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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 Tagged with medical malpractice

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surgery-centerTwo recent articles discuss the increased risks of medical practice at surgery centers as they take on increasingly risky surgeries.

A global investigation by Christina Jewett from Kaiser Health News and Mark Alesia from USA Today reveals that since 2013, 260 people died of complications after they went for an in-and-out procedure at a surgery center in America.

Another investigation led by Lindy Washburn from NorthJersey.com found that more than 12,000 serious cases of personal  injury including 52 deaths have occurred in New Jersey surgery centers between September 2008 and September 2017. Additionally Washburn also found out that these numbers were only reflecting a partial reality as among the 298 surgery centers installed in New Jersey only half of them have to report to NJ’s Patient Safety Reporting System. In New Jersey surgical centers with only one room don’t need to report their patient safety data. Previous cases of medmal indicate that some victims died in the past but exact numbers are nowhere to be found. In her article Washburn describes several cases including the one of  Rekhaben Shah, a 67 year old woman who went to one of these centers for a routine colonoscopy and died two days later. A new law was just passed that will soon require all New Jersey surgical centers to report patients safety data.

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Urological Association Meeting ProgrammOur managing partner, New York Medical Malpractice Lawyer Ben Rubinowitz was invited by the New York Section of the American Urological Association Education & Research to participate in their 115th annual meeting. This meeting took place in Havana, Cuba, from November 5th to November 11th. During the meeting participants attended scientific sessions covering:

  • Kidney Cancer
  • Female Urology/Voiding Dysfunction
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Top 10 Health Technology HazardsMedical technology advancements globally increase quality and length of life however they don’t come without risks and hazards. New health technologies if not proprely used can also hurt patients and lead to medical malpractice. Every year the ECRI Institute publishes a list of the top 10 Health Technology Hazards. The 2018 report just came out.  Here are the 10 most important safety issues in Health Technology for 2018:

  1. Cyber security attacks

    The health care sector is the second most attacked sector by ransomewares after the financial sector. Health information not only contain patient health information but also crucial financial information such as social security numbers. Unfortunately many healthcare organizations are extremely vulnerable.  Their computers operating systems are often outdated and they are not prepared to face criminals holding patient’s information hostage and expecting payout in exchange. Last month a sophisticated group of hackers operating under the name “Dark Overlord”stole pictures from a high profile London plastic surgeon that included pictures of in-progress genitalia and breast enhancement of patients. Patients include celebrities and members of the royal family. The hackers also attacked numerous medical centers in the US last year.

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medical procedureIn a recent study,  a majority of doctors said they overtreat patients because they fear medical malpractice lawsuits. Not only is this fear exaggerated but also doctors seem to use it as a good excuse to perform unnecessary procedures that are very profitable to them.  For example angioplasty procedures to implant heart stents in patients are among the most overused interventions. Many procedures not only put patients at risk unnecessarily but inflate the nation’s medical bill.

In the study “Overtreatment in the United States” published in PLOS One yesterday, Heather Lyu from the Department of Surgery, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America, Tim Xu, Daniel Brotman, Brandan Mayer-Blackwell, Michol Cooper, Michael Daniel and Elizabeth C. Wick from the Department of Surgery and the Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America,  Vikas Saini and Shannon Brownlee from The Lown Institute, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America and Martin A. Makary from the Department of Surgery and the Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America, Department of Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America surveyed 2,106 physicians about over treatment. The survey found that according to physicians themselves,  20% of  all medical care provided to patients are unnecessary.  Physicians indicated that they felt 25% of tests, 22% of prescription medications and 11% of procedures were not needed. 85% of doctors  said they were over treating for fear of medical malpractice and 59% because they were pressured by their patients. However 70.8% of them recognize that when they over treat patients, physicians tend to perform unnecessary procedures that are the most profitable to them. Over treatment can cause additional and unnecessary harm to patients  and obviously unnecessary financial burden to patients and to insurance companies. Spine surgery, operations done to narrow blood vessels in the leg or stent procedures are all profitable procedures that are the most often found unnecessary for the patient.

Picture: courtesy of Wikipedia

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medical malpracticeIn 2003 Florida lawmakers decided to limit non economic damages for negligence of practitioners to $500,000 or $1 million “if the negligence resulted in a permanent vegetative state or death”.  At the time lawmakers said the cap would stop the medical malpractice insurance crisis and prevent doctors from leaving Florida. However there is no evidence of crisis Today and the Supreme Court of Florida recently ruled that this cap was unconstitutional.

The ruling arose from the case of  a victim of medical malpractice who saw the initial amount awarded by a jury substantially reduced by a judge based on this cap. Susan Kalitan had her esophagus perforated during an outpatient surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome. She spent 3 months in the intensive care unit including six weeks in a medically induced coma. She sued the North Broward Hospital District  and other people involved in her care at the public district. She was initially awarded $4.7 million  by the jury for pain and suffering. This amount was reduced to $1 million by Broward Circuit Judge Jack Tuter based on the cap described above.  After the cap was found unconstitutional by the Fourth District Court of Appeals, the hospital appealed the decision. In a 30-page opinion the Supreme Court confirmed that the cap was unconstitutional.

Read more in Daily Business Review

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Rubinowitz-Ben-B_12d7428b-27a7-4195-bebc-7788dce430881Our managing partner, Ben Rubinowitz, will be lecturing at the Nassau County Bar Association on Tuesday, May 2, 2017 at 5:30pm.   The topic will be Direct and Cross Examination in a Medical Malpractice Case. Ben will provide tips and techniques for examining the Target Defendant Doctor, strategies for questioning the Plaintiff’s Expert as well as the Defendant’s Expert. Ben will also suggest  methods of setting up successful arguments for Summation through strategic direct and cross examination.  Examples from real cases will be used throughout the presentation.

Click here for more info or to register

 

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A patient who has to be readmitted to an hospital may have a valid medical malpractice lawsuit against the hospital or the clinicians. When a patient is discharged too early or with not enough support not only may his or her condition worsen but also the health costs related to his or her readmission can be significant. Additionally,  hospital and doctors can be liable if the patient was negligently discharged.

Patients with chronic disease such as diabetes, COPD and congestive heart failure are among those who have the highest risk of being readmitted. Chronic diseases affect 1 out of 2 adults in the US and are responsible for 86% of healthcare spending. They also rank among the top 10 causes of death in thew US.

Recent studies have demonstrated that hospital who are using remote patient monitoring (RPM) can significantly reduce the readmission rate of chronic disease patients. RMP allows patients to collect samples and answer questionnaires about their personal health from home. Data is then transmitted to the doctors who can analyse them and follow up in real time with their patients.

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Patient wristbandPatient identification error may be medical malpractice that can result in serious injury and sometimes death of a patient. This type of medical error can happen at any step of a medical process from lab testing to medication administration and even billing.

A special report published by the ECRI Institute reviewed 160 recent scientific searches and publications written on this type of medical malpractice to provide a snapshot of the status of this prevalent occurrence.

The report found patient  identification errors at each of the following clinical contexts:

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Patient safetyAs healthcare providers implement new technologies and therapies every year, they also create unanticipated risks of medical malpractice. The ECRI Institute just published a report highlighting their main patient safety concerns. Below is a list of the top 10 medical situations where patients have the highest risk to be harmed in 2017.

  1. Management of Electronic Health Records (EHR)

    Here are some of the most common risks related to EHR:

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Hospital watch list 2017As healthcare evolves so does medical malpractice. The ECRI Institute just published its 2017 Top 10 Hospital C-suite Watch List. Here are the top 10 issues and technical challenges faced by hospitals in 2017.

  1. LIQUID BIOPSIES

    Liquid biopsies are tests using patients liquids such as patients’ blood, urine or plasma rather than tissues. They are easier, cheaper and less risky than needle or surgical biopsy of tissues. Mostly used for patients with cancer, these types of biopsies are the new trend but they are so new that their reliability  is still questionable.Hospitals using these tests need to set up a solid genetic test clinical utilization process to  mitigate diagnosis error.