January 27, 2010
A hospital in Maryland is currently notifying patients of the possibility of mass medical malpractice after it was discovered that as many as 369 patients may have received unnecessary arterial stent implants.
Cardiac catheterization with the use of coronary stents is commonly done in an attempt to open up clogged arteries. According to reports, the patients affected had only minor blockages in their arteries that did not warrant the use of coronary stents. As a result these patients were exposed to unnecessary risk.
Coronary stents are typically implanted via the bloodstream and through the leg. The risks associated with cardiac catheterization include:
- Allergic reaction
- Damage to blood vessels
- Blood clots
- Low blood pressure
- Kidney damage
- Heart Attack
It is believed that a possible underlying reason for the unnecessary procedures is health care fraud, for which the hospital is currently under investigation. These procedures are quite costly and most insurance providers, including Medicare, require that a patient’s artery be at least 70% blocked before they will approve the use of a stent. It is reported that the hospital told the affected patients that they had frighteningly large blockages, some up to 95%, when in reality most of the blockages were less than 10%.
Being forced to undergo any unnecessary procedure can be physically and emotionally taxing on anyone. The fact that the patients involved in this case underwent such a dangerous one only makes the situation that much more upsetting. We will most likely see an influx of medical malpractice lawsuits as a result.
October 15, 2009
Eileen Kelleher of Harwinton, Connecticut has agreed to a settlement in the amount of $5.25 million after she was forced to have her leg amputated in a tragic case of hospital malpractice. The settlement was reached outside court through mediation.
According to Kelleher’s lawsuit, she underwent elective back surgery in 2005 after which she suffered numerous complications including internal bleeding. During her post-operative care, she lost blood flow to her left leg which led to gangrene.
Ms. Kelleher’s medical attorney claimed that the doctor and hospital staff failed to properly diagnose the blood flow problem in time for her leg to be saved and as a result they were forced to amputate in order to save her life.
Kelleher and her husband filed a lawsuit in 2006 requesting compensation for medical expenses, loss of earnings and pain and suffering.
The hospital is not commenting citing a confidentiality clause that was included in the settlement agreement.
May 21, 2009
Intravenous therapy, or IV for short, is the process of administering medication directly into a patient’s vein. Given the delicate nature of this type of treatment, it is understandable that IV’s can be considered one of the riskiest ways to administer medication. For that reason, IV errors can have devastating consequences including life altering injuries and even death.
What causes IV errors? Given that most IV’s are administered to patients during a stay in the hospital, the hectic and urgent nature of hospital and ER environments alone can be a recipe for disaster. Couple this with the fact that many hospitals in the US are critically understaffed and the situation becomes even direr. And sometimes IV errors are the result of simple mistakes on the part of a careless doctor or nurse.
Whatever the reason, IV errors can present themselves in any number of scenarios, such as:
- Wrong drug administered
- Improper timing of administration (too early or too late)
- Defective IV pump or valve
- Wrong dosage amount (too much or not enough)
- Improper injection of drug
- Dangerous combination of drugs administered (incompatible)
Any of these things can cause severe injury to a patient, including death. Victims of IV errors have the right to seek justice by filing a medical malpractice lawsuit against the guilty parties.
May 18, 2009
In a disturbing case of hospital malpractice, California’s Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center has been fined $25,000 by the state after a patient died from a blood transfusion error.
In October 2008, a patient was given a blood transfusion that was later found by a Department of Public Health investigation to be unnecessary. In addition to the patient not needing the transfusion, the blood type was also incorrect.
It took 15 minutes for the hospital staff to realize the mistake and by then it was too late. The patient died as a result of the error.
The medical center has released a statement that they “deeply regret the incident”. The two nurses that were involved in the medical error have since resigned.
There is no word yet as to whether the family of the patient plans to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
April 1, 2009
A Miami VA has announced publicly that thousands of patients are at possible risk of disease after having undergone colonoscopies that were performed with improperly sterilized equipment. The situation affects some 3,260 patients and could result in a case of mass medical malpractice.
Those at risk include anyone who had a colonoscopy at the VA between May 2004 and March 12, 2009. Patients who fall into this group are being urged to get tested for diseases such as HIV and hepatitis.
Sadly, this is not the first such announcement of a VA hospital using contaminated medical equipment in recent months.
In February, a VA clinic in Tennessee notified 6,378 of its patients that they may have been exposed to infectious body fluids while they received colonoscopies.
Additionally, some 1,800 patients of a Georgia ear, nose and throat clinic were recently advised that they may have been exposed to an infection after they were treated with instruments that were not properly disinfected.
Not surprisingly, officials in all three cases are attempting to minimize the severity of the situation.
U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek is not so forgiving. In a letter to the VA’s inspector general, Meek stated, “The very notion that veterans have to contemplate this new reality now before them and visit special care clinics to undergo blood testing is stomach-turning.”
Our veterans deserve to be treated with honor and respect and should receive as high a standard of medical care as anyone else in this country. If you are a veteran who received substandard treatment at a VA or other medical facility and have suffered injury or harm as a result, contact an experienced medical attorney right away to discuss your rights. You may be able to receive medical compensation for your damages.
January 23, 2009
According to a hospital malpractice lawsuit filed earlier this week, doctors at the San Mateo Medical Center acted negligently when they left a five inch catheter in Alan Paolucci’s heart after it broke off in 2003. What’s worse, it’s also alleged that the mistake was then covered up.
The 52 year old was undergoing treatment for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma when the catheter being used to administer chemotherapy snapped and a part of it was left behind.
The five inch piece eventually became lodged in his heart, resulting in a life threatening infection and permanent damage to the organ.
Perhaps even more egregious is the fact that according to Paolucci’s attorney Derek Longstaff, the apparatus was actually detected as early as March 2006. However doctors didn’t inform Paolucci about the wayward catheter until July 2, 2008.
Paolucci then underwent open heart surgery in August to remove the catheter, but he ended up losing a heart valve in the process.
The failed valve was replaced, however the plaintiff feels that this has weakened the state of his heart, and is a key contributor to his continued battle with cancer, which has returned after being in remission for a year.
Paolucci is suing the county, the medical center, medical center CEO Dr. Sang-Ick Chang and Dr. Thomas Chen. The damages being sought are for negligence, hospital malpractice, fraud and battery.
December 22, 2008
One of the deadliest killers in the United States today is hospital infection. In fact, over 100,000 lives are claimed each year by the silent epidemic. That’s more deaths than from breast cancer, AIDS, and car accidents combined.
The numbers are staggering, but perhaps what is more shocking is the fact that the majority of these deaths could have been prevented.
One of the most common causes of deadly hospital infections is poor hygiene on the part of the physicians in whose hands we are placing our lives. Often the simple act of washing their hands is overlooked, because many doctors believe that using gloves is sufficient. Unfortunately, this is not the case. All it does is contaminate the gloves, still risking the chance of passing on deadly germs and infections to the patient.
Changing gloves frequently also reduces the chance of infection, because many surfaces within a hospital are contaminated with bacteria.
When bacteria and germs are passed on to patients, many of whom have lowered immune systems and reduced ability to fight infection, the results can be devastating. Long-term illnesses and even death can occur, leaving behind shattered lives and broken families.
If you or a loved one has suffered as a result of a preventable hospital infection due to doctor’s negligence, you have the right to fight back. Speak with an experienced medical attorney who can help you decide what the next step should be in getting justice.
December 19, 2008
A Brooklyn woman who was a victim of a devastating case of hospital malpractice is now working toward rebuilding her life.
In September, Tabitha Mullings went to Brooklyn Hospital Center with severe abdominal pain. Doctors dismissed her with a quick diagnosis of kidney stones and promptly sent home.
Mullings later called EMS, who refused to take her back to the hospital, despite her continuing pain.
It turns out she was not suffering from kidney stones, but instead had a severe infection and she ended up going into septic shock. The infection ultimately led to partial blindness, and the amputation of both of her hands and both of her feet.
Yet, through it all she is determined to get on with her life. She is now undergoing treatment at the NYU/Rusk Institute for Rehabilitation Medicine. There she is learning how to walk with the use of prosthetics.
Mullings is currently suing both the hospital and the city for malpractice.
December 12, 2008
A settlement has been reached in the case of a Chicago woman dying as a result of hospital negligence.
Twentyseven year old Farrah Dickerson was 31 weeks pregnant when she began bleeding, ultimately passing out. The staff of Stroger Hospital in Cook County failed to give her blood-clotting medication resulting in her death.
Her baby survived but is now motherless.
Last week the Cook County Board approved the hospital negligence settlement, awarding the family $9.8 million.
It is little consolation to those who are left behind.
November 13, 2008
The Nevada Supreme Court recently overturned a previously dismissed case of hospital malpractice being brought by a mother whose infant sustained a severe brain injury during his delivery in 1995.
The incident occurred at Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas, when baby James Monroe was being delivered via emergency caesarean section. The surgeon performing the procedure lacerated Monroe’s head with his scalpel causing him to bleed for over an hour. The baby was then transferred to Southwest Regional Neonatal Center for treatment, but he ultimately suffered permanent brain damage from the injury.
The child’s mother filed a hospital malpractice suit against the doctor, nurses and staff of Sunrise Hospital, which was originally dismissed by the lower court. On November 7th, however, the Supreme Court reinstated the traumatic birth injury lawsuit.