- Improper use of the Electronic Health Record (EHR) can be medical malpractice that can cause severe harm and sometimes death. Diagnoses that are not proprely communicated or followed up are the number one concern when it comes to patient safety in 2019. Too often, the 3 main components of the EHR, The diagnosis, the treatment plan and the follow up plan are inaccurate or missing. As a result, the risk of diagnostic error increases.
- The second biggest cause of concern for patient safety is the over prescription of antibiotics to patients that increases their antibiotic resistance and as a result limits their future treatment options. The over prescription of antibiotics affect particularly seniors who believe antibiotics can help them to feel better in almost any type of situation and doctors who are handing them out like candies.
Army medical staff and doctors should be accountable for medical malpractice says a bipartisan group of House lawmakers that just announced a legislation that would allow malpractice lawsuits against the military by creating an exemption to the Feres Doctrine, a 69-year-old legal precedent barring that legal action. This new legislation is coming after congressional hearings of victims of military medical mistakes last April.
One of the key victims testifying was Sgt. 1st Class Richard Stayskal. The 37-year-old green beret who miraculously survived a pierced lung after being shot by a sniper when he was deployed to Iraq in 2004 is now fighting for his life again because of of gross medical malpractice by army doctors. In 2017, after struggling with severe breathing issues Stayskal went to visit a civilian doctor who diagnosed him with stage 4 lung cancer. Previously Stayskal consulted with Army doctors who diagnosed him with bad pneumonia. The Army doctors misdiagnosed the tumor in his lung, allowing it to double in size and spread to vital organs. A father of two young daughters, Stayskal has a one year life expectancy.
Also appearing in front of Congress last month was the widow of 25 year old U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Dean Witt. The young man was admitted at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, California for a routine appendectomy. He was left in a vegetative state after a nurse anesthetist inserted a breathing tube into his esophagus instead of his trachea or airway, depriving his brain of oxygen. His family decided to remove him from life support one month after the operation.
Our managing partner, NYC Medical Malpractice Lawyer Ben Rubinowitz is honored to be invited to the American Urologic Association’s Annual Meeting 2019 held in Chicago, May 3-6 2019. There he will have the opportunity to speak with Practicing Physicians and Hospital Department Chairs about Medical Malpractice in general and about the pitfalls of Electronic Medical Records, In addition, his lecture will focus on doctors’ failure to properly inform their patients of the risks, benefits and alternatives of the proposed treatment, communication errors and recurrent departures from accepted standards of medical care. The goal of the talk is to allow for better patient care.
Click here for more info or to register
Our managing partner, NYC Personal Injury Attorney Ben Rubinowitz will be speaking at the Long Island Medical Malpractice Litigation 2019 Seminar organized by the New York State Bar Association. The seminar will take place on Wednesday February 27th at the Melville Marriott located at 1350 Walt Whitman Road in Melville. Ben will be speaking on openings and summations.
The seminar will start with a presentation of the Developments in the Substantive Law that will cover the recent legal issues and legislative development, e-Discovery, Ex parte interviews with treating physicians, recent developments in Lien Law and the fund for neurologically impaired infants. It will be followed by a presentation on discovery including social media and internet information, surveillance, Arons authorizations and more. After a coffee break, participants will learn tips and techniques to question the defendant during depositions and trial. In the afternoon the program will first focus on the preparation of the defendant for deposition. It will be followed by a presentation on how to cross examine an expert. Participants will then learn how to prepare perfect openings and summations. The program will end with a view from the Bench.
A must for both new and experienced attorneys, this seminar will be filled with useful information and valuable tips. The program will provide an overview of the key issues in medical malpractice litigation through a combination of lectures and practical demonstrations. Learn how to determine the relevant standard of care, how to prepare your case, how to avoid common pitfalls and how to examine expert witnesses. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn trial strategies and techniques in medical malpractice actions from top-notch litigators and distinguished State and Federal Judges.
The case involved a 74 year old plaintiff who sought treatment with a gastroenterologist due to a cyst on his pancreas. After visiting the gastroenterologist, the plaintiff underwent a blood test to check for evidence of cancer, but did not undergo any further testing. Sixteen months later, the plaintiff underwent testing due to his inability to control his blood sugar. It was determined at that time that he was suffering from pancreatic cancer. Unfortunately, the plaintiff passed away from his cancer eleven months after being diagnosed.
A claim was brought against the treating gastroenterologist for failing to recommend further testing for the plaintiff’s pancreatic cyst. Plaintiff claimed that had further testing been done, specifically an endoscopic ultrasound, the pancreatic cancer would have been diagnosed sixteen months earlier and would have given him a much better chance at surviving the disease. A claim was also brought against a radiologist who plaintiff claimed failed to point out worrisome features of the pancreatic cyst when reviewing a CT scan of the abdomen.
To prevent medical malpractice, hospitals and other medical facilities have to constantly be aware of the new technological hazards that can be detrimental to patients. Every year the ECRI Institute compiles a list of the most hazardous technological issues that can hurt patients. Here are a summary of the 2019 Top 10 Health Technology Hazards.
- ECRI lists potential hackers attacks to medical networks the number one technological threat for the medical community. Hackers have been using remote access to infiltrate the network of healthcare organizations and to install ransomware or other malware to steal data, degrade or render inoperative devices or hijack computers for other malevolent purposes. Hackers look for organizations with weak cyber security therefore it is essential for healthcare organizations to make sure that they are up to date with all recommended cyber security practices.
- Dirty mattresses that are oozing body fluids from previous patients to new patients has become the biggest health concern of hospitals. Healthcare facility are facing major issues with mattress covers that are not proprely cleaned or that become weak and susceptible to break after being cleaned with inappropriate products and/or procedures. The ECRI Institute recommends that suppliers provide clear guidelines on how to clean covers without compromising their integrity.
Our partner, NYC Medical Malpractice Lawyer Jeffrey Bloom, was recently invited to be a faculty member at the “Mount Sinai Update 2018: Breast Imaging” seminar that occurred October 1st to 3rd in New York. Jeff spoke on how to reduce Medical Malpractice Exposure. Organized by The International Institute for Continuing Medical Education, the seminar covered all clinical aspects of breast imaging including mammography, digital breast tomosynthesis, breast ultrasound, breast MRI, molecular breast imaging and interventional procedures, as well as medicolegal issues. Jeff was part of a faculty of nineteen nationally and internationally recognized experts.
More info about the seminar can be found here
Last year a neurosurgeon was sentenced to life in prison after it was found that he committed medical malpractice and butchered 33 of the 37 patients he operated on, including two who didn’t survive. His name is Christopher Duntsch. After he was arrested in Dallas, his story was covered by all the local media who nicknamed him Dr. Death. A few days ago, ProPublica released the result of an in-depth investigation on his story and describes how the case had to be taken to the criminal system because the medical system wasn’t working and patients couldn’t be protected.
After an unsuccessful beginning of a career as a football player, Duntsch decided to become a neurosurgeon. He was able to get his undergraduate degree and to enroll at the University of Tennessee at Memphis College of Medicine to get an M.D. and a P.H.D. During his surgical residency, with a few partners, he launched DiscGenics, a company that was developing and selling disc stem cells.
Duntsch also developed a terrible cocaine habit and had the reputation of being a party animal. He would often do cocaine and alcohol all night and go straight to his residency to the hospital. His partners at DiscGenics worried about it and forced him out of the business.
Our Medical Malpractice Attorneys Jeffrey Bloom and Ben Rubinowitz represented the family of Joan Rivers after she died during a routine endoscopy at a Manhattan surgery center. Sadly many other patients have died following complications or surgical errors at this type of center as many States still do not have regulations that may prevent them. For example in most of the country there is no law that prohibits a doctor who was laid off by a hospital for misconduct to open a surgery center.
A recent USA TODAY NETWORK and Kaiser Health News investigation found that a surgery center in Arkansas 3 people died during colonoscopy procedures in 15 weeks and none of them were reported to an oversight authority. Patients coming for procedures were obviously not aware of these deaths either. This must change.
The lack of oversight continues to kill patients at surgery centers
Among all the States in the US, New York State has the highest rate of mothers injured while giving birth. Many of these injuries are the direct result of hospital negligence and medical malpractice. A recent investigation by USA Today shows that not only in New York but all over America negligent medical workers skip basic safety practices that have proven to be life savers for mothers.
Weighing blood pads to track dangerous hemorrhages as well as controlling blood pressure and if necessary immediately providing medication to prevent strokes are basic procedures that protect a mother about to give birth. However in the US many nurses, doctors and hospitals continue to ignore them. As a result while in most developed countries the rate of maternal deaths and injuries dropped drastically over the last decades, it rose sharply in the US.
Excepted for California where safe practices have been implemented, hospitals in other Sates continue to ignore basic safety practices. As a result, every day in the US, 2 mothers die from complications related to delivery. Many of them bleed to death because doctors and nurses don’t bother to quantify blood losses. Many others die from stroke because the hospital staff didn’t track their blood pressure or didn’t provide blood pressure medication on time. Most of these deaths are preventable. Experts estimate that 93% of the deaths related to bleeding could be avoided by quantifying blood loss and 60% of the deaths related to blood pressure disorder could be prevented simply by proprely monitoring blood pressure.