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November 2012 Archives

Patient dies as result of anesthesia application

A Pennsylvania man with a history of heart disease was administered general anesthesia during cataract surgery and subsequently died. The eye doctor performing the surgery has now been sued for medical malpractice as a result of the man's death.

Doctors often reluctant to report medical mistakes

Federal requirements regarding the reporting of medical errors are apparently still open to interpretation. According to certain doctors, the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005 was passed to encourage physicians to report errors while at the same time be shielded from public disclosure of these errors. Yet certain states have issued court rulings that may disclose more information than these same physicians are comfortable with.

Patient's untreated infection leads to amputations

A patient wakes up and discovers that his hands and legs have been amputated due to an infection called methicillan-sensitive staphylococcus aureus (MSSA). This infection was originally misdiagnosed and, because it was left untreated, eventually resulted in the need for the removal of the limbs.

Woman's cervical cancer missed for number of years

Washington Hospital, located about 30 miles southwest of Pittsburgh, now finds itself in the center of a medical malpractice lawsuit. A former female patient claims a pathologist at the facility misread pap smears and other tests for close to five straight years before she finally was diagnosed with cervical cancer.

Doctor's stem cell procedure blamed for brain damage

A doctor recently testified at a medical malpractice trial about the actions of another physician. That physician apparently had removed bone marrow from one portion of the patient's body and injected this marrow into woman's circulatory system and brain. The testifying doctor apparently was shocked by what he heard, but the other physician let the doctor know that he had "good luck" with this procedure.

Electronic medical records have led to medical mistakes

Though keeping electronic medical records on file was designed to make hospitals more efficient and improve on the level of care, there can be a variety of problems with this sort of system as well. For example, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's system recently crashed for a number of hours. Fortunately, the hospital had an alternate database that had patient's files available to remedy the problem.

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