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Communication Failures In Medical Malpractice Cases February 5th, 2016

162017_132140396847214_292624_nA recent report regarding communication failures that contribute to medical malpractice claims found that a communication failure was a factor in 7,149 (30%) of the 23,685 medical malpractice cases filed in the United States from 2009 to 2013, representing $1.7 billion in incurred losses.

Of the 7,149 cases of medical malpractice where communication failure was a factor, 27% were surgery claims, 13% were general medicine claims, 9% were nursing claims, and 5% were obstetrical claims.

The locations where medical malpractice communication failures occurred were in emergency departments (8%), in ambulatory settings (48%), and in inpatient settings (44%). The severity of patient harm due to communication failure ranged from low (12%), to medium (44%), to high, including death (44%).

Communication failures leading to medical malpractice claims involved provider-to-provider communication failures (57%) and provider-to-patient communication failures (55%), with an overlap in failures in 12% of the medical malpractice cases. Provider-to-provider cases represented 73% of the incurred losses; provider-to-patient cases represented 43% of the incurred losses; and, the overlap represented 16% of the incurred losses.

For the provider-to-provider communication failures leading to medical malpractice claims, miscommunication regarding the patient’s condition represented 26% of the medical malpractice claims, poor documentation represented 12% of the medical malpractice claims, and failure to read the medical record represented 7% of the medical malpractice claims.

For the provider-to-patient communication failures leading to medical malpractice claims, miscommunication regarding informed consent represented 13% of the medical malpractice claims, unsympathetic response to patient complaint represented 11% of the medical malpractice claims, inadequate education regarding medication represented 5% of the medical malpractice claims, incomplete follow-up communication represented 4% of the medical malpractice claims, no or wrong results given to the patient represented 4% of the medical malpractice claims, and miscommunication due to language barrier represented 4% of the medical malpractice claims.

38% of all general medicine cases involved a communication error; 34% of all obstetric cases involved a communication error; 32% of all nursing cases involved a communication error; and, 26% of all surgery cases involved a communication error.

Nearly 40% of medical malpractice cases involving a primary care physician cite some form of miscommunication.

Medical malpractice cases involving a communication failure were closed with an indemnity payment more frequently than other cases, with payments above the overall average.

Medical malpractice cases involving communication failures between providers are more likely to result in an indemnity payment than medical malpractice cases involving communication failures between providers and patients.

The report cites the following statistics from outside sources: an estimated 80% of serious medical errors involve miscommunication between caregivers during the transfer of patients (Joint Commission Center for Transforming Health Care); physicians interrupt patients between 8 and 16 seconds after they begin speaking (Family Medicine); emergency physicians are interrupted about 10 to 12 times per hour, more often than any other medical professional (Annals of Internal Medicine); 73% of patients have expressed concern regarding the potential for medical errors (Wolters Kluwer Health Survey 2012); and, the average 500-bed hospital in the United States loses $4 million per year specifically as a result of communication inefficiencies (Journal of Healthcare Management).

Source

If you or a loved one suffered serious injury or other substantial harm that may be due to miscommunication, an erroneous communication, or the lack of communication involving your medical care or treatment in the United States, you should promptly find a medical malpractice lawyer in your U.S. state who may investigate your possible medical negligence claim for you and represent you or your loved one in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.

Visit our website to submit a short, secure form, or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959, to find medical malpractice attorneys who may assist you.

Turn to us when you don’t know where to turn.

$6.9M South Carolina Medical Malpractice Verdict For Misread Mammogram February 4th, 2016

162017_132140396847214_292624_nA South Carolina medical malpractice jury has awarded $6.2 million to a woman whose suspicious mammogram was read as normal and who was later diagnosed with advanced breast cancer. The jury also awarded the woman’s husband $700,000 for his loss of consortium claim.

The South Carolina medical malpractice plaintiffs have two school-aged children who will grow up without their mother due to the negligence of the defendant radiologist who failed to suggest that an abnormality on their mother’s breast x-ray should have been further investigated, which would have led to a much earlier diagnosis of her breast cancer.

The 47-year-old woman had a mammogram performed in South Carolina in 2008 for which the standard of care required the defendant radiologist to recommend immediate further diagnostic investigation, according to the South Carolina woman’s medical malpractice claim. The defendants, a South Carolina radiologist who read the woman’s mammogram and his medical practice, denied that they were medically negligently or responsible for the late-diagnosis of the woman’s breast cancer, and they further contended that they complied with the applicable standard of care.

The plaintiffs alleged in their South Carolina medical malpractice lawsuit that had the defendant radiologist timely diagnosed the woman’s breast cancer, she would have had an 80% to 100% probability of a cure. However, because her breast cancer was not diagnosed until 2010, her breast cancer will be fatal and her anticipated life expectancy is only another two to three years.

After the South Carolina medical malpractice jury rendered its verdict in favor of the plaintiffs in a very conservative South Carolina jurisdiction, the plaintiffs’ medical malpractice lawyer stated, “This case was not popular, especially in Charleston. But when people won’t accept responsibility, you go to the court system. Twelve jurors understood that.”

Source

According to the American Cancer Society, screening mammograms do not find about 1 in 5 breast cancers. So-called false negative mammograms (where the mammogram does not indicate cancer but cancer exists in the breast) occur most often among women who have dense breasts and more often in younger women than older women (breast tissue can become less dense as women age).

A false-positive mammogram is where the mammogram looks abnormal but there is no cancer present. About one-half of women who have annual mammograms over a ten-year period will have a false-positive finding. Women who are younger, have dense breasts, have had breast biopsies, have a family history of breast cancer, or are taking estrogen are more likely to have false-positive mammograms. The odds of having a false-positive mammogram result are highest for the first mammogram and are lower for subsequent mammograms.

Source

If you or a family member may have been harmed due to a misread mammogram in South Carolina or in another U.S. state, you should promptly seek the advice of a local medical malpractice lawyer in South Carolina or in your U.S. state who may investigate your medical malpractice claim for you and represent you in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.

Click here to visit our website to be connected with medical malpractice lawyers in your state who may assist you, or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959.

Turn to us when you don’t know where to turn.

Indiana Appellate Court Affirms Summary Judgment For Medical Malpractice Plaintiffs February 3rd, 2016

162017_132140396847214_292624_nIn its opinion filed on February 1, 2016, the Court of Appeals of Indiana (“Appellate Court”) affirmed the trial court’s granting summary judgment in favor of the Indiana medical malpractice plaintiffs, while also affirming the trial court’s denial of the medical malpractice defendants’ motion to supplement their affidavits filed in opposition to the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment, finding that the defendants’ own affidavits failed to raise a genuine issue of material fact sufficient to defeat summary judgment because the affidavits did not explain the standard of care and include facts showing how the defendants met that standard.

The Indiana medical malpractice plaintiffs are husband and wife. The defendant doctors had treated the female plaintiff for an eye condition in March 2010 that the plaintiffs alleged was negligent care and resulted in the female plaintiff suffering a permanent injury to the cornea of her left eye that required a corneal transplant.

The Indiana medical malpractice plaintiffs had submitted their Indiana medical malpractice claim for review by a medical review panel, as required by Indiana medical malpractice law, which unanimously found that the defendant doctors had failed to comply with the appropriate standard of care and that their conduct was a factor of the resultant damages to the female plaintiff. The plaintiffs then filed a medical malpractice complaint in court followed by their motion for summary judgment against the defendant doctors, designating as evidence the opinion of the medical review panel. In their response to the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment, the defendant doctors designated as expert evidence only their own conclusory affidavits, according to the Appellate Court’s opinion.

A day before the hearing on the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment, the defendant doctors filed a motion for leave to supplement their response to the summary judgment motion, designating only their own supplemental affidavits in which they supplemented their original affidavits with facts to support their conclusions. After the motion hearing, the trial court issued an order summarily denying the defendant doctors’ motion for leave to supplement their response and granting the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment, finding that the defendant doctors’ affidavits were “insufficient to raise or create specific facts that establish a material issue of fact for trial[.]”

The Appellate Court affirmed, stating that the defendant doctors cited no facts in their affidavits that would support that they met the standard of care or that their conduct did not cause the plaintiffs’ damages but merely restated their denials in their pleadings. The Appellate Court therefore found that the trial court did not err in finding that the defendant doctors’ affidavits do not raise a genuine issue of material fact precluding summary judgment.

With regard to the defendant doctors’ attempt to file supplemental affidavits eighty-one days after the plaintiffs’ reply to the defendant doctors’ response to the summary judgment motion, which was the day before the hearing on the plaintiffs’ motion, the Appellate Court held that the trial court’s denial was not against the logic and effect of the facts and circumstances before it.

In a footnote to its opinion, the Appellate Court stated, “We leave for another day the issue of whether a defendant doctor’s own affidavit standing alone is sufficient to defeat summary judgment.”

Source Scripture, M.D., et al. v. Roberts, Opinion 49A02-1504-CT-211.

If you or a family member may be the victim of medical negligence committed by a physician in Indiana or elsewhere in the United States, you should promptly find an Indiana medical malpractice lawyer or a medical malpractice lawyer in your state who may investigate your medical malpractice claim for you and represent you in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.

Click here to visit our website to complete and submit a secure form to be connected with medical malpractice lawyers in Indiana or in your U.S. state who may assist you with your medical malpractice claim, or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959.

Turn to us when you don’t know where to turn.

Methodology Of Recent Medical Malpractice Study Questioned February 2nd, 2016

162017_132140396847214_292624_nWe discussed in our January 28, 2016 blog posting that a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine on January 28, 2016 reported that 1% of physicians were responsible for 32% of the paid medical malpractice claims in the United States over the ten-year period that was analyzed by the researchers. The study reviewed data reported to the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) from 2005 through 2014. The researchers analyzed 66,426 medical malpractice paid claims that involved 54,099 physicians in the United States. The researchers then calculated concentrations of medical malpractice claims among physicians.

Both physicians and medical malpractice insurers are challenging the study’s methodology, including the President of the American Medical Association who stated, “Once again a study of medical liability claims has based unreliable conclusions on information obtained from the inherently flawed National Practitioner Data Bank,” further noting that most reports to the NPDB are based on medical malpractice settlements where the liability of the defendant physicians had not been established as a result of a court proceeding and further noting that the defendant physicians often deny that they committed medical malpractice or that the claimants’ alleged harm was caused by medical negligence: “Settlement information offers an incomplete and often misleading indicator of physician quality and competence. The nation’s best physicians who practice cutting-edge medicine and take on the riskiest cases are involved in settlements, yet the [NPDB] information does not acknowledge their high-level of competence.”

Nonetheless, the lead author of the study stands by the study’s methodology: “the data bank is the most authoritative repository of information that we have on medical malpractice claims nationwide. We don’t have an ability to look across the country at what’s happening with medical malpractice claims in any more comprehensive way than the [data bank]. Is it a perfect source of data? No. It has some limitations … That wasn’t an issue with the data we examined. The information was very complete. I don’t doubt that the GAO report was correct, but it looks like over the last 15 years there must have been some improvements to the quality of the data bank.” (The GAO reported in November 2000 that “Although the National Practitioner Data Bank is presently the nation’s only central source of medical malpractice payment information, it is unclear whether all relevant data are being properly reported. GAO’s review suggests that information in that data bank may not be as accurate, complete, or as timely as it should be.” The GAO’s report is entitled, National Practitioner Data Bank Major Improvements Are Needed to Enhance Data Bank’s Reliability”).

Source

Whether or not your medical provider has a past history of one or more paid medical malpractice claims against him/her, if you or a loved one may have been harmed due to medical negligence in the United States, you should promptly find a medical malpractice lawyer in your state who may investigate your medical malpractice claim for you and represent you in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.

Click here to visit our website or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959 to be connected with medical malpractice attorneys in your state who may assist you.

Turn to us when you don’t know where to turn.

Maryland No–Fault Birth Injury Fund Proposal Filed Again In 2016 February 1st, 2016

162017_132140396847214_292624_nMaryland state legislators have introduced a bill in the Maryland General Assembly (House Bill 377) during the current 2016 Session to establish the so-called Maryland No–Fault Birth Injury Fund (“Fund”), despite unsuccessful legislative attempts in the past to restrict the rights of the most seriously injured babies that resulted from medical malpractice in Maryland.

The elected protectors of the public welfare in Maryland intend to limit to $500,000 the amount that the seriously injured infant or the parents may recover for the benefit of the injured infant, as determined by the Office of Administrative Hearings instead of a jury. Last year’s proposal for the establishment of the Maryland No–Fault Birth Injury Fund limited such damages to $100,000.

Objective analysis of last year’s proposal for establishing a Fund concluded that Maryland can anticipate that a birth injury qualifying for the Fund will occur in roughly 1 out of every 10,000 live births. Therefore, out of Maryland’s total 66,510 births annually, approximately 7 qualifying infants would be born each year.

House Bill 377, which had its first reading in Health and Government Operations and Judiciary on January 28, 2016, states, in part: “It is the intent of the General Assembly to provide fair and equitable compensation, on a no-fault basis, for a limited class of catastrophic injuries that result in unusually high costs for custodial care and rehabilitation, and the plan under subsection (A)(2) of this section shall apply only to birth-related neurological injuries … (B) the rights and remedies under this subtitle exclude and supplant all other rights and remedies of the infant, personal representative of the infant, and parents, dependents, or next of kin of the infant arising out of or related to a birth-related neurological injury to the infant, including claims of emotional distress related to the infant’s injury.”

Do Words Mean What They Say?

The Maryland Declaration of Rights begins with the words, “We, the People of the State of Maryland, grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious liberty, and taking into our serious consideration the best means of establishing a good Constitution in this State for the sure foundation and more permanent security thereof, declare:” … [in Article 20] “That the trial of facts, where they arise, is one of the greatest securities of the lives, liberties and estate of the People”; Article 23 (as amended) states, in part, “The right of trial by Jury of all issues of fact in civil proceedings in the several Courts of Law in this State, where the amount in controversy exceeds the sum of $15,000, shall be inviolably preserved”; and, Article 24 (as amended) states, in part, “That no man ought to be taken or imprisoned or disseized of his freehold, liberties or privileges, or outlawed, or exiled, or, in any manner, destroyed, or deprived of his life, liberty or property, but by the judgment of his peers, or by the Law of the land.”

What’s At Stake? Marylanders’ Constitutionally Protected Rights And The Maryland Jury Trial System.

House Bill 377, if signed into law, would create a Maryland birth injury fund that would preclude Maryland medical malpractice juries from deciding neurological birth injury medical malpractice cases, despite the constitutional requirement that Maryland juries decide “all issues of fact in civil proceedings,” which “is one of the greatest securities of the lives, liberties and estate of the People.” House Bill 377 would also preclude neurologically-injured newborns, and their devastated parents, from being fairly and fully compensated for their losses and harms suffered as a result of medical negligence committed during the birthing process.

The proposed Maryland birth injury fund would be a brutal and drastic continuation of the Maryland Legislature’s recent history of eroding or eliminating the constitutionally-protected rights of innocent medical malpractice victims in Maryland, to have their peers (jurors) impartially decide their medical negligence claims and determine the amount of compensatory damages they are entitled to as fair and adequate compensation for the harms they suffered.

Maryland law already illogically, irrationally, unnecessarily, and many would argue, illegally, caps, limits, and restricts the amount that Maryland medical malpractice victims may receive for their noneconomic injuries in Maryland medical malpractice cases, which disproportionately affects the most seriously injury medical malpractice victims. Maryland legislators apparently are aware that their prior “medical malpractice reform” is a violation of Marylanders’ constitutional right to have jurors decide “all issues of fact in civil proceedings”: current Maryland law explicitly requires that Maryland medical malpractice jurors not be told about the existence of caps on noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases, or the amount of the cap that applies (Md. Courts and Judicial Proceedings Code Ann. § 3-2A-09: “(c) Jury trials; reduction of awards over limit. — (1) In a jury trial, the jury may not be informed of the limitation under subsection (b) of this section. (2) If the jury awards an amount for noneconomic damages that exceeds the limitation established under subsection (b) of this section, the court shall reduce the amount to conform to the limitation.”).

What Should You Do If You May Have A Birth-Injury Medical Malpractice Claim?

If you or a loved one suffered a birth injury in Maryland or in another U.S. state, you should promptly find a Maryland birth injury lawyer, or a birth injury lawyer in your state, who may investigate your birth injury claim for you and represent you in a birth injury case, if appropriate.

Visit our website to submit a short, secure form, or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959, to find birth injury attorneys in your state who may assist you.

Turn to us when you don’t know where to turn.

Nursing Home Negligence: Resident Falls And Then Placed Back In Bed Without Proper Medical Care January 31st, 2016

162017_132140396847214_292624_nIt is too often that we are contacted by the family of a nursing home resident who was seriously injured after falling out of bed or from a wheelchair while in the nursing home, only to be placed back in bed or placed back in a wheelchair, without receiving proper medical evaluation and medical care.

The result of improper care after a resident’s fall in a nursing home is unnecessary pain and suffering for days or week, and many times results in further debilitation, decline, and ultimately death.

The following scenario is common: a nursing home resident, who is a known fall risk, rolls out of bed and falls to the floor or falls from a standing position after a nursing home employee lowered the bed rails and assisted the weakened resident to the edge of the bed or to a standing position during the process of changing the resident’s clothing or changing the resident’s bed sheets.

The nursing home employee’s negligence was then compounded when the CNA or GNA, often assisted by another nursing home employee, simply lifted the resident from the floor and put the resident back in bed, in a chair, or in a wheelchair, without performing or obtaining a proper evaluation for injuries before moving the resident and without seeking appropriate medical treatment for undiagnosed injuries, such as broken bones or a serious head injury.

Some of these nursing home fall victims lay in bed for hours or days, in excruciating pain because their fractured limbs, broken ribs, or serious head injury were not diagnosed or were ignored, sometimes because the victims could not communicate their pain and suffering and at other times because the nursing home turned a blind eye and deaf ear to the resident’s distress.

Days after the resident’s fall, an x-ray may be ordered that finally shows the resident’s fractured hip or a CT scan shows the resident’s bleeding in the brain. It is only then that the resident’s family may be called and told that the resident has been sent to the hospital – the nursing home may fail to tell the family that days earlier, their family member “suffered a fall” and had been confined to bed ever since.

Does this sound like fantasy or fiction? How could a nursing home be so uncaring, callous or abusive to someone who must rely totally on its staff for promised around-the-clock care? Well, ask the Florida family that recently experienced such a tragedy involving their elderly relative.

The Florida Nursing Home Claim

Late last year, the family of an elderly Florida woman who was a resident of a Jacksonville, Florida nursing home sent a letter to the owner of the nursing home, advising it of their intention to sue for the death of their loved one who had fallen from her bed while a CNA was changing her bed sheets after lowering her bed rails (the CNA allegedly lowered the bed rails, placed the resident on her side, then left the resident’s room to obtain clean bed linens, and when the CNA returned to the resident’s room, the resident was found on the floor, lying in a pool of blood).

According to the family’s nursing home claim, the nursing home simply cleaned the blood from the unconscious resident and placed her back in bed, despite observing a large bleeding hematoma over the resident’s right eye and serious bruising on her head and shoulders. The family was not called for three hours after the resident fell; when the resident’s daughter arrived about fifteen minutes after receiving the telephone call from the nursing home advising her of her mother’s fall, she was told that 911 had not been called, according to the family’s complaint.

After an ambulance was called and the resident transported to the hospital, she was diagnosed with a fractured hip that required surgery. She died one month later while in hospice care.

The family alleges that had the nursing home resident been provided timely and appropriate care after her fall, she would have survived her injuries. The family also claims that the nursing home is attempting to cover-up the incident – the tape from a security video camera at the nursing home that shows people entering and exiting the resident’s room at the time of and shortly after the fall allegedly has been destroyed by the nursing home.

Source

If you or a loved one suffered injuries (or worse) while a resident of a nursing home in the United States due to nursing home neglect, nursing home negligence, nursing home abuse, or a nursing home fall, you should promptly contact a local nursing home claim lawyer in your U.S. state who may investigate your possible nursing home claim for you and file a nursing home claim on your behalf, if appropriate.

Click here to visit our website to be connected with medical malpractice lawyers (nursing home claim lawyers) in your U.S. your state who may be able to assist you with your nursing home claim, or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959.

Turn to us when you don’t know where to turn.

Massachusetts Medical Malpractice Tribunal Sides With Surgeon January 30th, 2016

162017_132140396847214_292624_nOn December 7, 2015, a Massachusetts medical malpractice tribunal sided with a Massachusetts surgeon who had been accused of medical negligence in the performance of a laparoscopic cholecystectomy that allegedly led to internal injuries involving the patient’s ducts connected to her gallbladder.

The plaintiff claimed that her surgeon failed to diagnose her internal injuries caused by the negligent performance of the surgery, both during and after the surgery, despite her abnormal blood test results and significant abdominal pain and other symptoms shortly after the surgery.

Section 60B

Under Massachusetts medical malpractice law, “every action for malpractice, error or mistake against a provider of health care shall be heard by a tribunal consisting of a single justice of the superior court, a physician licensed to practice medicine in the commonwealth under the provisions of section two of chapter one hundred and twelve and an attorney authorized to practice law in the commonwealth, at which hearing the plaintiff shall present an offer of proof and said tribunal shall determine if the evidence presented if properly substantiated is sufficient to raise a legitimate question of liability appropriate for judicial inquiry or whether the plaintiff’s case is merely an unfortunate medical result.”

Source

The medical malpractice tribunal that considered the gallbladder surgery malpractice claim determined that there was not sufficient evidence to raise a legitimate question of liability appropriate for judicial inquiry, despite the plaintiff providing an expert’s report stating that the defendant surgeon violated the standard of care by failing to convert the laproscopic procedure to an open procedure, and by failing to recognize the seriousness of the plaintiff’s symptoms following the procedure.

The plaintiff, who is the mother of two, had filed her Massachusetts medical malpractice case on January 12, 2015 against the defendant surgeon and the hospital where the 2013 surgery took place, seeking to recover about $547,000 in economic damages, including $200,000 in hospital-related expenses, compensation for her lost wages (the plaintiff alleged that she has been unable to return to work since the 2013 surgery), and compensation for her subsequent surgeries and numerous radiographic procedures. The plaintiff also alleged that she has been unable to return to her activities of daily living since her original surgery.

Despite the Massachusetts medical malpractice tribunal’s findings, the plaintiff still has the option of filing a Massachusetts medical malpractice claim in court as long as she posts a $6,000 bond (Massachusetts medical malpractice law provides, “If a finding is made for the defendant or defendants in the case the plaintiff may pursue the claim through the usual judicial process only upon filing bond in the amount of six thousand dollars in the aggregate secured by cash or its equivalent with the clerk of the court in which the case is pending, payable to the defendant or defendants in the case for costs assessed, including witness and experts fees and attorneys fees if the plaintiff does not prevail in the final judgment”).

Source

If you or a family member were harmed as a result of medical negligence in Massachusetts, you should promptly find a Massachusetts medical malpractice attorney who may investigate your Massachusetts medical malpractice claim for you and represent you in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.

Visit our website to submit a short, secure form, or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959, to be connected with Massachusetts medical malpractice lawyers, or medical malpractice lawyers in your U.S. state, who may assist you.

Turn to us when you don’t know where to turn.

 

 

$90K Nebraska Medical Malpractice Verdict For Amputated Leg January 29th, 2016

162017_132140396847214_292624_nOn January 14, 2016, a Nebraska medical malpractice jury returned its verdict in the amount of $90,000 in favor of a man who had to have his leg amputated that the jury determined was due to the medical negligence of the defendant vascular surgeon and his medical practice.

The seven-person Nebraska medical malpractice jury determined, however, that the defendant hospital where the plaintiff sought medical treatment after suffering severe leg pain in January 2012, and the defendant emergency room physician, were not negligent in their treatment of the man.

The man had gone to the defendant hospital, complaining of severe lower left leg pain. The defendant vascular surgeon performed a fasciotomy on the man but the man suffered complications from the fasciotomy, resulting in amputation of the plaintiff’s left leg below the knee.

What Is A Fasciotomy?

A fasciotomy is a surgical procedure during which the fascia is cut to relieve tension or pressure to address loss of circulation to an area of muscle or tissue. While the success rate of fasciotomy is high, there may be complications such as loss of mobility, nerve damage, or neurovascular compromise that may ultimately result in the amputation of a limb. A skin graft may be required to close the wound.

Fasciotomy may be used to treat compartment syndrome, which is the increased pressure within a compartment of the body that contains muscles and nerves. Compartment syndrome most often occurs in the limbs and may be acute (such as caused by trauma) or chronic. In acute compartment syndrome, which is a medical emergency requiring timely surgical intervention, the severe high pressure within the compartment results in insufficient blood supplied to the muscles and nerves that, if not timely treated, may lead to permanent damage and loss of function in the affected limb.

In the Nebraska medical malpractice case, the plaintiff claimed that the defendant vascular surgeon failed to perform a complete arterial pulse exam of the plaintiff’s left leg, failed to have the plaintiff transferred to another hospital for immediate treatment, and, in the alternative, failed to call in another vascular surgeon to avoid the delay in the defendant vascular surgeon performing the facsiotomy. The plaintiff also claimed that the defendant vascular surgeon failed to perform an adequate fasciotomy, requiring the defendant vascular surgeon to complete the procedure on the following day.

The Nebraska medical malpractice jury awarded the man $22,500 for his past loss of full mind and body, $22,500 for his future loss of full mind and body, $22,500 for his past pain and suffering, and $22,500 for his future pain and suffering. However, the Nebraska medical malpractice jury returned its verdict in favor of the defendants with regard to the wife’s loss of consortium claim, awarding her no damages.

Source

If you or a family member suffered a serious injury that may be the result of medical negligence in Nebraska, you should promptly find a Nebraska medical malpractice lawyer who may investigate your medical negligence claim for you and represent you in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.

Visit our website to submit a short, secure form, or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959, to find medical malpractice attorneys in Nebraska who may assist you.

Turn to us when you don’t know where to turn.

New Study: 1% Of Physicians Are Responsible for 32% Of Paid Medical Malpractice Claims January 28th, 2016

162017_132140396847214_292624_nA study published in today’s The New England Journal of Medicine reported that 1% of physicians were responsible for 32% of the paid medical malpractice claims in the United States over the ten-year period that was analyzed by the researchers.

The authors’ reason for undertaking their analysis was their belief that if medical malpractice claim-prone physicians account for a substantial share of all medical malpractice claims, then the ability to reliably identify them at an early stage could guide efforts to improve medical care.

The National Practitioner Data Bank (“NPDB”) is an electronic information repository created by the U.S. Congress that contains information on medical malpractice payments and certain adverse actions related to health care practitioners, entities, providers, and suppliers. Federal law specifies the types of actions reported to the NPDB, who submits the reports, and who queries to obtain copies of the reports.

The recent study reviewed data reported to the NPDB from 2005 through 2014. The researchers analyzed 66,426 medical malpractice paid claims that involved 54,099 physicians in the United States. The researchers then calculated concentrations of medical malpractice claims among physicians.

The analysis conducted by the authors of the study resulted in their determination that approximately 1% of all physicians accounted for 32% of the paid medical malpractice claims. They determined that among the physicians who had paid medical malpractice claims during the study period, 84% had only one paid medical malpractice claim during the study period, which accounted for 68% of all paid medical malpractice claims during that period; 16% had at least two paid medical malpractice claims that accounted for 32% of all paid medical malpractice claims; and, 4% had at least three paid medical malpractice claims that accounted for 12% of all paid medical malpractice claims.

The study concluded that the risk of recurrence of a paid medical malpractice claim increased with the number of previous paid medical malpractice claims (the 2,160 physicians who had three medical malpractice claim payouts during the study period had three times the risk of incurring another paid medical malpractice claim – in absolute terms, they had a 24% chance of incurring another paid medical malpractice claim within two years).

The researchers also found that the risk of recurrence of a paid medical malpractice claim varied widely among medical specialties – the risk for neurosurgeons was four times greater than for psychiatrists.

The researchers concluded that over the ten-year period from 2005 through 2014, a small number of physicians with distinctive characteristics accounted for a disproportionately large number of paid medical malpractice claims in the United States.

Source

The fact that there are a small number of physicians in the United States who are responsible for multiple paid medical malpractice claims, and that these repeat offenders are responsible for a disproportionate share of all paid medical malpractice claims in the United States, will be no surprise to many medical malpractice lawyers in the United States, both on the plaintiff’s side, where they sometimes receive calls from multiple patients of the same doctor, claiming they were injured due to medical negligence, and on the defendant’s side, where the medical malpractice defense attorneys sometimes represent the same physicians in multiple medical malpractice claims.

What may be surprising to medical malpractice lawyers is the study’s primary finding: that 1% of U.S. physicians are responsible for 32% of all paid medical malpractice claims in the United States.

What is not subject to debate is that identifying the one-percenters and taking timely and appropriate actions to prevent them from becoming repeat medical negligence offenders in the future are necessary in order to reduce the unnecessary harm that victims of medical malpractice suffer, and the health care community would enjoy substantial monetary savings that could help reduce health care costs in the United States.

If you, a family member, or a loved one may have been harmed due to medical negligence in the United States, you should promptly find a medical malpractice lawyer in your state who may investigate your medical malpractice claim for you and represent you in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.

Click here to visit our website or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959 to be connected with medical malpractice attorneys in your state who may assist you.

Turn to us when you don’t know where to turn.

$570,000 Maryland Medical Malpractice Verdict For Undiagnosed Internal Bleeding Causing Death January 27th, 2016

162017_132140396847214_292624_nEarlier this month, a Maryland medical malpractice jury in what is considered to be a conservative jurisdiction for personal injury claims returned its verdict in favor of the estate of a woman who died due to the failure to timely diagnose her internal bleeding while she was on blood thinners.

The Maryland medical malpractice jury awarded $125,000 for the woman’s conscious pain and suffering, $38,000 for the woman’s medical expenses, $8,900 for her funeral expenses, $127,000 for the loss of household services, $125,000 to her husband for his loss of consortium claim, and $30,000 to each of her five children for their non-economic losses caused by their mother’s unexpected death.

The Alleged Underlying Facts

The woman was experiencing swelling in her left leg that led her to go to a hospital emergency room for diagnosis and treatment. The medical staff at the emergency room diagnosed the woman as having acute deep vein thrombosis along with pulmonary embolism. She was admitted to the hospital, where she was placed on blood thinners. At the time of her discharge from the hospital five days later, she was given prescriptions for two blood thinners that she promptly filled.

One of the prescribed blood thinners required regular monitoring to insure that her blood clotting remained within the therapeutic range. The blood test, called INR (International Normalized Ratio), measures how long it takes for blood to clot – the higher the INR, the longer it will take for blood to clot and the higher the risk of bleeding. Depending on the INR result, the blood thinner medication may be adjusted in order to remain within the optimal range.

The woman had her blood tested within days after her release from the hospital, at which time her INR was lower than the recommended range and her physician therefore increased the dosage of her blood thinner medication. Subsequently, the woman awoke with severe hip and pelvic pain that can be a sign of a hematoma, which is particularly worrisome in a patient on blood thinners whose INR may be too high.

An ambulance transferred the woman back to the hospital, where she was examined by a physician’s assistant and given narcotic pain medication that did not appear to help. In the emergency room, she was unable to walk and she complained that she had spasms in her thigh. Despite her symptoms and her recent medical history, no scans or other medical tests were ordered. She was transferred from the hospital to a nursing home.

The following day, the woman was in her bed in the nursing home when she was having trouble breathing. An ambulance was called and she was returned to the hospital, where she was diagnosed as being in hemorrhagic shock with a large hematoma. An INR test showed that her level was 9.9, which is dangerously high. The woman was given 11 units of packed red blood cells. She remained in the hospital for several days before being transported to a nursing home, where she was found unresponsive the next day. An ambulance was called but she died while being transported to the hospital.

If you suffered serious harm that may be due to medical malpractice in Maryland, you should promptly find a Maryland medical malpractice lawyer who may investigate your medical negligence claim for you and represent you in a Maryland medical malpractice case, if appropriate.

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