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September 2012 Archives

Pennsylvania woman unable to convince jury of malpractice

Medical malpractice lawsuits are often a difficult area for attorneys to prove up since most such lawsuits concern a highly technical area. The attorney must not only make his case to a judge, he or she must also make it understandable for a jury.

Trucking Company's Safety Violations

In truck accident cases, we continue to be amazed how frequently large trucking companies fail to adequately monitor their fleet of drivers. The classic situation that comes up too often is a driver who has multiple moving violations, often speeding tickets yet they continue to be put out on the road by the trucking company. In many of these cases, the trucking company has an employee handbook or safety manual that says drivers are supposed to be re-trained or "pulled" if they have a certain number of violations, but often that never occurs.

Trucking Company's Safety Violations

In truck accident cases, we continue to be amazed how frequently large trucking companies fail to adequately monitor their fleet of drivers. The classic situation that comes up too often is a driver who has multiple moving violations, often speeding tickets yet they continue to be put out on the road by the trucking company. In many of these cases, the trucking company has an employee handbook or safety manual that says drivers are supposed to be re-trained or "pulled" if they have a certain number of violations, but often that never occurs.

What is a Surgical Error?

One of the most common medical malpractice cases we handle is a surgical error case. This is a case in which some injury occurs while a physician is doing a proper surgery. For example, a surgeon goes in to remove the gallbladder and while he is doing so, he injures some nearby artery or other organ that causes significant harm to the patient. In these cases, we are often involved in a battle over a principle called "accepted risk of the procedure." In other words, when a patient signs a consent form for a surgery, the law says that they understand that certain injuries might occur during that procedure because any surgery carries certain risks. However, the consent form is not a license for the doctor to be careless, and it is not a shield that protects him from responsibility if he does something wrong. In other words, when the surgeon causes an injury that is outside of the normal accepted risks of the procedure, then he/she must pay money damages to the patient.

Government Wants Patients to Report Medical Mistakes

The federal government is planning to provide patients with the opportunity to report medical mistakes directly to them. Under the plan patients would be given a questionnaire that they can fill out and send back to the government whenever they are a victim of a medical mistake. The mistakes to be reported can be anything from a drug mistake, surgical error, infection or failure to properly diagnose or treat a condition. See http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/news/health/feds-want-patients-to-report-medical-provider-mistakes-654522.

Colon Cancer

Colon cancer is one of the most common causes of death in the United States. Fortunately, it is also one of the most preventable of all cancers. Why is that so? Because colon cancer is usually very slow growing and the sort of abnormal tissue or growths that might turn into cancer - usually called polyps - can often be detected on a colonoscopy well before cancer has developed.

The Fallacy of "30-Minutes from Decisions to Incision"

In fetal distress or birth asphyxia cases resulting in cerebral palsy, the argument in the case is always over whether the doctor moved quickly enough to perform a emergency C-section once there were signs that the baby was experiencing problems during the labor process.

DON'T SKIMP ON AUTO INSURANCE!

Sadly, we have seen this story over and over again. A car owner is out "shopping around" for automobile insurance and gets quotes from different companies. The insurance agent wants to make a sale so he offers "stripped down" coverage in order to offer a very low premium. The price sounds great to the car owner, so they purchase the "stripped down" insurance. Not long afterwards, the person is in a serious car accident and they discover that their insurance coverage is not very good.

DON'T SKIMP ON AUTO INSURANCE!

Sadly, we have seen this story over and over again. A car owner is out "shopping around" for automobile insurance and gets quotes from different companies. The insurance agent wants to make a sale so he offers "stripped down" coverage in order to offer a very low premium. The price sounds great to the car owner, so they purchase the "stripped down" insurance. Not long afterwards, the person is in a serious car accident and they discover that their insurance coverage is not very good.

Pittsburgh hospital implicated in hepatitis scare

The story of the former medical technician accused of stealing narcotics and possibly being responsible for an outbreak of hepatitis C apparently at one time worked for a Pittsburgh hospital. That hospital is now being sued for medical malpractice and negligence by a woman who allegedly contracted hepatitis C.

Medical providers need to take steps to avoid medication errors

According to the ECRI Institute for the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority (PPSA), doctors often prescribe medications before being aware that the patient is also taking another medication that may result in an adverse reaction. Unfortunately, it was also reported that such medication errors involved controlled substances that could lead to more severe consequences.

False positives and ovarian cancer screenings

A problem with a misdiagnosis is that it can ultimately lead to a number of unnecessary medical procedures. It has recently been found that screenings for ovarian cancer often lead to what are called false-positives - leading doctors to believe a patient has ovarian cancer when they do not.

Birth injuries and high blood pressure medications

There is a concern that pregnant women may be prescribed antihypertensive drugs without doctors taking into account possible consequences. Though such medications obviously can prevent hypertension in pregnant women, the risks of birth injuries and pregnancy complications such as placental abruption, fetal demise, superimposed preeclampsia, preterm birth or maternal morbidity by taking such medications have not been studied.

Sports physicians approving players to play with concussions

A recent lawsuit suggests that the problem of concussions suffered by professional athletes may involve more than the way the sport is played or the equipment that athletes are wearing. It may also involve physicians that do not appreciate the severity of brain injury that can be suffered by athletes, and who release players to play again following a concussion without considering the long term ramifications.

Diagnosing of Ataxia

A man who works in Pennsylvania suffers from Ataxia, and he is co-chairman of a support group for individuals afflicted with this syndrome. Unfortunately, Ataxia is not always easy to diagnose, and doctors often are guilty of misdiagnosis by telling such patients that they have multiple sclerosis or Parkinson's disease instead.

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