Our partner, Jeffrey Bloom, will be speaking tomorrow at the “Mt. Sinai Update 2013: Breast Imaging” program. This program is designed to cover clinical aspects of breast imaging including digital mammography, breast ultrasound, breast MRI, and interventional procedures, as well as medicolegal issues. The faculty consists of twelve nationally and internationally recognized experts. Jeffrey Bloom will be speaking on the subject of Breast Imaging Malpractice and provide a Plaintiff’ Attorney’s Perspective. The complete Agenda can be found here.
A surgeon can be sued for Medical Malpractice if he or she failed to properly communicate care instructions to a patient after the surgery.
Recently Web M&M analyzed the case of a woman who needed arthroscopic surgery after she tore the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in her left knee.
The surgeon talked to the patient before the surgery and gave her postoperative instructions for ACL repair that included 50% weight bearing immediately after the surgery
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.
Children exposed to anti-seizure medication in the womb have a higher risk of suffering from early developmental issues according to a study led by Dr. Gyri Veiby from Haukeland University Hospital in Bergen, Norway.
The study covered a 9 year time frame and looked at the risk of adverse outcomes in children according to epilepsy in the mother or father, and with or without antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) exposure in the womb. At 18 months, the children exposed to AEDs in utero had increased risk of abnormal gross motor skills and autistic traits and at 36 months an increased risk of abnormal gross motor skills, sentence skills, and autistic traits compared to unexposed children.Further analysis determined that AED-exposed children had increased risk of birth defects compared to children not exposed to the drugs in utero.
Alarm fatigue happens when medical workers overwhelmed by constant and loud alarm rings turn down the volume on the devices, shut them off or simply ignore them. These actions can lead to serious personal injury or wrongful death.
As hospitals invest in more and more sophisticated equipment to save lives, nurses and other hospital workers especially in Intensive Care Units have to deal with the constant and sometimes very loud ringing of alarms during their shift. A recent study estimated that the average number of alarms that sounded per bed per day in one ICU was 771. This is obviously more than staff and patients can take and hospitals have to make a priority of reviewing their alarm system or they may risk loss of their accreditation.
In a very interesting article, Lena H. Sun from the Washington Post, gives an overview of recent Medical Malpractice cases related to Alarm Fatigue and what measures are being taken by hospitals to address this growing medical concern.
Delay 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.
Drug-induced liver injury (also called DILI or drug-induced hepatotoxicity) is a significant cause of personal injury and wrongful death in many patient populations. According to a study published in in the June issue of Gastroenterology induced liver injury is caused in 75% of cases by a single prescription, in 16% of cases by a dietary supplement and in 9% of cases by multiple agents.
The population based study performed in Iceland, demonstrated that the incidence of DILI was the highest reported to date. Lead author Einar Björnsson, Department of Internal Medicine, Section of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, National University Hospital, Reykjavik, Iceland Faculty of Medicine, University of Iceland, presents the study in the video below.
Installation of antimicrobial copper surface is a very effective way to fight infections and prevent personal injury due to hospital negligence. A unique study presented by the York Health Economics Consortium (YHEC) at the International Conference on Prevention and Infection Control (ICPIC) in Geneva, investigated the economic benefits of deploying antimicrobial copper touch surfaces in intensive care units (ICUs) to fight the rampant international epidemic of healthcare-associated infections (HCAIs) . The model is transparent and the results show rapid return on the investment.
Our partner Stephen Mackauf and John E. Hall Jr. from Hall Booth Smith, P.C. will co chair the 12th Annual Advanced Forum of the American Conference Institute on Obstetric Malpractice Claims on June 26th-27 2013 in Philadelphia. For more iinformation see our prior post here.
Percutaneous nephrolithotomy, or PCNL, is a minimally invasive urological surgery during which a surgeon removes medium to large kidney stones through a small incision in the back using a hollow scope. The use of PCNL is increasing especially among women and complications are on the rise particularly blood infections. Patients are at risk of developing complications if they are older, sicker and treated in more recent years. Age is significantly associated with increased odds of mortality according to a research from from Khurshid R. Ghani, M.D., of Henry Ford Hospital’s Vattikuti Urology Institute, which was published in the Journal of Urology.