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Oregon Nursing Home Resident Left On Toilet 45 Minutes, Fractures Pelvis March 4th, 2015

162017_132140396847214_292624_nAn Oregon man, who was seriously injured on his first day in an Oregon nursing home due to the alleged lack of care and assistance, has filed a $4 million nursing home negligence lawsuit against the Oregon nursing home to be compensated for his medical expenses, pain and suffering, and loss of mobility and dignity due to the nursing home’s neglect.

The man had undergone surgery on his back (lumbar fusion) on January 30, 2013 and had checked himself into the nursing home at the time he was discharged from the hospital so that he could receive necessary help with his activities of daily living and rehabilitative services (he was instructed by his surgeon to not walk while he was recuperating). The man’s nursing home negligence lawsuit alleges that on the day he was admitted to the defendant nursing home, he was left in his bed for more than three hours, while in extreme pain, without being given his pain medication and without being provided assistance to use the bathroom, despite repeatedly pushing the button by his bedside that he was told to use to request help from the nursing home staff.

Because he was not provided with a bed pan and he did not want to suffer the indignity of soiling himself in bed, he painfully made his way to his bathroom, where he sat on the toilet for 45 minutes as he repeatedly sought assistance to make it back to his bed. He ended up fracturing his pelvis when he tried to help himself, after which he waited another five to ten minutes for the nursing home staff to help him.

The man was transported to the emergency room for treatment of his pelvic fracture. He was later transported to another nursing home owned by the same defendant for-profit nursing homes owner, where he alleges he suffered for 17 days without being given his pain medication. The man’s lawsuit alleges that the defendant was grossly negligent, citing its awareness of widespread care deficiencies at its nursing homes but its failure to correct the problems.

The man, who is over 65, alleges that he now spends about 80% of his time in bed due to the injuries he suffered as a result of the defendant’s wrongdoing, and that he would have been able to walk following his lumbar fusion surgery had he not been the victim of nursing home neglect.

Source

If you or a loved one suffered injury (or worse) while a resident of an Oregon nursing home, or while a resident of a nursing home in another U.S. state, you should promptly find an Oregon nursing home claim lawyer, or a nursing home claim lawyer in your state, who may investigate your nursing home claim for you and represent you in a nursing negligence, nursing home abuse, or nursing home neglect claim, if appropriate.

Visit our website to submit a short, secure form, or telephone us on our toll-free line in the United States (800-295-3959), to be connected with nursing home attorneys in your state who may assist you.

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Maryland Birth Injury Medical Malpractice Case Filed In Federal Court March 3rd, 2015

162017_132140396847214_292624_nThe mother and father of a newborn who was fatally injured due to alleged medical negligence during birth involving the negligent acts and omissions of a federally-supported health care clinic and a Public Health Service physician have filed a medical malpractice case in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland under the provisions of the Federal Tort Claims Act, alleging that the failure to timely provide the appropriate medical care during birth caused their baby to suffer severe and fatal injuries.

On January 23, 2013, when the plaintiff was 27-weeks pregnant, she went to the Labor and Delivery Department of Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury, Maryland (which is on the Eastern Shore of Maryland), with complaints consistent with placental abruption (severe vaginal bleeding, rupture of the amniotic sac, and poor variability on fetal heart monitoring tracings), which is an obstetrical emergency that requires an immediate Cesarean section delivery. Nonetheless, the plaintiffs’ daughter was not delivered for more than three and a half hours. The delay in delivery allegedly resulted in the baby suffering severe and prolonged hypoxia and led to the baby’s death shortly after her birth.

The plaintiffs’ federal medical malpractice lawsuit alleges that the attending physician failed to recognize and respond to the obstetrical emergency situation, failed to consult with neonatal specialists, and failed to order and arrange for an immediate, emergency Cesarean delivery. The parents allege in their federal medical malpractice lawsuit that had the physician complied with the applicable standards of care in caring for the pregnant woman and her baby, the baby would not have suffered her catastrophic and fatal injuries. The plaintiffs are seeking compensatory damages in excess of $1 million.

Source

Why Was This Maryland Medical Malpractice Case Filed In Federal Court?

Most medical malpractice claims in the United States are subject to the laws of the state in which the medical negligence occurred. However, if the allegedly negligent medical provider was an employee of the Public Health Service (or certain other federally-related entities), a medical malpractice lawsuit must be filed in federal court and the properly named defendant is the United States.

One of the allegedly negligent medical providers involved with the care of the Maryland woman states on its website, “Three Lower Counties Community Services is a Health Center Program grantee under 42 I.S.C. 254b, and a deemed Public Health Service employee under 42 U.S.C. 233 (g)-(n).” Source

Title 42 U.S.C. Section 233 provides that medical malpractice claims arising out of the medical negligence of Public Health Service employees must be filed against the United States exclusively: “The remedy against the United States provided by sections 1346(b) and 2672 of title 28, or by alternative benefits provided by the United States where the availability of such benefits precludes a remedy under section 1346(b) of title 28, for damage for personal injury, including death, resulting from the performance of medical, surgical, dental, or related functions, including the conduct of clinical studies or investigation, by any commissioned officer or employee of the Public Health Service while acting within the scope of his office or employment, shall be exclusive of any other civil action or proceeding by reason of the same subject-matter against the officer or employee (or his estate) whose act or omission gave rise to the claim.” Source

If you or a family member were seriously injured (or worse) due to medical malpractice in Maryland, you should promptly find a medical malpractice lawyer in Maryland who may investigate your Maryland medical malpractice claim for you and represent you in a Maryland medical malpractice case, if appropriate.

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

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California Appellate Court Upholds Plaintiff’s Verdict In Breast Cancer Misdiagnosis Case March 2nd, 2015

162017_132140396847214_292624_nIn its decision rendered on January 29, 2015, the Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, District One, State of California, upheld a verdict in favor of the medical malpractice plaintiffs in a case involving the misdiagnosis of breast cancer in a woman who had an extensive family history of breast cancer and who had found a lump in her breast that she was told was a cyst and not cancer following an ultrasound. The medical malpractice claim alleged that a surgeon specializing in breast cancer negligently failed to timely diagnose the woman’s breast cancer in 2007, at which time her medical experts testified that she had a greater than 50% chance of surviving more than 10 years.

The Underlying Facts

During the summer of 2007, the woman’s husband found a lump within his wife’s left breast that was the size of a pencil eraser – the lump was firm and it did not move. Because of her extensive family history of breast cancer, the woman made an appointment with a family practice physician as quickly as she could. The physician palpated a two-centimeter hard lump and ordered a mammogram and ultrasound, which were reassuring (on the mammogram, the radiologist found no significant masses suspicious for cancer, but stated “the breast [was] extremely dense, which could obscure a lesion on mammography;” on the ultrasound, the radiologist noted “a collection of small simple cysts” in the area of the clinically palpable mass).

The woman was referred to a surgeon specializing in breast cancer who reviewed the mammogram and ultrasound results, examined the area, and concluded that the woman had simple cysts, which was consistent with the ultrasound report. The surgeon advised the woman that she did not have breast cancer but offered the option of aspirating the cyst, although she was fairly sure it was just a cyst and advised the woman to cut back on caffeine. The surgeon did not order an MRI or other follow-up testing.

About a year and a half later, the woman experienced back pain and flu-like symptoms that did not go away, and her breast changed in appearance (by January 2009, her breast was fuller and the nipple was flat and appeared tacked down). She underwent an MRI of the spine, a mammogram, an ultrasound, and had a tissue biopsy, and was referred back to the breast surgeon.

The woman was diagnosed with breast cancer in May 2009 and was told that the cancer could not be cured at that point because she had it for some time. Despite initially responding well to treatment (her breast swelling resolved, her back pain resolved, and her energy returned), she succumbed to her cancer on December 8, 2010.

The woman’s husband filed a medical malpractice case on behalf of his minor children and himself, alleging that the breast cancer surgeon breached the standard of care by failing to biopsy the area in the left breast for which his wife was referred and by failing to order an MRI to detect breast cancer and to follow-up with a biopsy of the area in August 2007. The plaintiffs alleged that had those actions been taken in August 2007, to a reasonable degree of probability, a biopsy would have shown breast cancer.

The Defendant alleged both at trial and on appeal that the plaintiffs’ expert’s opinion lacked adequate foundation to establish the failure to timely diagnose the woman’s cancer caused her death. The Appellate Court noted that the plaintiff’s expert’s opinion was not based on speculation and it was not derived from the woman’s family history alone: the expert had testified based on his experience as well as the woman’s history that the woman had the most common type of breast cancer, which was the most amenable to treatment, and, noting that the woman responded to treatment initially, it was his opinion that the woman would have obtained a better result if she had been treated two years earlier when the tumor burden was less, and even though it was more likely than not the disease had metastasized by August 2007, if the woman had distant metastasis in 2007 (stage 4), she could have lived another five to 10 years or more with treatment.

The Appellate Court stated, “[u]nder these circumstances, we cannot conclude the trial court abused its discretion in admitting [the] expert testimony on the issue of causation or that the court erred in denying the motions for nonsuit and new trial.” The Appellate Court also turned away the Defendant’s challenges to the jury instructions that were given by the trial judge. The Appellate Court therefore affirmed the verdict in favor of the medical malpractice plaintiffs.

Source Patrick Uriell, Individually and as Trustee, etc. et al. v. The Regents of the University of California, D064098.

If you or a loved one were injured due to medical negligence in California, you should promptly find a California medical malpractice lawyer who may investigate your California medical malpractice claim for you and represent you in a California medical malpractice case, if appropriate.

Visit our website or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959 to find medical malpractice attorneys in California or in your state who may assist you.

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Maryland Nursing Homes Suffer Ratings Losses March 1st, 2015

162017_132140396847214_292624_nTwenty-two Maryland nursing homes lost their five-star ratings when Medicare recently revised its method of determining nursing home ratings nationwide, effective as of February 20, 2015. The federal website known as Nursing Home Compare provides rating information on nursing homes in all U.S. states, based on a rating from one to five stars. A five-star rating is the highest rating that a nursing home can achieve.

There are 228 nursing homes in the State of Maryland. Before the February 20, 2015 change, 81 of those Maryland nursing homes had a five-star rating on the Nursing Home Compare website. After February 20th, only 59 Maryland nursing homes were rated five stars. The change also resulted in the number of Maryland nursing homes with a one-star rating rising from 12 to 27.

The change in the nursing home rating methodology involved taking into account a nursing home’s use of anti-psychotic medications for residents, changes in the calculation of nursing home staffing levels, and changes in evaluating certain quality measures. The changes were made in order to insure a more realistic consideration of real-world nursing home quality care data. The nursing home rating changes resulted in approximately two-thirds of U.S. nursing homes losing one or more stars in their quality rating, and about one-third of the nursing homes suffering losses of one or more stars in their overall ranking.

Despite the recent changes, critics of the federal nursing home ratings continue to stress that much of the data used to determine nursing home ratings are provided by the nursing homes themselves, without independent verification, resulting in many nursing homes being rated higher than they would otherwise be rated if the data used for ratings had been objectively obtained, evaluated, and verified.

Maryland Nursing Homes Ratings: Before And After

Maryland nursing homes that rated five stars fell from 81 to 59.

Maryland nursing homes that rated four stars fell from 54 to 51.

Maryland nursing homes that rated three stars increased from 37 to 45.

Maryland nursing homes that rated one star increased from 12 to 27.

Source

Nursing homes in Maryland and throughout the United States promise residents and their families that they will have a sufficient number of qualified and trained staff to take care of residents’ needs at all times. Residents of nursing homes are some of the most vulnerable people in our communities: most nursing home residents are elderly and must rely on nursing home staff to take care of their daily needs in a timely and proper fashion, and to provide appropriate medical care if and when necessary. They also rely on nursing home staff to keep them safe from falls, from developing bedsores, and from suffering injuries due to nursing home abuse, nursing home neglect, and/or nursing home negligence.

Unfortunately, many nursing home residents who suffer unnecessary harms do not have family members who are able to visit them often enough to make sure that their needs are being met and that their well-being is being properly addressed, including acting as their advocates when they are not receiving necessary care and services at the appropriate times. Many nursing home residents who have suffered, or who are suffering, nursing home abuse, nursing home neglect, and/or nursing home negligence are either unable to communicate their dire situations to those who may be able to assist them or they remain silently tormented by their abusers because they fear further or more severe neglect or abuse if they speak out as to their plight.

If you or a loved one suffered injuries (or worse) due to nursing home abuse, nursing home neglect, and/or nursing home negligence in Maryland or in another U.S. state, you should promptly find a Maryland nursing home claim lawyer, or a nursing home claim lawyer in your state, who may investigate your nursing home claim for you and represent you or your loved one in a nursing home claim, 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 Maryland nursing home attorneys, or nursing home attorneys in your state, who may assist you.

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New CDC Study Finds C. Difficile Infections May Be Acquired From Doctors’ Offices February 28th, 2015

162017_132140396847214_292624_nClostridium difficile (C. difficile or C. diff) is a serious infectious disease that causes inflammation of the colon that leads to deadly diarrhea. There are nearly 500,000 C. diff infections in the United States every year (more than 100,000 of these infections developed among residents of U.S. nursing homes; more than 80% of C. diff deaths in the United States are among those 65 and older).

More than 150,000 of the nearly 500,000 C. diff infections were community-associated with no documented inpatient health care exposure, according to a CDC study released on February 25, 2015. The CDC study reported that approximately 29,000 patients died within 30 days of the initial diagnosis of C. diff and estimated that approximately 15,000 of those deaths were directly attributable to C. diff infections.

C. difficile is the most common microbial cause of healthcare-associated infections in U.S. hospitals, and costs up to $4.8 billion each year in excess health care costs for acute care facilities. Another recent study found that a 30% decrease in the use of antibiotics linked to C. difficile infections in hospitals could reduce the infections by more than 25% in hospitalized and recently discharged patients.

Another new study found that 1 out of every 5 patients with a healthcare-associated C. difficile infection experienced a recurrence of the infection, and that 1 out of every 9 patients aged 65 or older with a healthcare-associated C. difficile infection died within 30 days of diagnosis.

A separate recent CDC study found that 82% of patients with community-associated C. difficile infections reported exposure to outpatient health care settings such as doctor’s or dentist’s offices in the 12 weeks before their diagnosis, which the study associates with the overuse of antibiotics (it is estimated that more than 50% of antibiotics are prescribed unnecessarily in outpatient settings for upper respiratory infections caused by viruses, such as coughs and colds). The CDC study stated that its findings underscore the need for improved antibiotic use and infection control in these settings as well (another recent CDC study reported that among patients without a recent hospitalization or nursing home stay, a 10% reduction in the use of all antibiotics in outpatient settings could reduce C. difficile infections by 16%).

Source

C. difficile infections may be acquired due to the failure to establish and/or follow proper infection control protocols and procedures in hospitals, in nursing homes, in doctors’ offices, and in other health care facilities that lead to patients needlessly becoming infected with C. difficile and suffering its consequences.

It may be difficult to identify the source of C. difficile infections that harm patients or to establish that a C. difficile infection was acquired by a patient due to medical negligence or other negligent conduct. Therefore, it is important that if you or a loved one became infected with C. difficile and suffered serious injury as a result, you should promptly consult with a local medical malpractice lawyer in your U.S. state who may investigate your C. diff claim for you and represent you in a claim involving C. difficile, if appropriate.

Click here to visit our website to submit a short, secure form, or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959, to find C. difficile lawyers in your state who may assist you.

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South Dakota Cap On Medical Malpractice Damages Hurts Victims February 27th, 2015

162017_132140396847214_292624_nBack in 1976, South Dakota imposed a $500,000 cap on noneconomic damages in medical malpractice claims, no matter the amount of the pain and suffering that the victim of South Dakota medical malpractice experienced in the past, or would have to suffer for many years into the future. The cap has not been increased since it was set in 1976; if it had kept up with the rate of inflation, the cap would be in excess of $2 million today.

While the South Dakota medical malpractice cap on noneconomic damages has not kept pace with inflation, the costs of investigating and prosecuting South Dakota medical malpractice has risen dramatically, resulting in South Dakota medical malpractice lawyers severely limiting the medical malpractice cases they can afford to pursue (one South Dakota medical malpractice lawyer has stated that he handles only two or three medical malpractice cases per year despite receiving between 100 and 120 medical malpractice inquiries each year).

One major impact of South Dakota’s $500,000 cap on noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases is that the South Dakotans who are the most seriously and permanently injured by medical negligence are precluded from obtaining full justice due to the law that protects the financial interests of South Dakota medical providers over the rights of South Dakotans harmed by medical negligence.

A Sad Example

On January 4, 2013, an emotionally distraught South Dakota woman, whose fetus had died in utero, went to the local hospital to have her deceased fetus removed from her uterus. When she awoke in the recovery room following the procedure, she immediately knew that something was terribly wrong and that her body was going into shock. The physician who performed the procedure had perforated the woman’s uterus during the procedure but had failed to recognize the injury. A physician who examined the woman in the recovery room also failed to recognize that the woman was bleeding to death.

After a nurse finally realized that the woman was bleeding to death, the woman was brought back to the operating room where her uterus had to be removed to stop the bleeding and save her life. The result was that the woman could not have a baby in the future and she would never realize her dream of having a large family.

The woman tried to find a South Dakota medical malpractice lawyer to handle her medical malpractice claim but was unable to find any lawyer to help her because the cap on noneconomic damages was the hurdle that she could not overcome in her effort to obtain justice — no lawyer would handle her case because the costs and time involved in pursuing her case would not be financially feasible in light of the $500,000 medical malpractice cap (while the cap has not been increased since 1976, the costs of obtaining necessary medical experts to support medical malpractice cases have increased exponentially).

Source

The immovable barrier to obtaining justice that South Dakota’s cap on noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases represents reaches an insurmountable height for those who are harmed the most by medical negligence in South Dakota — those suffering severe brain damage, horrible disfigurement, and intractable pain. Is this fair? Does the cap further the interest of justice? Is the cap righteous?

If you or a loved one were injured due to medical negligence in South Dakota or in another U.S. state, you should promptly attempt to find a South Dakota medical malpractice lawyer, or a medical malpractice lawyer in your state, who may agree to investigate your 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 medical malpractice attorneys who may assist you.

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Surgical Errors February 26th, 2015

162017_132140396847214_292624_nAn analysis of surgical errors in the United States that was reported in the medical journal Patient Safety in Surgery in 2014 found that between 46% and 65% of adverse events that occur in hospitals are related to surgery (especially with regard to complex surgical procedures).

A 2012 study undertaken by researchers at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore analyzed almost 10,000 medical malpractice cases between 1990 and 2010 and estimated that 4,082 medical malpractice claims each year were for “never events” (defined as particularly shocking errors, such as wrong-site surgery, that should never occur), resulting in death in 6.6% of patients, temporary injury in 59.2% of patients, and permanent injury in 32.9% of patients. The total cost of such medical malpractice claims was $1.3 billion.

Statistics Regarding Surgical Errors In The United States

The number of times per week that a surgeon leaves a foreign object in a patient: 39

The number of times per week that a surgeon performs the wrong procedure on a patient: 20

The number of times per week that a surgeon operates on the wrong surgical site: 20

The estimated number of operating room fires each year in the United States: 600

The number of surgical site infections in 2013: 157,000.

Efforts To Reduce Surgical Errors In The United States

The National Surgical Quality Improvement Project (“NSQIP”) is a national effort overseen by the American College of Surgeons to help reduce surgical errors in U.S. hospitals by gathering and analyzing surgical complication data from about 600 U.S. hospitals. It is estimated by NSQIP supporters that if all U.S. hospitals participated in NSQIP, 2.5 million surgical complications would be avoided, 100,000 deaths would be prevented, and the costs savings would be in excess of $25 billion each year.

Ten hospitals in Tennessee that participated in NSQIP between 2009 and 2012 collected data on more than 55,000 surgical procedures performed in those hospitals and analyzed the data regarding rates of 17 types of surgical complications, finding that since 2009, surgical complications have been reduced by almost 20% and at least 533 deaths have been avoided, along with cost savings in the amount of $75.2 million.

A similar effort by the VA to reduce surgical errors led to a 47% reduction in postoperative death rates between 1991 and 2006.

Nonetheless, two studies published in February 2015 found that surgical outcomes in U.S. hospitals have generally improved in recent years whether or not they participated in NSQIP, and an analysis of billing claims data involving NSQIP-participating hospitals and those not participating in NSQIP found no statistically significant differences in surgical complications (including death).

Source

If you or a loved one were injured as a result of a surgical error, surgical mistake, surgical complication, or the negligence of a surgeon in the United States, you should promptly consult with a medical malpractice lawyer in your state who may investigate your surgical claim (medical negligence claim) for you and represent you in a surgical malpractice case, if appropriate.

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

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Intrathecal Pain Pump Malfunction February 25th, 2015

162017_132140396847214_292624_nOn January 9, 2015, a Texas man filed a product liability and negligence lawsuit against the manufacturer of his implanted morphine pump, alleging that the morphine pump was defectively designed, defectively manufactured, and that the placement of the morphine pump was negligent because there was no adequate system to notify the patient that the medication in the morphine pump had run out. As a result, the plaintiff alleges that his morphine pain pump malfunctioned and ran out of medication, thereby causing him to suffer severe withdrawal symptoms.

The plaintiff had a Medtronic intrathecal pain pump implanted to order to receive the proper dosages of morphine distributed over time. On October 16, 2013, the man went to the emergency room after suffering morphine withdrawal symptoms because his morphine pump had malfunctioned and was not delivering morphine as intended. He was admitted to the hospital so that the malfunctioning morphine pump could be removed and replaced with a properly functioning device. The man’s lawsuit seeks damages for physical and mental anguish, loss of earning capacity, and court costs.

Source

How Does An Intrathecal Pain Pump Work?

Intrathecal pain pumps deliver medication directly into the fluid surrounding the spinal cord in the intrathecal space. The device consists of a pump with a reservoir for medication and a catheter surgically implanted under the skin in the abdomen. The catheter is attached to the pump and the other end is implanted in the intrathecal space of the spine where there are pain receptors. The pump is filled with medication by use of a needle during the surgery, and is refilled as necessary. The pump is programmed to deliver a precise amount of medication over a precise period of time. Morphine sulphate and ziconotide are two of the medications commonly approved for use with intrathecal pain pumps.

Delivery of pain medication by an intrathecal pain pump device may offer patients certain advantages over other methods of pain medication delivery: it may provide patients with pain relief when other treatments have not, and it may offer fewer side effects of certain pain medications such as constipation and nausea.

However, sometimes the intrathecal pain pump may malfunction.

By letter dated July 11, 2014 to patients who had received certain implantable drug infusion pumps, Medtronic stated, in part:

“Medtronic is conducting a voluntary removal of specific lots of Ascenda Intrathecal Catheters and Ascenda Revision Kits. Ascenda catheters are used with the implantable Medtronic SynchroMed drug infusion pump. This voluntary removal is being conducted due to a single component of the catheter, the retainer ring, not meeting our specification criteria. Medtronic has not received any complaints due to this issue and is investigating the possibility of unintentional disconnection of the catheter from the pump, or difficulty in disconnecting the catheter from the pump during a revision procedure. Medtronic is conducting this removal to minimize potential patient risk as we work with our component supplier to conclude our investigation.”

Source

If you or a family member had an intrathecal pain pump (drug infusion pump) that malfunctioned or otherwise caused serious injury, you should consult with a local medical malpractice lawyer in your state who may investigate your pain pump claim for you and represent you in a claim involving a pain pump, if appropriate.

Click here to visit our website to complete a short, secure form, or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959, to be connected with pain pump lawyers in your state who may assist you.

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Mohs Surgery Malpractice Claims February 24th, 2015

162017_132140396847214_292624_nMohs surgery (Mohs micrographic surgery) is a skin cancer treatment technique developed by Dr. Frederic Mohs at the University of Wisconsin in the 1930s that differs from other skin cancer treatments by performing the immediate and complete microscopic examination of removed cancerous tissue that is methodically excised so that the entire cancerous tissue can be removed while saving normal tissue. Mohs surgery involves the surgical removal of tissue, tissue analysis, and reconstruction of the surgical site, all in one visit to the surgeon. Mohs surgery has the highest reported cure rate for skin cancer.

Because some skin cancers can be more extensive than they appear, with “roots” in the skin, along blood vessels, or along cartilage, and with some recurring skin cancers sending out extensions deep under scar tissue at the excision site, Mohs surgery is specifically designed to track and remove the cancerous roots. Because Mohs surgery is designed to remove all of the cancer and roots, it is difficult to predict ahead of time how much tissue will have to be removed and how large the skin defect will be after the surgery.

Mohs surgery is most appropriate for skin cancers involving the nose, eyelids, hairline, lips, ears, hands, feet, and genitals where an important consideration is the preservation of the maximum amount of healthy tissue for cosmetic or functional purposes. Mohs surgery is often employed for recurrence of cancer or for cancers that are at high risk for recurrence. Most Mohs surgery cases can be completed in three or fewer stages that take less than four hours, although more stages may be required that take more time (i.e., tissue is removed, the tissue is properly prepared for examination, examined under a microscope, roots of cancer identified and mapped, and if residual cancer is found, additional cancerous tissue is removed, after which the process is repeated until no remaining cancer is found and the surgical defect is repaired).

Mohs surgery is typically performed in the physician’s office and is best performed by physicians properly trained and experienced in performing Mohs micrographic surgery.

Source

In a study published online in the medical journal JAMA Dermatology on February 4, 2015 that investigated medical malpractice claims involving Mohs surgery between 1989 and 2011, the investigators found 42 cases of Mohs medical malpractice claims, of which 26 involved non-Mohs surgeons as the primary defendants. Of those 26 claims, 16 alleged delay in diagnosis or failure to diagnose, 8 involved cosmetic outcome issues, 7 claimed lack of informed consent, and 6 claimed a delay in referral or the failure to refer to a Mohs surgeon. In the 16 medical malpractice claims against Mohs surgeons, 5 alleged the lack of informed consent and 4 involved cosmetic outcome issues. The medical malpractice plaintiff won against the defendant Mohs surgeon in only one case.

The study’s authors concluded, “Closer coordination between non-Mohs surgeons and Mohs surgeons may help minimize risk to both parties and lead to better patient care.”

Source

If you or a family member may have a medical malpractice claim involving Mohs surgery in the United States, you should promptly find a Mohs surgery malpractice lawyer in your state who may investigate your Mohs surgery claim for you and represent you in a Mohs malpractice case, if appropriate.

Visit our website or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959 to find Mohs surgery medical malpractice attorneys who may assist you.

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$1.2M Oklahoma Nursing Home Verdict For Abuse Of Resident Caught On Video February 23rd, 2015

162017_132140396847214_292624_nOn February 13, 2015, a federal jury in Oklahoma found in favor of the plaintiff in a nursing home abuse case and awarded $1.2 million in compensatory damages for emotional distress and an additional $10,000 in punitive damages. The case involved the abuse of a 96-year-old nursing home resident whose abuse by nursing home staff was documented by a surveillance video camera that had been hidden in the resident’s room. The nursing home abuse depicted in the video took place in 2012.

The elderly woman was in her wheelchair at the Oklahoma nursing home in April 2012 when the hidden video camera captured two nursing home aides placing a latex glove in the woman’s mouth, as well as further physical and emotional harm. One of the aides fled the U.S. after the video surfaced, and the other served almost two years in prison before she was deported. As a result of this shocking incident, Oklahoma law was changed to authorize the use of video cameras in the rooms of nursing home residents under specified circumstances (only the third U.S. state to do so).

An advocate for nursing home reform stated after the nursing home abuse verdict was rendered, “In my mind, there’s absolutely no question that these aides had abused other residents before this. This was not the first time that they had ever abused a resident and if it had not been for that camera they would have continued to abuse other residents.”

Source

Oklahoma’s “Protect Our Loved Ones Act”

Oklahoma’s “Protect Our Loved Ones Act” (“Act”) is set forth in Oklahoma Statutes – Title 63 Public Health and Safety, §63-1-1953.1, et seq. The Act states, in part, that a nursing facility shall provide written notice to each resident, or to the representative of a resident, that authorized electronic monitoring of a resident’s room conducted under the provisions of the Act is not compulsory and shall only be conducted with the written consent of the resident or the representative of the resident. A nursing facility shall not refuse to admit an individual to residency in the facility and shall not remove a resident from a facility because of authorized electronic monitoring of a resident’s room.

The Act further provides that a resident or the representative of a resident may conduct authorized electronic monitoring of the resident’s room through the use of authorized electronic monitoring devices placed in the room pursuant to the provisions of the Act at the expense of such person or representative of the resident and with the written consent of any other resident living in the room. A resident who conducts authorized electronic monitoring or the representative of the resident may post and maintain a notice at the entrance to the resident’s room stating that the room is being monitored by an electronic monitoring device. Nothing in the Act shall be construed to prevent a resident or the representative of the resident from placing an electronic monitoring device in the resident’s room at the expense of such person; however, if such resident is sharing a room with any other resident, the resident or the representative of the resident shall obtain written consent from such other resident or the representative of the resident living in the room and such consent shall be on a form prescribed by the State Department of Health and shall be placed on file with the administrator of the facility. If a resident residing in a shared room, or the representative of a resident residing in a shared room, desires to utilize an authorized electronic monitoring device and another resident living in such shared room refuses to consent to the use of an authorized electronic monitoring device, the nursing facility shall accommodate the resident or the representative of the resident desiring to utilize an authorized electronic monitoring device to move to another room if the resident or resident’s representative requests such a room change within a reasonable amount of time.

If you or a loved one were injured (or worse) as a result of nursing home negligence, nursing home abuse, or nursing home neglect in the United States, you should find a nursing home claim lawyer in your state who may investigate your nursing home claim for you and represent you or your loved one in a nursing home negligence case, if appropriate.

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