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Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf is a New York Plaintiff's personal injury law firm specializing in automobile accidents, construction accidents, medical malpractice, products liability, police misconduct and all types of New York personal injury litigation.

Articles Posted in Delay to Treat or Failure to Diagnose a Medical Condition

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In this medical malpractice case the plaintiff was diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer in her right breast. She underwent a right breast mastectomy. She had a family history of breast cancer. Seven years later in 2007 she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. The plaintiffs alleged that, given the plaintiff’s own medical history and that of her paternal family, as well as her father’s Ashkenazi Jewish ethnicity, defendant’s failure to recommend, prior to November 2007, “BRCA” genetic testing or prophylactic surgery removing her ovaries, which could have prevented the onset of her ovarian cancer, constituted medical malpractice. In reversing the Court below and reinstating the complaint the Court held:

“Here, the allegations in the bills of particulars concerning the period from March 2001 through November 2007, when the patient was under defendant’s care, were that defendant departed from the accepted medical practices of that time by failing to recommend “BRCA” genetic testing and “prophylactic oophorectomy or bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy” to the patient, given her personal and family medical history. Since the respondents’ expert failed to provide any information as to what the accepted medical practices were during the period at issue with regard to BRCA genetic testing, and did not refute or even address (see Berkey v Emman, 291 AD2d at 518) the specific allegations regarding the failure to recommend prophylactic oophorectomy or bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy, the respondents did not meet their prima facie burden on the issue of whether there was a departure from accepted medical practices.

Accordingly, the Supreme Court should have denied the respondents’ motion for summary judgment dismissing the complaint insofar as asserted against them.” See: Mancuso v. Friscia, et al., 2013 NY Slip Op 05515.

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An elderly woman with an history of pancreatitis was admitted for an emergency laparotomy after she showed symptoms of acute abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. The diagnosis was small bowel obstruction. Her heart stopped during anesthesia and she had to be resuscitated and sent to the ICU. She died there the day after. The hospital’s case review committee concluded it was a misdiagnosis: the patient suffered acute pancreatitis and not a small bowel obstruction therefore surgery was contraindicated and death could have been prevented. This type of cases raises questions about the decision process in emergency surgery, specifically for elderly people. The complete case as well as a medical commentary, references and World Health Organization Surgical Safety Checklist can be found at Web M&M.

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Failure to diagnose cancer most commonly breast cancer, colon cancer, melanoma, lung cancer and malignant tumors in the female genital tract are the most common misdiagnoses in the primary care setting. The second most common type of misdiagnosis is failure to diagnose myocardial infarction. Failure to diagnose meningitis in children is also among the most misdiagnosed conditions by primary care doctors.

Medications errors such as prescription errors, contraindicated medication, administration errors leading to adverse reactions are the second most common types of medical malpractice committed by general practitioners.

These findings are the result of a computerized literature search that compiled 34 relevant studies mostly in the US but also in Canada and Europe. The complete results of the research, led by Dr. Emma Wallace from the HRB Center for Primary Care Research of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Medical School, in Dublin can be found at BMJ open.

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Prostate cancer is is the second most common cancer among men. Delay to treat or failure to diagnose prostate cancer may have fatal consequences but so far it has been difficult for doctors to diagnose how aggressive prostate cancer is. Additionally the role played by the nerves around the tumor was never well understood.

A new study led by by stem-cell expert Paul Frenette, M.D., professor of medicine and of cell biology and director of the Ruth L. and David S. Gottesman Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Research at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, Bronx, New York demonstrates that nerves commonly found around cancerous tumors play an important role in the development and spread of the tumor.

This innovative study opens the door to new ways to prevent and treat prostate cancer.

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Failure to diagnose a heart condition may be medical malpractice that can lead to death. Conventionally used indicators to diagnose heart failure show potential for cardiovascular injury but do not provide adequate risk control for those at higher risk of heart failure or those newly diagnosed with HF. A study published in the July 3 issue of JAMA shows that collaborative care based on peptide level screening reduce the combined rates of left ventricular systolic dysfunction, diastolic dysfunction, and heart failure as well as emergency cardiovascular hospitalizations.

Heart failure happens when the heart cannot pump enough blood and oxygen to support other organs.This serious condition is affecting 5.7 million Americans every year. It costs the nation 34.4 billion every year in health care services, medications, and lost productivity. Diseases that damage the heart including coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes-are common causes of heart failure. Smoking; being overweight; eating foods high in fat, cholesterol, and sodium; and physical inactivity also increase the risk of developing heart failure.

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Failure%20to%20diagnose%20sepsis.jpgDelay to treat or Failure to diagnose Sepsis may lead to the loss of multiple organs and ultimately to death. Every year 500,000 Americans will be hospitalized because they suffer from severe Sepsis and 250,000 will die from it. Sepsis is a condition that is usually triggered by a bacterial infection of the bloodstream. Early diagnosis is key to preventing mortality. Thanks to a new automated diagnostic test developed by a team of researchers led by Nathan Ledeboer from the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW), USA, sepsis could be diagnosed much faster and many lives could be saved.

The study is published this week in PLOS Medicine.

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Aneurysm.jpgIn order to prevent Medical Malpractice, observation should be the treatment of choice for all stable brain aneurysms including the smallest ones as all brain aneurysms, even those smaller than the current 7-mm treatment threshold, have 12 times more of a chance to break and lead to a catastrophic brain injury or death if they are growing in size according a recent study published in the Journal of Radiology and lead by J. Pablo Villablanca, M.D., chief of diagnostic neuroradiology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. The study also demonstrates that Aneurysm growth, size, and smoking were associated with increased rupture risk.

30,000 Americans each year suffer ruptured brain aneurysms and 40% of them die. Among the survivors, two-thirds suffer permanent neurological damage. A cerebral aneurysm is a growth in a blood vessel in the brain. If it breaks, blood is leaked into or around the brain, which can cause brain damage or death.

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Dosing errors, delay to treat or failure to diagnose a medical condition because of poor interaction between humans and computers or loss of data can result in serious personal injury and wrongful death.

Poor choice or inadequate implementation of Emergency Department Information Systems (EDISs) can threaten health care quality and patient safety. Findings and recommendations from two work groups from the American College of Emergency Physicians were released in a report last Friday in Annals of Emergency Medicine.

The report indicates that The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act of 2009 and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services “meaningful use” incentive programs as well as additional requirements for detailed reporting of quality metrics have been major catalysts for the development and implementations of EDISs. However systems functionality varies greatly and it is crucial for emergency providers to actively participate in decisions about EDISs selection, implementation and monitoring.

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During colonoscopy, endoscopists can find potentially precancerous growths (polyps) and remove them, however some polyps especially on the right side of the colon are more difficult to detect. Failure to detect these polyps reduces the efficacy of colonoscopy for colon cancer screening.

By using a quarterly report card, endoscopists at the Roudebush Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Indianapolis were able to increase the overall adjusted adenoma (precancerous polyp) detection rate from 44.7 percent to 53.9 percent, and to improve the cecal intubation rate from 95.6 percent to 98.1 percent. The complete study can be found in the June issue of GIE: Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, the monthly peer-reviewed scientific journal of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE)

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Diagnostic errors are not a new problem, in 1991 the Harvard medical Practice Study, investigated Medical Malpractice in New York Hospitals and found out that diagnostic errors were accounting for 14% of physicians errors and that 75% of them were due to doctors negligence.

In 1999 a study from the Institute of Medicine “To Err is Human”, looks at diagnostic errors and classifies them in four different categories: error or delay in diagnosis, failure to employ indicated tests, use of outmoded tests or therapy and failure to act on results of monitoring or testing.

Despite these studies, diagnostic errors have been largely ignored until recent research calculated the impact of such errors. Results from a 2009 report funded by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality showed that 28% of diagnostic mistakes were life-threatening or had resulted in death or permanent disability.