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Posts Tagged ‘negligent health care provider’

Oregon Medical Malpractice Wrongful Birth Verdict

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

On March 9, 2012, an Oregon medical malpractice jury returned a verdict after a ten-day trial in the amount of almost $3 million in favor of the parents of a Down syndrome daughter that the 12-member jury determined would help cover the extra costs of caring for their daughter that the parents claimed they would have aborted had they been timely and properly advised that their fetus had Down syndrome (89% or more of parents who are advised that their fetus has Down syndrome choose to terminate the pregnancy).

What Happened In This Oregon Medical Malpractice Case?

At about the 13th week of the pregnancy, the expecting parents went to a Portland, Oregon-based medical facility where the woman had a common prenatal test known as CVS (“chorionic villus sampling”) that looks for certain chromosomal abnormalities with the fetus, such as those associated with Down syndrome, which was reported back to them as being normal.

During the following weeks, two ultrasounds indicated abnormalities with the fetus that may be associated with Down syndrome but the woman was told that the baby did not have Down syndrome. The now 4-year-old girl suffers from speech and physical disabilities for which she needs continuing therapy; future medical problems associated with Down syndrome may plague the child for the rest of her life. The child is not expected to be able to live independently or support herself during her lifetime.

The Oregon medical malpractice jury determined that the medical malpractice defendants involved with the CVS test failed to properly communicate with each other, thereby leading to the false negative test result. The medical malpractice jurors did not want to be identified during or after the trial because they feared the backlash from their decision (when the wrongful birth medical malpractice case was first filed, it drew strong and negative international attention to the parents and their claim and the parents received death threats).

Because the nature of wrongful birth claims requires that the parents allege that they would have terminated the pregnancy had they been provided with the timely and required information regarding the fetus’ deformities by their health care providers, people tend to have strong feelings regarding such claims – some question the motives of the parents or whether the parents are unloving, callous, or uncaring (or worse).

However, the economic basis for wrongful birth claims is the additional lifetime costs and expenses of caring for and raising a baby with severe physical and/or mental deformities that the parents would not have had to incur but for the negligence of the medical providers in failing to provide the parents with timely and necessary information regarding the pregnancy and/or the fetus.

Wrongful birth claims first became possible in the United States in 1973, when the United States Supreme Court legalized abortion — before then, wrongful birth claims were unavailable. Wrongful birth claims are not available in a minority of U.S. states and presently there are efforts in Arizona to outlaw them.

Source

In those U.S. states that allow wrongful birth claims, the parents who file such claims seek to recover from the negligent health care providers the extra expenses (that is, those expenses over-and-above the usual costs of raising a healthy child) that are related to the effects of the child’s severe deformities.

If you or your family may have a claim for wrongful birth, a medical malpractice attorney can investigate the possible claim and file a medical malpractice claim on your behalf, if appropriate.

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

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Can Insulin Help Alzheimer Disease Patients?

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

The results of a provocative study published online in the Archives of Neurology on September 12, 2011 found that administering insulin through the nose using a special medical device (transnasal delivery) improved both memory as measured by delayed story recall and functional ability as measured by caregivers, in patients with mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer disease. (The purpose of using transnasal insulin administration is so that more of the insulin reaches the brain rather than the bloodstream.)

Insulin not only plays an important role in regulating blood sugar levels, it also plays an important role in brain function. In the brain, insulin modulates glucose utilization and, in normal metabolism, maintains memory at the optimal levels. When regulation of the insulin in the brain is disrupted, it may contribute to the development and the course of Alzheimer disease.  Insulin may also help to protect against the toxic effects of beta-amyloid, which is the brain protein associated with the plaques that form in the brain that are the hallmark of Alzheimer disease. Insulin also prevents the formation of the toxic form of a biomarker known as tau that is found in the cerebrospinal fluids of Alzheimer disease patients.  Prior studies have found that the level of insulin and the activity of insulin in the brain and the central nervous systems of Alzheimer disease patients are reduced.

The recent study involved 104 adults who had mild cognitive memory impairments (64 of the study participants) or had mild to moderate Alzheimer disease (40 of the study participants). Of the 104 study participants,  30 received a placebo, 36 received 20IU of insulin, and the remaining 38 received 40IU of insulin, for 4 months. The study found that the participants who had received 20IU of insulin by transnasal delivery had improvement in delayed story recall (memory), that the participants who received 40IU of insulin did not show improved delayed story recall, and that the participants who received either 20IU or 40IU of transnasal insulin showed preserved functional ability as measured by their caregivers. (One possible explanation for the finding that 40IU of insulin did not improve delayed story recall may be that the 40IU dose may have exceeded the optimal dose for memory but not for other aspects of cognition or daily function.)

The results of the recent study are exciting for researchers of Alzheimer disease and dementia but caution must be exercised because of the small number of participants and the relatively short period of the study. The authors of the study urge longer studies of  transnasal insulin therapy for patients with mild memory cognitive impairments and patients with Alzheimer disease.

Source

If you or a loved one have been the victim of a health care provider’s negligence that resulted in further injuries or damages, visit our website to be connected with medical malpractice lawyers in your area who may be able to investigate your medical malpractice claim for you, or call us toll free at 800-295-3959.

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Heat-Related Illnesses

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

In light of the oppressive heat wave now blanketing most of the continental United States, with temperatures in many areas in the upper 90s or over 100 degrees, we thought it would be timely to address statistics regarding heat-related visits to the emergency departments of hospitals. Many people who are seen in hospital emergency departments for heat-related issues such as heat exhaustion, overheating, and dehydration were engaged in sports activities or recreational activities at the time of, or shortly before, having symptoms.

Heat-related illness occurs when people cannot regulate their body heat and their bodies are unable to compensate and properly cool themselves. The body normally cools itself by sweating. When sweating is unable to keep pace with the body’s heat, body temperature rises rapidly. High humidity causes sweat to evaporate less quickly and therefore the cooling effect of sweating is less effective on high humidity days. Very high body temperature can lead to brain damage, damage to other vital organs, and ultimately death.

Between 2001 and 2009, there were an estimated 5,946 people treated in hospital emergency departments in the United States for heat-related illnesses suffered during sports or recreational activities (about two emergency department visits per 100,000 population). The highest rates were for males (72.5%) and those between 15 and19 (35.6%). About 7% of the patients were admitted into the hospital for further observation or treatment (8.9% for males; 2.4% for females; 18.8% for those ages 55 and over; and, 4.6% for those under 55). The rate of heat-related illness was highest from July through September (66.4%) — 12.9% during June, 19.8% during July, 33.2% during August, and 13.5% during September.

Which sports and recreational activities are responsible for the most heat-related visits to emergency departments? Football (24.7%) and simple exercises such as jogging and walking (20.4%). For males, football was responsible for the most emergency department visits for those 19 and under. Golf was responsible for the most visits for those 45 and older. For females, baseball and softball resulted in the most emergency department visits for heat-related illnesses for those 14 and younger, track and field for those between 15 and 19, and exercise for those 20 and older.

Symptoms And Prevention Of Heat Illness

Certain people are more susceptible to heat illness than others, including infants and children who must rely on supervisors (adults) to monitor their activities and fluid intake, people aged 65 and older who may be less likely to sense and respond to high heat, overweight people who tend to retain body heat, people who become dehydrated due to work or exercise in high heat environments, people with diseases such as heart disease or high blood pressure, and people who take certain medications. 

Symptoms of heat illnesses include dehydration, nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness, or a change in mental status. Untreated heat illness can be potentially fatal (on average, about 300 people die in the U.S. each year from heat-related illness). Medical attention should be sought at the first signs of heat illness.

Heat illness is preventable. Taking frequent breaks and maintaining regular and adequate fluid consumption, especially on hot and humid days, are recommended. Gradually increasing frequency, duration, and intensity of physical activities during hot months can help acclimate people to the heat. Physical activities should be scheduled for early in the day before the heat builds or during early evening when the sun is not directly overhead. Clothing choices should include light-weight and light-colored clothing that is loose-fitting. Having an exercise partner who can monitor your health and fluid consumption is helpful to identify situations that may otherwise progress to heat illness.

Source: CDC

Heat Stroke

Heat stroke occurs when the body cannot regulate its own temperature, sweating ceases, and the body is unable to cool itself. The body’s temperature will quickly rise to 106 degrees or higher within 10 to 15 minutes. Heat stroke can cause death or permanent injuries if not treated quickly and appropriately by emergency medical personnel. 

If someone shows signs of heat stroke, remove him to a shady or cooler area and cool him as rapidly as possible. Maintain cooling efforts and keep monitoring body temperature until the temperature drops to 101 to 102 degrees. Contact emergency medical help at once. Do NOT give fluids to drink. 

Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heat-related illness. Symptoms may include heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea or vomiting, and fainting. The skin may be cool and moist, pulse rate will be fast and weak, and breathing will be fast and shallow. Treatment includes cooling methods such as cool, nonalcoholic fluids, rest, cool shower or sponge bath, and placing the victim in an air-conditioned room. Untreated, heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke.

Source: CDC

If you are the innocent victim of medical malpractice negligence or medical errors, you may have a valid medical malpractice claim against the negligent health care provider. Visit our website to be connected with medical malpractice attorneys in your area who may be able to assist you with your medical malpractice claim or call us toll free at 800-295-3959. Turn to us when you don’t know where to turn.

North Carolina Decides Its Citizens’ Lives Are Worth Less

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

On July 25, 2011, the North Carolina House of Representatives voted to override Governor Beverly Perdue’s veto of a medical malpractice bill that limits noneconomic damages (pain, suffering, mental anguish, disfigurement) to $500,000.00 in most cases, thereby devaluing the lives of the citizens of North Carolina. The North Carolina Senate voted to override the veto on July 13, 2011. Therefore, the medical malpractice bill is the law of North Carolina.

Source: NCLEG

The new law states, in part:

 § 90-21.19. Liability limit for noneconomic damages.

(a) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (b) of this section, in any medical malpractice action in which the plaintiff is entitled to an award of noneconomic damages, the total amount of noneconomic damages for which judgment is entered against all defendants shall not exceed five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000). Judgment shall not be entered against any defendant for noneconomic damages in excess of five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) for all claims brought by all parties arising out of the same professional services…

(b) Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, there shall be no limit on the amount of noneconomic damages for which judgment may be entered against a defendant if the trier of fact finds both of the following:

(1) The plaintiff suffered disfigurement, loss of use of part of the body, permanent injury or death.

(2) The defendant’s acts or failures, which are the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injuries, were committed in reckless disregard of the rights of others, grossly negligent, fraudulent, intentional or with malice.

The new law also grants new protections to health care providers treating emergency medical conditions by raising the level of proof to “clear and convincing evidence” that victims of medical malpractice must establish to hold them responsible for medical errors.

The new law provides, in part:

§ 90-21.12. Standard of health care.   

(b) In any medical malpractice action arising out of the furnishing or the failure to furnish professional services in the treatment of an emergency medical condition, as the term “emergency medical condition” is defined in 42 U.S.C. 1395dd(e)(1), the claimant must prove a violation of the standards of practice set forth in subsection (a) of this section by clear and convincing evidence.

Source: NCLEG

What Does This Mean For The Citizens Of  North Carolina?

It means that their elected officials have decided that their lives are worth less now than before this medical malpractice bill became law. North Carolinians will be limited in their ability to receive monetary compensation for the egregious consequences of medical malpractice negligence. Those poor souls in North Carolina who will endure life-long and unrelenting pain and physical limitations due solely to the carelessness of their negligent health care providers will receive a mere pittance when measured against their losses. While the innocent victims of  negligent health care providers will be heavily burdened with their emotional distress due to the unexpected restrictions imposed on their quality of life, the medical malpractice wrongdoers will be unjustly rewarded with the knowledge that no matter how much they screw up, the most they will be responsible to compensate for the pain and suffering they cause is $500,000.00 (and their medical malpractice insurance companies will bask in their enjoyment of immensely increased but unjustified profits).

If you live in a state that is debating so-called “medical malpractice reforms,” get involved in the discussions and tell your elected representatives that you value people over profits before your rights and your future are negatively impacted. The belief that a medical error will not affect your life or the life of someone you love is like putting your head in the sand — most victims of medical malpractice never gave it a thought that an unexpected but negligent medical error could cause them so much grief.

If you or a loved one have been affected by medical malpractice, visit our website to be connected with medical malpractice lawyers in your local area who may be able to assist you with your medical malpractice claim.

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

Why Does Your Government Require You To Pay For Someone Else’s Medical Mistakes?

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

Yes, that’s right. Many state governments now require that you pay for the costs of medical malpractice mistakes that happen to other people. Let us explain.

Not long ago it used to be that most states in the United States had laws that made sure that all people remained on a level playing field — everyone was treated equally in the eyes of the law. If someone wrongfully injured you, that person was responsible for the injuries he caused — for example, if a bad driver rear-ended your stopped vehicle and you were injured as a result, the negligent driver (through his insurance company) had to pay you monetary compensation to “make you whole” (in other words, the negligent driver’s insurance company would make a payment to you to compensate you for your medical expenses, your lost wages, and your pain and suffering that resulted from the collision that happened through no fault of your own). Whereas the Bible may have provided for “an eye for an eye,” our civil laws provided for financial compensation for victims of negligent wrongdoing (thankfully, our laws did not provide that the negligent driver would be required to allow the person he injured to drive a vehicle into him and injure him as punishment for his carelessness). Our society valued personal responsibility – people knew and accepted that they would be held fully liable for the injuries that they carelessly caused other people — we didn’t tell injured people, “too bad, use your children’s college fund to pay your doctors and if that’s not enough, move in with your in-laws — I’m not paying!”

So what has happened to personal responsibility in medical malpractice claims?

When doctors began complaining to their respective state representatives that they were paying too much for medical malpractice insurance (notably, they weren’t denying that some of their colleagues were committing medical malpractice that had caused great harm to their patients), the states did not investigate the medical malpractice insurance companies to determine if there was justification why insurance premiums were being raised so much, year-after-year, but they did decide without guidance or input from ordinary citizens that restrictions were necessary on the amounts that innocent victims of medical malpractice could obtain even if the out-of-pocket costs and other injuries and damages far exceeded the “caps” that were placed on monetary recoveries (“caps” are the maximum amount that a careless health care provider is required to pay (usually through his or her medical malpractice insurance company) no matter the extent of harm done). Most people were blissfully oblivious to the great harm that caps would cause because most people believed that they would never be affected by the caps (“I have a good doctor and he would never hurt me.”).

For example, if the cap was limited to $200,000.00 for economic losses such as past and future medical bills and past and future lost wages, then a 21-year-old athlete who became a quadriplegic because a doctor negligently screwed up his neck surgery would receive a maximum of $200,000.00 from the doctor’s medical malpractice insurance company even though his life-time medical bills will exceed many millions of dollars and he will suffer millions of dollars in lost wages during his shortened life.

How does this affect you and why should you care?

Besides the moral and ethical issues involved in limiting a person’s right to be “made whole,” the  caps shift the costs of injuries from the negligent medical care provider (or his insurance company) to the federal government and the states (that is, to us). Because the quadriplegic athlete in our example above cannot afford to pay his millions of dollars in medical bills, Medicaid (state-provided and state-paid medical care) will have to provide the necessary around-the-clock medical care and federal Social Security benefits (paid from the federal taxes we all pay) will also be provided to him. So instead of a medical malpractice insurance company covering the costs of its insured doctor’s medical mistake, we will pay.

How did the medical profession accomplish this shift of the financial burden of medical malpractice mistakes from those medical caregivers who messed up to the rest of us? By convincing their patients that medical malpractice claims were “frivolous lawsuits” and that caps were necessary reforms (that is “tort reform”) to make sure that negligent health care providers were not forced out of the medical profession and into another job where they could not cause catastrophic injuries to innocent victims of their medical mistakes.

If you or a loved one have been injured or killed as a result of medical malpractice, visit our website to be connected with medical malpractice lawyers in your local community who may be able to assist you with your medical malpractice claim. Turn to us when you don’t know where to turn. Our toll free telephone number is 800-295-3959.

Prostate Cancer – Statistics

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

What Is The Prostate?

The prostate is a walnut-sized gland found only in the male reproductive system located between the bladder and the penis, just in front of the rectum. The urethra (the tube that carries the urine from the bladder to outside the body) runs through the center of the prostate. The prostate secretes fluid that nourishes and protects the sperm. 

What Are Some Possible Problems With The Prostate?

Most men will develop some form of non-cancerous prostate enlargement during their lifetime that is known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). In fact, about half of all men in their 50s and about 80% of men in their 80s have some symptoms of BPH. Symptoms of BPH may include dribbling after urination or a need to urinate often, which frequently happens at night. Some other prostate problems include prostatitis (an inflammation of the prostate that is usually caused by a bacterial infection) and prostate cancer.

Prostate Cancer Statistics

Prostate cancer is cancer that forms in the tissues of the prostate which occurs more often in older men. It is estimated that there were 217,730 new cases of prostate cancer and 32,050 prostate cancer deaths in the United States in 2010.

Source: NCI

From 2004 to 2008, the median age at which prostate cancer was diagnosed was 67 (9.1% between 45 and 54; 30.7% between 55 and 64; 35.3% between 65 and 74; 19.9% between 75 and 84; and, 4.4% age 85 and older). From 2003 to 2007, the median age for death from prostate cancer was 80 (1.4% between 45 and 54; 7.5% between 55 and 64; 19.9% between 65 and 74; 40.3% between 75 and 84; and, 30.8% age 85 and older). The death rate was highest for Blacks followed in descending order by Whites, American Indians/Native Alaskans, and Hispanics (the death rate for Blacks was more than two times the death rate for Whites). The overall 5-year survival rate for 2001 to 2007 was 99.4% (99.7% for Whites and 96.2% for Blacks). 

On January 1, 2008, there were about 2,355,464 men alive in the U.S. who had a history of prostate cancer. It is estimated that about 16.22% of men born today will have a diagnosis of prostate cancer sometime in their lifetime (that is, about 1 in 6). About 8.3% of men will develop prostate cancer between the ages of 50 and 70.

Source: NCI

We rely on our health care providers, who hold themselves out as medical experts on whom we can rely for our medical care and treatment, to timely and proper diagnose and treat our various ailments, whether they are relatively minor and transient or they are serious and life-threatening. We rely on our health care providers to refer us to medical specialists when they either do not have the medical expertise necessary to treat us or the specialists have the knowledge, education, and experience to provide the  necessary specialized care we need. We must rely on our health care providers to know when they need to refer us to medical specialists (if we knew ourselves that we needed specialized medical care and treatment we would not need to rely on our usual health care providers to make the referrals for us).

If your health care provider negligently failed to provide you with timely and necessary medical care, or failed to refer you to appropriate medical specialist(s) for diagnosis and treatment of your medical condition, you may have a claim for medical malpractice. Visit our website to be connected with medical malpractice lawyers who may be able to investigate your possible medical malpractice claim and represent you against negligent health care provider(s) if appropriate. You may also call us toll free at 800-295-3959.

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

Lessons Learned From The Casey Anthony Jury Trial

Friday, July 8th, 2011

The jury trial of Casey Anthony involving allegations that she killed her young daughter ended in not guilty findings on the most serious charges just a few days ago. The not guilty findings do not mean that the jury found that Casey Anthony did not kill her daughter, it means that the prosecution did not convince the jury beyond a reasonable doubt that Casey Anthony committed the killing for which she was charged. As the self-promoting media continues to spin the not guilty verdicts in order to continue the ratings frenzy that the media has enjoyed, there are some lessons that can be learned that are relevant to medical malpractice claims and medical malpractice trials.  

It is becoming increasingly clear as more of the jurors relent to media demands for explanations in the Casey Anthony trial that they took their responsibilities as jurors very seriously. They listened carefully to the jury instructions provided by the trial judge and they applied those instructions methodically to the evidence and testimony that they heard during the weeks-long trial. Although much of the testimony and evidence provided to the jury were emotionally charged,  it appears that the jurors were able to separate their emotions from their jury obligations. They analyzed the facts and expert testimony they were provided during the trial with both logic and a commitment that they disregard how their decisions may be viewed by the public whose senses and sensibilities were being constantly molded by the “talking heads” who constantly appeared in all forms of media, including television talk shows that spanned the spectrum from Fox News Network (including repeated references to Casey Anthony as “tot mom”) to CNN, and Internet blogs that ranged from disdain to threats of physical harm for anyone who questioned whether Casey Anthony would be found guilty of murder by the jury.  

Because the nearly-uniform message of the media helped form the nearly-universal public opinion that the Casey Anthony jury would inevitably find her guilty of first-degree murder, the jury’s decision shocked many of the true-believers. The talking-heads, who constantly yelled at anyone who would listen (and there were a lot who listened) their unchallenged knowing that Casey was guilty, guilty, guilty, needed to protect their egos and reputations after the jury made its decisions by condemning not only the not guilty findings but also the jurors themselves. These self-proclaimed media celebrity experts could not accept the fact that 12 independent fellow citizens whose diversity (men, women, and people of different ages and different life experiences) represented the diversity of the community, and who did not “have a horse in this race” by pre-judging the criminal case every day based on that day’s trial testimony, could separate their emotions from their duty to apply the law to the evidence that they were presented.

Many of these same media mouthpieces have found that by attacking medical malpractice claimants, by blindly defending medical malpractice defendants without knowing the particular facts of the particular malpractice claims, and by repeatedly using the phrase “frivolous lawsuits” when mouthing the words “medical malpractice,” they can arouse the emotions of reasonable persons by instilling unreasonable fears that their doctors will leave their medical practices and leave them without a source of medical care if doctors who have been found by a jury to have provided negligent medical care that caused harm to their patients are held fully accountable for the full cost of the injuries and damages they negligently caused. The fear harks back to the days of adolescence when children in the back seats of their parents’ car were threatened at one time or another with being left on the side of the road if they did not stop their unruly behavior (who doesn’t remember arguing with sibling(s) in the back seat during a roadtrip when the driver threatened, ”I’ll pulled this car over if you don’t stop arguing” or ”you’ll regret it if I have to stop this car”?).

The Casey Anthony jury teaches us and confirms for us once again that juries are the lynch-pin of our judicial system and that the jury system works. Arbitrary and capricious restrictions that many states have placed on the jury’s right to hear and decide cases and to award monetary damages based on the evidence and testimony provided to them are the equivalent of parents actually pulling the car over, unloading their raucous children, and pulling the car back onto the highway and pulling away. If parents actually carried through with their threats to leave their children on the side of the road , they would be universally condemned by the media. But where is the media outrage when medical malpractice ”tort reformers” abandon innocent victims of medical malpractice on the side of the road?

Next time someone wants to take away or limit your rights when you’re injured through no fault of your own, speak up before you are left on the side of the road!

If you, a family member, or a friend were injured by the medical malpractice of a negligent health care provider, visit our website to be connected with medical malpractice lawyers in your area who may be able to assist you with your medical malpractice claim or call us toll free 800-295-3959.

Use Of Cancer Drug Avastin For Breast Cancer Patients

Friday, July 1st, 2011

Avastin (Bevacizumab) is a cancer drug approved by the FDA and manufactured by Roche Holding AG to treat colon and rectal cancers that have spread to other parts of the body and is also used in the treatment of certain lung cancers. Avastin works by stopping the formation of blood vessels to the cancerous tumors, which is known as an antiangiogenic agent. Antiangiogenic agents are believed to slow the growth of tumors.

Avastin has been used to treat breast cancer that has spread outside of the breast that has not been treated with other chemotherapy drugs since the FDA approved this use in 2008. In December, 2010, the FDA recommended that approval of Avastin for the treatment of breast cancer be removed because some studies indicated that it was not shown to be safe and effective in the treatment of breast cancer because Avastin was not shown to prolong the overall survival of breast cancer patients or to slow the progression to the extent that it outweighed the potential serious side effects such as severe high blood pressure, heart attack, heart failure, bleeding, and the development of perforations in the nose, stomach, and intestines. 

Source: FDA  

On June 29, 2011, an FDA advisory panel voted unanimously to stop the use of avastin for cancer patients with breast cancer for the reasons espoused in December, 2010. The FDA is not required to follow the recommendations of its advisory panels but usually does. Avastin will remain on the market for its other approved uses for cancer patients but if the FDA follows its advisory panel’s recommendation, many insurance companies probably will not pay for its use in the treatment of breast cancer that can cost as much as $100,000.00 per year.

The FDA advisory panel’s decision is not without controversy inasmuch as many experts and many breast cancer patients disagree with the decision.

If a negligent health care provider was the cause of your or a loved one’s cancer misdiagnosis or late diagnosis, there may be a claim for medical malpractice if the medical negligence caused or contributed to further injuries, pain and suffering, additional medical expenses, lost wages, or even death. Visit our website to find medical malpractice lawyers in your local area who may be able to help you with your claim. You may also call us toll free at 800-295-3959.

What Happens After My Medical Malpractice Claim Is Filed?

Sunday, June 26th, 2011

Once your medical malpractice lawyer gathers the necessary records and information including favorable opinion(s) from medical expert(s) regarding your medical malpractice claim, he may forward a settlement demand to the negligent health care provider and/or his medical malpractice insurance company or he may file the formal claim either with the court or with the required forum in your state (some states require that the medical malpractice claim not be filed with the court (at least initially) but rather with a special arbitration or other forum specified by the state’s laws). 

Once the formal medical malpractice claim is filed with the appropriate forum, there is usually a delay while the claim papers and other necessary documents are processed and then formally delivered to (served on) the named medical malpractice defendants. The medical malpractice defendants will then have a specified period of time in which to respond in writing to the claim such as raising preliminary matters or filing a formal response such as a denial of the claims made against the defendants.

The parties to the medical malpractice claim then typically engage in what is known as “discovery.” Discovery is the process by which the parties seek information and documents from each other in order to investigate the basis of the claims made and the stated defenses to the claims. Discovery requests usually come in many forms such as interrogatories (interrogatories are written questions that must be answered in writing and under oath), requests for the production of documents (the written requests for documents often require a written response to each document request as well as the production of either the original documents or a complete and accurate copy of the requested documents), requests for admission of facts whereby the parties request that certain facts be admitted for purposes of the claim so that formal proof of the facts need not be produced during the trial or during other proceedings, depositions of the parties, factual witnesses, and experts hired by the parties (depositions are testimony under oath usually taken before a court reporter or some other authorized person (either recorded in writing and/or by video) that typically take place in the lawyers’ offices, the experts’ offices, or some other place specified by the person requesting the deposition), etc. More often than not there are disagreements or disputes regarding the extent of the information requested during discovery or the information provided during discovery that may require a judge or some other person who has authority over the claim to hear the disputes and make determinations as to the extent of the allowable discovery. Discovery activities usually take place over the course of many months or even years.

Once discovery is concluded, then the parties may file certain motions (a motion is a written request by a party to a claim that requests the court or other forum to take a requested action with regard to a certain matter brought before them) and responses to motions that may be determined before the claim is ready to be heard and determined by the court, a jury, or other forum.

Our next blog will discuss what you may expect during the trial or other hearing involving your medical malpractice claim.

If you or a loved one were injured as a result of negligent medical care (medical malpractice), turn to us when you don’t know where to turn. You can use our website to find medical malpractice lawyers in your local area to discuss your possible medical malpractice claim. You may also telephone us toll free at 800-295-3959.

What Can I Expect After I Hire A Medical Malpractice Lawyer?

Saturday, June 25th, 2011

After you have hired  your medical malpractice lawyer, you should expect that he (or she) will meet with you to obtain as much information as possible regarding you and your medical history, your medical care leading up to the medical malpractice incident, the medical malpractice incident itself (including all witnesses and all health care providers involved with your medical care that led up to the medical malpractice incident), to learn how the negligent medical care affected you in all aspects of your life, to determine your injuries and damages as a result of the medical malpractice, and to obtain your signature on medical information release forms so that your medical malpractice lawyer can obtain your medical records, medical information, and medical bills.

You may not hear from your medical malpractice attorney for a period of time after your initial, in-depth meeting because he will be sending medical records requests to various medical care providers to obtain your medical records. Many medical malpractice attorneys will mail to you a copy of all correspondence that he sends from his office as well as a copy of all correspondence he receives regarding your medical malpractice claim so that you remain informed as to the work being done on your case and so that you may call your medical malpractice lawyer if you have any questions regarding the status of your claim.

Once your medical malpractice lawyer receives all relevant medical records and medical information, he will likely send the materials to one or more medical experts to review the documents and render his expert opinion with regard to the medical care you received (or failed to receive) and whether the health care provider(s) breached the standard of care required of them with regard to your care (the definition of “standard of care” may be different in different states but in general the standard of care is that level of care that a reasonably competent health care provider in the same medical field or profession would provide under the same or similar circumstances in the same or similar locale). It may take weeks or even months for the experts to get back in touch with your medical malpractice attorney to give him their opinions whether your health care provider(s) breached the standard of care in your case. If you have any questions while waiting for your lawyer to contact you, or if simply want to know the status of your medical malpractice claim, you should feel comfortable in contacting your lawyer.

Once your medical malpractice lawyer receives a favorable opinion from the expert regarding your claim, your lawyer may contact the negligent health care provider and/or his malpractice insurance company to see if your claim can be settled without having to file a formal claim either in court or with the appropriate forum in your state. If your claim cannot be settled to your satisfaction, the next step is usually to file the formal claim (some states require, at least initially, that the claim be filed with an arbitration forum).

We will discuss what typically happens after the formal claim is filed in our next blog.

If you need to find a medical malpractice lawyer in your local area for a possible medical malpractice claim, please visit our website to be connected with local medical malpractice lawyers or call us toll free at 800-295-3959. Turn to us when you don’t know where to turn.