Pictures of our partner Jeffrey Bloom speaking on “Cross Examination of an Expert Witness in a Medical Malpractice Case” last week in New York City at the New York State Bar Association “Bridging the Gap Winter 2016” program. Jeff stated that not only was the seminar very successful but “I found it to be particularly rewarding to share my knowledge of over 35 years with newly admitted lawyers to help them to bridge the gap between law school and the reality of practicing law in New York State. I feel it is an obligation to give back to our legal community, especially to newly admitted attorneys.”
In Raplee, Jr. V. United States The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, :Docket#14-1217, plaintiff initially filed a medical malpractice claim with Maryland’s alternative dispute resolution agency within the Federal Tort Claims Act’s (FTCA), 28 U.S.C. 2671 et seq., limitations period. However, plaintiff did not file a complaint in federal court until well after that period had passed. The district court dismissed the complaint as untimely. The court concluded that, because an “action is begun” under the FTCA only by filing a civil action in federal district court, plaintiff’s claim was untimely. The court also concluded that plaintiff failed to demonstrate that any extraordinary circumstances warranted equitable tolling. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment. Read Opinion here.
Medical technology can prolong life expectancy. However when not proprely handled, complex medical equipment can also increase the risk of medical malpractice.When the staff is not adequately trained or is too busy, medical errors related to technical equipment can occur. Medical malpractice related to technology hazards can seriously injure or kill patients. The ECRI Institute is closely monitoring risks and related medical errors related to new health technology. Every year the patient advocate organization publishes a report of the 10 biggest technology hazards. Here is the 2017 ranking:
- Infusion error
After a nurse or a member of the medical staff installs a new infusion pump for a patient with an IV line, it seems obvious that he or she would check if the medication drips proprely in the tube. Unfortunately, this simple step is often neglected making infusion errors the biggest technology hazard in healthcare. Physical damages to the pump or staff not making appropriate use of the roller clamp on the IV tubing can cause uncontrolled flow of medication to the patient .”IV free flow” is mostly the result of medical malpractice that is easily preventable. It can cause severe harm to patients. Some of them die.
Failure to diagnose breast cancer at an early stage or delay in treating breast cancer early can have deadly consequences. Early detection of the disease through regular screening such as mammogram is essential for every woman over 40 year old. According to Cancer.net, women who are diagnosed when the cancer is located only in the breast have an almost 100% chance to survive for at least 5 years. If the cancer is detected after it spread to the regional lymph nodes, the 5 year-survival rate is 85%. A woman diagnosed with breast cancer that spread to another part of her body has a 26% chance to survive more than 5 years.
Statistics also indicate that only 61% of breast cancers are diagnosed at an early stage. Unfortunately, despite campaigns such as the Breast Cancer Awareness Month that ended Yesterday, too many women over 40 years old are still not getting regular mammogram. 29% of women who have health insurance and should be screened are still not doing it. Among women who do not have health insurance, as many as 68% of them are not getting mammograms. Not having an insurance is not an excuse for not getting regular mammograms. In every city, charitable organizations offer free screenings for women who can’t afford to pay for them. In New York our firm is sponsoring free mammography vans through the Judges and Lawyers Breast Cancer Alert.
FAILURE TO DIAGNOSE BREAST CANCER CAN BE MEDICAL MALPRACTICE
Compartment Syndrome occurs when the pressure within a closed anatomic space (a compartment) becomes so elevated that capillary perfusion is compromised. Any closed anatomic space including the abdominal cavity is at risk of developing a compartment syndrome. Abdominal compartment syndrome is a clinical disease spectrum that results from increased intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) due to tissue edema or free fluid collecting in the abdominal cavity. Click above to read more.
Wrong patient error is medical malpractice that can have deadly consequences. As healthcare is becoming more and more sophisticated, patients are visiting multiple care providers and their personal data are being shared through multiple IT systems. The growing complexity of the health care system has led to an increase in patient errors according to a recent report released by the ECRI Institute.
The report entitled “Deep Dive” is based on the analysis of more than 7,500 events of patient identification errors. The researchers found that most identification errors are corrected before they affect the patients. However some do reach the patients. Some patient identification errors may have limited consequences. For example, a nursing home resident was mistaken for another resident and taken for an unnecessary exam to an affiliated hospital. Other identification errors can have dangerous consequences. An infant was infected with hepatitis B after receiving breast milk pumped from the wrong mother. Some wrong patient errors can be fatal. A patient who suffered cardiac arrest was not resuscitated because the medical staff followed a “do-not-resuscitate” order from another patient.
Wrong patient errors can happen at all stages of a medical process, from registration to electronic data entry, surgical intervention, medication administration, diagnostic or blood transfusion. They can occur in various settings such as nursing homes, doctor offices, hospitals or pharmacies. They are not only committed by doctors but also by nurses, transporters, medical secretaries or anyone else from the medical staff interacting with the patient. Often as the patient is mistaken for another one, the error doesn’t affect only one person but two.
Our partner Jeffrey Bloom will be talking about Medical Malpractice at the next “Bridging the Gap Winter 2016” program. This seminar is organized by the New York State Bar Association. It is primarily intended to help newly admitted lawyers to bridge the gap between law school and the reality of practicing law in New York State. This two-day program will take place on November 30 and December 1st at the CUNY Auditorium of the Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Ave in Manhattan. It will be broadcast to Albany, Buffalo and Boston in an interactive video conference format. Participants will be able to interact directly with other participants or speakers in other locations. The program will also be streamed on a live webcast. This two-day program offers 16.0 MCLE credits. It covers various areas of law.
Jeff Bloom will speak on “Cross Examination of an Expert Witness in a Medical Malpractice Case”. A top New York Medical Malpractice Attorney, Jeff has built his reputation trying numerous cases involving failure to diagnose cancer, surgical errors as well as cerebral palsy. Jeff recently represented Melissa Rivers after her mother, Joan Rivers died during a routine surgical procedure. He obtained a confidential but substantial settlement for the Rivers family. Jeff is also actively involved in pushing New York lawmakers to pass Lavern’s Law. The proposed law would be especially useful for cancer patients who have been misdiagnosed but can’t sue because of the statute of limitations.
Mr. Bloom describes his view of his work as follows: “One of the most difficult events a person may ever encounter is being told that he or she has a serious illness such as cancer. Even more devastating, however, is the realization that the disease should have and could have been diagnosed earlier. As a medical malpractice attorney, my role is to prove this medical negligence to the jury with the ultimate goal of securing a substantial award as compensation for the losses suffered by our clients.”
Medical Malpractice may have been committed on many American Africans who were previously diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. A recent study found that some genetic variations that were linked to this condition were indeed harmless. These specific genetic variations were found more often in black Americans than in white Americans. Therefore many patients from African descent may have been misdiagnosed or are still being treated for a condition they don’t suffer from.
Also called, abnormally thick heart muscle, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a genetic disease that affects 1 out of 500 Americans. The disorder can cause arrhythmia and can be fatal. Symptoms may include chest pain, difficulty, breathing, fatigue and swelling in the ankles and feet. For a complete list and diagnostic testing see The American Heart Association web site. Sometimes there are no symptoms.
Abnormally thick heart muscle is diagnosed through genetic testing. A patient who tests positive for the condition will often be required to change his or her lifestyle. These changes may include healthy diet, additional physical activities, losing excessive weight or stopping smoking. Patients diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy are often prescribed specific medication to treat the condition. Various types of surgeries are also commonly used as well as alcohol septal ablation, a noninvasive procedure.
Discharging a patient too early can be hospital negligence that puts a patient at higher risk of readmission or death. An alarming new study shows that 1 out of 5 patients is released from the hospital before his vital signs are stable. The study released in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, was conducted by Dr. Oanh Nguyen (Assistant Professor Internal Medicine Department of Clinical Science), Dr. Anil Makam (Assistant Professor Internal Medicine Department of Clinical Science) and Dr. Ethan A. Halm (Professor Internal Medicine Department of Clinical Sciences and Chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine), all from the University of Texas (UT) Southwestern Medical Center.
Vital signs include:
Failure to diagnose alcohol withdrawal symptom (AWS) can be medical malpractice that may cause severe injury or even death in some cases. The ECRI Institute is looking at options to better “Identify Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms Early and Ease Patients’ Care”.
An estimated 20 % of the patients that are admitted in US hospitals show symptoms of alcohol abuse or dependence. Those that are admitted for alcohol poisoning and detoxification may be difficult to treat but their alcohol withdrawal symptoms will usually be properly diagnosed and addressed.
Patients at a higher higher risk to be misdiagnosed for alcohol withdrawal symptoms are those who are admitted for a different medical condition than alcohol intoxication or dependence.