Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice

The State Medical Review Panel found that an Orthopedic group failed to comply with the appropriate standards of care that led to a woman having her leg amputated and thereby cleared the way for the woman to go forward with her lawsuit.The patient went to an Orthopedic group three times over the course of 1 month with signs and symptoms of a vascular problem in her leg.She was not diagnosed with the vascular problem and was instead given two injections into her knee by the doctor at the office.

Just 2 weeks later the patient was admitted to the hospital for loss of blood flow to her right foot and a large acute blood clot in the artery that supplies the blood to the knee and thigh.Subsequently,her leg was amputated above the knee the following day.The patient contends that the Orthopedic group fell below the required standard of care by failing to test for the loss of blood flow in her foot after noting a lack of pulse,reddened foot and reports of unexplained pain.She was also not given a timely referral to a vascular surgeon or cardiologist.Or told to go to the ER if she experienced more pain. The plaintiff seeks damages for a lifetime of care.
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State and federal health officials are investigating the deaths of nine patients at six hospitals who were all given an intravenous nutritional supplement that investigators have found was contaminated by bacteria. Ten other patients who received the supplement also were sickened by the bacteria, called Serratia marcescens, which is most commonly found in water, including some tap water, and sometimes in bathrooms. It can be introduced into the bloodstream via contaminated fluid administered through a catheter.

A medical officer with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the investigation into the outbreak at six hospitals would not conclude for at least a week. But he said similar investigations in the past typically determined that contamination occurred during the mixing of intravenous supplements. “Historically, what we’ve seen is a breakdown in the manufacturing process,” he said.The state health officer, emphasized that it remained unclear whether the deaths were due to the bacteria or to underlying serious illnesses. “I cannot ascribe those nine deaths to the Serratia marcescens,” he said. “These were patients who were getting treatment, so they were by definition ill.” State officials have identified the source of the supplement, which is known as Total Parenteral Nutrition, or T.P.N., at a local pharmacy in, a compounding pharmacy that makes medications that do not come premixed.State officials said the pharmacy has stopped distributing the supplement and was no longer open. They said it was unlikely the company would reopen, adding that it had made the decision to close on its own. The state health department said that about 35 percent of the patients who received T.P.N.sustained infections. The first two occurrences were in January and February, she said. The affected patients ranged in age from 38 to 94. Eleven were women and eight were men. He said there was little chance that other patients would become infected, although he said officials were making sure the supplement had been entirely removed from all health facilities. “Right now it looks like we have a contained and closed problem,” he said.The supplement is typically administered to patients whose gastrointestinal systems are not working properly, including those undergoing chemotherapy or recovering from major surgery. The mix is delivered to hospitals in containers presumed to be sterile and has a limited shelf life. The state health department had been notified about Serratia marcescens infections by two area hospitals,The state then sought assistance from the Centers for Disease Control, which was able to track the outbreak to the pharmacy. Soon after, the pharmacy notified customers about the contamination, and it voluntarily recalled the product.A statement issued by Health System, which operates 2 of the hospitals said six of the nine deaths had occurred at those medical centers. A total of seven patients were infected at one hospital, four of whom died, and five were sickened at another, two of whom died. “Because quality patient care is our top priority, this event is deeply disturbing to all of us,” the group’s chief medical officer, said in the statement. She added, “We don’t know, and may never know, if the Serratia marcescens bloodstream infection played a role in the deaths of these patients.”The health system also said it had ended its relationship with the pharmacy, and noted that “as a precaution, we have removed all other products from the supplier.” A spokeswoman for the parent company of a local hospital, which had one infection-associated death, said in a statement that the pharmacy was “universally believed and considered to be a reputable and trustworthy entity.” A spokeswoman for another hospital said the hospital discovered that three patients had been infected with the bacteria, and treated them with antibiotics. One of those patients died. “I can say it was a critically ill patient,” she said.
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A jury returned a $4.2 million verdict against a physician whose patient suffered a number of strokes that left her with severe memory loss and partial blindness.Jurors deliberated for over two days after listening to evidence presented in a medical malpractice lawsuit brought by the victim against her personal family physician and a doctor at the hospital claiming they were negligent in treating her.The jury found the conduct of her family physician fell below the standard of medical care in his treatment of the plaintiff. She and her husband sued both doctors in county court. Jurors found the hospital’s doctor was not negligent and no monetary damages were levied against him.

Hopefully this brings some closure for the plaintiffs said their attorney.In the judgment against the doctor the jury awarded $3.7 million to the victim and $500,000 to the victim’s husband.Jurors determined that the doctor, who was the plaintiff’s physician when she was admitted to the hospital after having suffered multiple strokes, was responsible for increasing the risk of harm to her after she had another massive stroke when she was discharged from the hospital three months later.The suit claimed the doctor failed to recognize the importance of a report from a neurologist sent to him after the plaintiff was discharged from the hospital and should have been aware of the risk of continued and further strokes. The plaintiff 54, now has severe, permanent and disabling injuries as well as damage to her optic nerve that has caused partial blindness.Due to her injuries she had to leave her job as a manager at a supermarket chain and will stay unemployed.
Of the $4.2 million verdict the jurors awarded $500 thousand to the plaintiff for the loss of future work earnings. The money will help them support themselves but can never bring back her loss of eyesight and brain function.
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A local jury awarded a family 4.2 million dollars in a medical malpractice suit against two doctors at a renowned hospital for failing to properly diagnose their child shortly after birth. According to the allegations the doctors neglected properly perform the necessary tests to diagnose the newly born infant with enterovirus causing her to suffer from lifelong disabilities.

Shortly after the infant was born large bruises began to appear and her skin turned yellow. Her liver showed signs of scarring and a blood clot formed in her brain. Her parents were advised to make funeral arrangements. The doctors ignored the symptoms that pointed to enterovirus, which is normally a mild virus that can become deadly in infants. The doctors failed to take blood and liver tests that would have identified the virus. Although the infant survived, the blood clot left her with a learning disability, she has severe vision problems and permanent cirrhosis of the liver.The jury awarded the parents damages for the malpractice and a substantial sum for lifetime care of the disabled child.
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What is medical malpractice you ask? As an experienced attorney with offices in Rockville and Baltimore Maryland, I can tell you that many people are unaware of their rights when it come to Medical Malpractice and hospital errors.Statistics show that over 195,000 people are killed each year due to hospital and doctor errors.Unfortunately only a fraction of these cases are ever handed over to an attorney.Why you ask? I’m not sure but I believe that many people don’t think that they have a case because the hospitals always deny their responsibility.

Of course they do as litigation can cost the hospital millions of dollars each year not including the bad PR it will give them. Many people feel that they are not as smart as the doctors and feel intimidated to ask questions. This is exactly the reason you need an experienced attorney to review your case and demand your medical records from the hospital. The next step your attorney will do is to have an independent medical professional(someone NOT employed by the hospital) to go over your case to see how and when the mistakes where made and if proper medical procedure was followed. If it is determined that a negligent medical mistake was made a lawsuit will be filed against the doctor and hospital.You have the legal right to expect pristine medical care when you enter a hospital regardless of you financial means or status.Insurance companies like to try and dissuade people from filing medical malpractice lawsuits claiming “frivolous” lawsuits cause healthcare costs to rise. Nothing could be further from the truth as of course it benefits the insurance companies to never “pay out” on malpractice claims and this keeps their money with them! The story has been spun to vilify the lawyers but this is exactly why everyone has insurance ;to help you financially if a bad situation ever arises.Please know your rights and if you are not sure you should call an experienced attorney such as myself to receive the compensation you are entitled to.
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A jury awarded $3 million to the widow of a man who died over 3 years ago after numerous hospitalizations for severe gallbladder pain and infection.After about two hours of deliberation the jury reached a verdict against the doctor and the hospital in the wrongful death of 55 year old victim.The trial, held before the honorable Judge, lasted 17 days the judge remarked that he appreciated the jury doing their civic duty.No decision has been reached on whether the hospital will appeal, but they are certainly looking at their post-trial options the lawyers said.The attorneys that represented the victim’s widow in the suit claim that the doctor and hospital negligently delayed gallbladder surgery which resulted in the death of the victim.

According to court documents the victim was admitted to the Medical Center with severe gallbladder pain and released the next day even though all of the ER doctors involved in the victim’s treatment and care determined on the very first day of this admission that his gallbladder needed to be removed.However, the surgeon in charge made the decision to wait on removing his gallbladder at that time.The victim was discharged from the hospital and went home for a day before being readmitted for a week. He then returned to the hospital’s emergency room, again complaining of severe gallbladder pain, and remained there until his death 2 weeks later .During the 3 week period of being repeatedly admitted and discharged from the hospital, the surgeon continued to insist on delaying surgery to remove the victim’s gallbladder for various unjustified reasons which ultimately resulted in his death.While the surgeon contended that the victim died of cardiac arrest or other causes the autopsy report and death certificate show that the victim died of a pus-filled gallbladder from severe inflammation and infection.The original complaint named about a dozen physicians and medical practices, but the verdict was against only the surgeon and hospital.The victim’s wife was pleased with the verdict and hopes this will send a message to other families to be an advocate for their families medical care before it’s too late.
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According to published reports the use of independent medical examiners, or Independent Medical Examinations or IME as most insurance companies would call it, or Defense Medical Examinations DME has come into question due to major discrepancies between the exam of the person and the report of the doctor. Under the workers’ compensation system, workers with real and genuine injuries are entitled to medical care and replacement wages which are usually paid for by their employer’s insurance. Independent exams are used to weed out workers who exaggerate injuries or get unnecessary care by having a neutral exam by a doctor that the insurance company selects and pays for. A review of case files published by the NYT found that the exam reports are routinely tilted to benefit insurers by minimizing or dismissing injuries. Under Maryland Rules the insurers must seek a court order to have the injured person examined by a Defense Medical Examiner unless both the Plaintiff and the insurer agree otherwise. Claimants are permitted to bring anyone along they choose to witness or film the sessions. But this has not stopped the doctors from saying one thing in the exam and putting the exact opposite on the report. For example,a Baltimore office had a case where the DME doctor examined an injured person and provided two different reports with completely different scenario and opinions. A good practitioner can take advantage of these discrepancies and discredit the doctor’s opinions based on his own reports.For their part, the doctors argue that they do not write the final reports but instead either send a transcription or a checklist into the entities who the insurers go through to get the doctor appointments. The doctors then receive the report back and sign off, but as one doctor put it “I just sign them,I don’t have time to read them all if I did I’d never have time to talk to my wife.They want speed and quantity.That’s the name of the game.” The insurers use of Defense Medical Examinations, that are not so independent, is a practice that is depriving many legitimately injured people from receiving the compensation they deserve and need.At my office we can direct you towards reputable people that follow the laws.
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The Plaintiff’s wife, 46, a certified medical assistant, underwent a Whipple procedure, which is a well known procedure to remove the head of the pancreas when there is suspicion of pancreatic cancer. The procedure was performed at the Hospital by a surgeon and another doctor.The plaintiff alleged a major vein was torn and repaired during the whipple procedure and she was then taken in for a second surgery because of resulting complications. She subsequently died that evening and it was later discovered that she did not have pancreatic cancer.Her husband then sued both doctors and the hospital for medical malpractice,misdiagnosis and wrongful death.

The plaintiff contended that the surgery was a complex operation best undertaken by a surgeon who has done it numerous times in a hospital that does at least seven Whipple procedures per year.He claimed the procedure was done at this particular hospital only a few times a year. The plaintiff noted that a facility that performs the procedure less than seven times a year is considered a low-volume center, and that the doctor had performed the surgery only three times in his career before his wife’s surgery.The plaintiff disputed the decision to blindly try to dissect the portal vein from the posterior of the pancreas with a right angle clamp. He claimed this resulted in a major tear of the vein, and the vein is responsible for taking blood from the gut to the liver and flows at a rate of one liter per minute. Consequently, the plaintiff contended that it was negligent to use a clamp in an area without direct observation of the vein and the failure to do so resulted in a major bleed and ultimately the complications that led to his wife’s death.The plaintiff also argued that while the defendants had reasonable suspicion that his wife had pancreatic cancer and that surgery performed was not incorrect, she should have been referred to a major facility to undergo the surgery.The plaintiff also contended that the assisting doctor did not correctly voice concerns during the procedure, though the decision-making was the chief doctor’s. The defense noted that while ultimately it was discovered that there was no metastasis, there were pre-cancerous cells in the pancreas which would have progressed to cancer without intervention.The defense contended that the surgical technique followed by the surgeons was within the appropriate standard of care. The defense argued that the injury which occurred was a recognized complication of the procedure, and the plaintiff’s expert conceded it was a recognized complication.The defense asserted that 42 percent of Whipple surgeries continue to be done in community hospital settings and that both defendant physicians were board-certified general surgeons who had performed Whipple surgeries successfully in the past. The defense contended that referral to a high-volume center would not have reduced the risk of a recognized complication.Plaintiff’s counsel also noted that the defense contended that is impossible to always see the back of the pancreas and a surgeon needs to rely on his experience and tactile sense.The patient died following the Whipple procedure. She was 48.The plaintiff sought recovery for wrongful death and emotional distress damages for the loss of his wife.The jury found the lead doctor 80 percent negligent and that his negligence was a substantial factor in causing damage. It found the assisting doctor also negligent and apportioned 20 percent to him, but the jury found that his involvement was not a substantial factor in the patient’s death.The jury awarded the plaintiff $4.2 million in damages broken down into the past financial support that his wife would have contributed to the family of $45,040, past losses of gifts or benefits that the plaintiff would have expected to receive from his wife of $10,765, past household services that she would have provided of $26,453, future financial support that she would have contributed to the family of $378,288, future losses of gifts or benefits that the plaintiff would have expected to receive from hiss wife of $97,986, future household services that she would have provided of $480,676, funeral and burial expenses of $2,600, the loss of her love, companionship, comfort, care, assistance, protection, affection, society and moral support and the enjoyment of sexual relations of $500,000 and the loss of Kath Hansen’s love, companionship, comfort, care, assistance, protection, affection, society and moral support and the enjoyment of sexual relations from the date of the verdict forward of $3 million.
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A lawsuit has been filed on behalf of two sons whose father killed their mother, alleging that the steroids and drugs prescribed to their father were a factor in the killing. The suit alleges that a family nurse practitioner at a local clinic, began prescribing medications to their father in April. In May, she increased the doses for the two powerful steroids that she previously prescribed without consulting the physician supervisor or any other medical doctor. In July, the nurse added a prescription for a psycho stimulant with similar risks associated to methamphetamine.

On December 20 their mother obtained a restraining order against their father. The next day, their father returned to the Clinic and was experiencing toxic side effects from the combination of his prescribed medications. On January 2, their mother signed a petition for temporary separation from her husband. On January 6, their father shot their mother 13 times in a church parking lot, in front of their two sons.

The father plead guilty to aggravated murder but stated that he would not have killed his wife if he had not been on the medications he was on. The lawsuit claims that the nurse was negligent in not consulting with a medical doctor in prescribing and increasing the dosages of the medications and for keeping the patient on the medications despite signs of toxicity. The lawsuit also names the supervising doctor and the clinic and seeks general, special and punitive damages.
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The Centers for Disease Control estimates that 2 million hospital acquired infections occur each year resulting in over 100,000 deaths. It is also estimated that another 1.5 million infections occur in long-term care facilities. Many people are filing and winning medical malpractice lawsuits due to acquiring these infections while in the hospital for other reasons.Medical-malpractice defense attorneys argue that even if every hospital protocol is followed to prevent the spread of these infections a hospital cannot prevent all infections. Plaintiff’s attorneys argue that when the proper protocols are followed the spread of the infections decreases significantly.

In order to win a malpractice claim, the plaintiff must be able to trace the infection and show that the patient got the infection due to the hospitals negligence.The CDC has published new guidelines for hospitals to prevent infections. Plaintiff’s attorneys that are perusing a malpractice claim will need an expert to confirm that if these precautions had been followed, the patient would not have contracted the infection. The most basic of precautions are needed to prevent the spread which include hand-washing between patients and having hospital staff do routine sterilization of the facility.Many hospitals have been found remiss in supervising all staff to enure proper hygiene is followed at all times. MERSA otherwise known as flesh eating bacteria has been making the rounds at many hospitals during the past 3 years.Post-op patients are most at risk for this possibly fatal disease that is resistant to common antibiotics.The cause of MERSA has been traced back to dirty surgical tools that can infect patients at their most vulnerable time. it is important to research the hospital that you will be having surgery in to check their history of MERSA outbreak.Your attorney can help you with this as well.Your health depends on it.
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