice of medicine. They can use them to review and update medical records, they use medical information resources such as textbooks and medical literature, they communicate with patients and colleagues, and they use clinical apps for efficiency and accuracy. See below for a description of some of the most popular clinical apps used by doctors:

Medscape – Can be used to retrieve news articles from medical sources and it has a clinical reference section including drug information and medical calculators.

MDCalc – Gives access to hundreds of medical tools to help doctors make decisions about patient care.

NEJM This Week – Doctors can listen to, search, and share content from the New England Journal of Medicine.

Epocrates – Allows doctors to connect with other doctors for referrals and consults. It contains information for prescriptions and over the counter medicines and has other functions such as calculators and insurance information.

Figure 1– This app is used to view and share medical images with other physicians.

Doximity – The majority of doctors in the United States are members of this social networking platform for doctors.

UpToDate – This is a database of up to the minute medical information organized by topic.

Read by QxMD – This app helps to download and organize medical literature and journals for easy access.

Types of medical mistakes made due to smartphone distractions

We have found that although medical professionals are often using their smartphones to aid in their medical practice, sometimes they are not using their smartphones safely and appropriately. We have seen social media, personal text messaging, online shopping, and other types of smartphone use leading to medical mistakes. Some of the more common medical mistakes include:

  • Instruments or sponges left in a patient’s body after surgery.
  • Surgical errors such as an incorrect amputation or incomplete procedures.
  • Incorrect anesthesia causing patients to wake up during surgery or too much anesthesia causing harm or death.
  • Inputting incorrect information such as prescription or diagnosis.
  • Failing to properly or timely attend to a patient due to distraction.

These are just a few common malpractice scenarios, but smartphone distractions can cause medical mistakes in many other ways as well. If you have sustained injuries due to a distracted doctor or other cause of medical malpractice, contact Norristown distracted doctor attorney, Eric Weitz, for a review of your case. We want to see that you are compensated for injuries caused by smartphone distractions and other negligent medical conduct.

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