YEAR / STATE
YEAR / STATE
YEAR / STATE
YEAR / STATE
YEAR / STATE
A lawsuit filed against the Cleveland VA Medical Center has settled for $500,000. The lawsuit was filed after the death of a 59 year old veteran, who was being operated on to repair a hernia. What he was not told was that the VA surgeon had only been licensed for a few months, and that this was the first time that he had ever performed the procedure by himself. Experience matters is such a cliche. In surgery, data shows time and time again that experience is everything. Sadly, a hole was made in the deceased man’s intestines during the surgery, allowing the contents of his bowel to spill out into his abdomen – a hole which the VA hospital failed to recognize for several days. The deceased became very sick after developing an infection, and died several months later. Just a tragic, sensless story.
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A number of cancers arise in the liver or biliary system. Unlike many cancers, liver cancer (and liver disease) appear to be on the rise. From 1999 to 2016, annual deaths from liver cancer doubled to 11,073. Liver cancer is now the fastest increasing cause of cancer death in the United States.
Why? it is a good question. The tragedy is that liver cancer is often preventable. Approximately 71 percent of liver cancer diagnoses in the U.S. can be attributable to preventable risk factors. Some of these deaths are also caused by malpractice. You need to diagnose and treat liver cancer quickly to have the best chance of curing it.
Recent findings from the Trial Assigning Individualized Options for Treatment (Rx), also known as the TAILORx trial, show that chemotherapy is not beneficial to the most commonly found form of breast cancer.
Sponsored by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), researchers found that chemotherapy does not benefit 70 percent of women with estrogen receptor-positive, HER2-negative, axillary lymph node-negative breast cancer. Hormone therapy combined with chemotherapy is not more beneficial than treating breast cancer with hormone therapy alone. Researchers released this data at the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s annual meeting this year in Chicago.
The Washington Post wrote an article Monday underscoring fact that is well-known to lawyers handling malpractice cases in Maryland: doctors struggle to accurately read tests that determine medical conditions. Unfortunately for patients, this can have serious long-term consequences.
Most of these errors do not lead to malpractice cases because they show false positives. Sometimes these are malpractice cases because the unnecessary test is the harm — we tried that very case in Baltimore County last year and our client received a $1.45 million verdict.
Below are a few examples that I think really highlight the consequences of this problem. Each of these following examples and studies highlights the need for us to find a path to help doctors to improve their ability to assess tests more accurately.
The state of New York agreed on Friday to settle a lawsuit filed by former heavyweight boxer Magomed Abdusalamov for $22 million. It is thought to be the largest amount ever paid by the state of New York in a settlement.
Abdusalamov, now 33, fought at Madson Square Garden. He lost the fight but was not knocked out. He was evaluated by a New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC) doctor after the fight. Instead of sending him to the hospital after showing symptoms consistent with an acute blood clot in his brain, they released him. He took a cab later to the hospital himself. The ER doctors immediately diagnosed his blood clot, and he had immediate surgery.
A doctor’s failure to properly handle uterine rupture symptoms during childbirth can lead to the death of the child, and injury or death to the mother. This article discusses these cases and addresses:
A new report suggests that a number of serious and potentially life-threatening complications from robotic surgery may be avoidable with the use of a safety checklist, before and during an operation. Sounds simple, but true.
A study published this week in Patient Safety in Surgery, researchers from the Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine found a decrease in problems stemming from robotic surgery when checklists were used during lengthy procedures, a time of “time out” before and during the surgery.
Including things such as checking pressure points to prevent nerve damage, checking for corneal abrasions, and checking patient positioning, doctors have found a decrease in the number of complications with the robotic surgery.
Now we know that checklists help doctors. This is not exactly breaking new ground. The Checklist Manifesto, a great book, showed us the stunning studies that show just how often patients are better served when doctors override their judgment in favor of an old school checklist. But it appears that with da Vinci surgeries, the need for a checklist is particularly acute.
The 6th Circuit on Monday affirmed summary judgment in a bizarre lawsuit against a Michigan medical examiner accused of improperly disposing of the plaintiff’s mother’s body.
Technically, a medical malpractice claim, this case was anything but. The decedent was a 88-year-old woman who hit her head in a nursing home and died two weeks later in the hospital. After her death, the medical examiner performed an autopsy in an effort to determine when the head injury caused the woman’s death. The doctor returned the body but kept the brain for further study. When the family learned that the brain had been kept and then disposed of, she filed a lawsuit.
The District Court certified a question to the Michigan Supreme Court on the issue of a next-of-kin’s property interest in a decedent’s organs following an autopsy. The Michigan high court shot down the plaintiff’s claim, finding that a decedent’s next of kin does not have a right under Michigan law to possess the brain in order to properly bury or cremate the same after the brain is no longer needed for forensic examination. So when the case came back, the trial court granted summary judgment.
A medical malpractice lawsuit on behalf of a Florida veteran will begin this week against the Miami Veterans’ Administration hospital. In the lawsuit, the plaintiff claims he contracted hepatitis C from an unclean medical device used in a 2007 colonoscopy. This may be the bellwether trial on this issue: there are a dozen similar lawsuits that have been filed in Florida and more have been filed in Tennessee. (Certainly, Tennessee – even with their new malpractice restrictions – is a more hospitable place than Florida for medical malpractice lawsuits.)