Sandweg & Ager, P.C.

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Latest from Sandweg & Ager, P.C.

You have been referred to a surgeon and she has advised you that you need surgery.  What now?  There are certain steps you should always take when this happens.

What happens if I don’t get the surgery?
This is always an option.  Just don’t get the surgery.  Ask the surgeon what is likely to happen if you choose not to get the surgery.  Remember in all discussions with the surgeon who wants to do the operation that this is how the surgeon makes money.  There is an old saying, “When the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem
Continue Reading What You Want To Know Before They Operate.

Something is going on and I am not sure what it is or why.  The incidence of objects being left behind in the body of the patient is increasing.  What is being left behind, you ask?  Mostly it is the usual things:  sponges, towels, laparotomy pads, surgical instruments, and fragments of broken objects.  Recently, I have had three patients come to me with guide wires left behind.  I have no idea how anyone can leave a nearly three foot long guide wire behind.  Needless to say, none of these objects should be left in patients after medical procedures.

The problem
Continue Reading The Retained Foreign Object.

At least the Arizona Medical Board lets the public know what it has been doing.  It publishes a running list of all of the disciplinary action it has taken over the past year.  It makes for very interesting reading.  Here is a link.

As the Board states, it has “legal authority to revoke, suspend, restrict, fine, reprimand or censure, require monitoring or additional education, or impose other remedial measures on the license of” physicians or physician assistants (P.A.) if the physician or physician assistant “has committed unprofessional conduct or is mentally or physically unable to safely engage in the
Continue Reading Your Tax Dollars At Work – The Arizona Medical Board

They are all around us.  The bacteria that cause infections are all around us.  They live on our skin, in our guts, on the food we eat, on the surfaces we touch, and in our mouths.  They float on the currents of air that surround us.  They are in the exhaled breath of the people who pass us on the street or who stand next to us in the elevator.  They are literally everywhere.  Of course, we evolved with bacteria and have developed barriers to keep them at bay.  If they manage to penetrate our barriers, however, they may get
Continue Reading Bacterial Infection: A Relentless Killer.

As I have written on many occasions, if you are the victim of medical malpractice, don’t count on anyone informing you of that fact.  Despite the obligation of doctors and hospitals to be honest with their patients, the curtain of silence and secrecy descends when there has been malpractice.  In fact, the worse the injury to the patient, the more likely it is that the doctors, nurses and hospital administrators will do all they can to keep the patient in the dark about what happened.

Medical malpractice is frighteningly common.  In my experience, you cannot be in a modern hospital
Continue Reading Have I Been The Victim of Medical Malpractice?

Over the many years I have been representing victims of medical malpractice, I have found that almost never will anyone inform the patient that he or she has been the victim of malpractice.  The sole exception is when a foreign object is left behind.  It is pretty difficult to pretend that the presence of a foreign object left behind in the body is just one of those things that happen from time to time through the fault of no one.  There aren’t very many foreign objects left behind so, in the vast majority of malpractice cases, the patient is on
Continue Reading Medical Ethics and Secrecy. You Cannot Have Both.

My mother lived until just before what would have been her 96th birthday.  She had a great attitude about life.  She kept busy gardening and volunteering as long as she could.  When old friends passed on, she made new, younger friends.  She talked to her friends on a daily basis.  She read the paper every day and kept up on world and local affairs.  She remained mentally sharp and engaged right up to the end.  I certainly hope that some of that will pass down to me but science tells us that we have more control over our later years
Continue Reading Want To Live Longer and Healthier? Think Positive.

The Covid pandemic has made the nursing shortage worse.  One of the results of the nationwide nursing shortage has been an increase in the number of traveling nurses, nurses who work for a staffing service and who are sent from hospital to hospital on a temporary basis.  The near constant movement of these nurses makes it even more difficult than usual for state nursing boards to keep track of nurses and to exercise supervision and discipline.  Sometimes, these traveling nurses are on the move one step ahead of the sheriff.

Today’s story is about a traveling nurse from the Southeast,
Continue Reading Traveling Nurse Allegedly Feeds Her Drug Habit at Hospital Medicine Cabinet

There is an old adage, often attributed to Benjamin Franklin, that beer is proof God loves us and want us to be happy.  To the extent that old Ben offered an opinion on this issue, he was probably talking about wine and not beer.  No matter.  That saying always resonated with me.  I love beer and wine and have taken comfort over the years in the reports of studies that say moderate drinking is good for you.   Sadly, not all studies of the effects of alcohol agree on its merits.  Not only do some studies disagree that moderate alcohol intake
Continue Reading Another Volley In The Alcohol Is Good/Bad For You War.

There are predators in the medical profession.  The profession is unable or unwilling to root them out.  The doctor I writing about today was proven to have preyed on vulnerable women in Southern Virginia for at least ten years between 2009 and 2019.  He almost certainly preyed on them for much longer than that.  He never should have had the chance.  As early as 1982, he lost his privileges at a local hospital for “poor clinical judgment” and for performing unnecessary surgeries.  His license to practice medicine was temporarily revoked in the 1990’s but reinstated in 1998.  How in the
Continue Reading Virginia OB/GYN, Who Routinely Performed Unnecessary Surgeries, Gets Prison Time

Capitalism has done wonders for the world in terms of raising the standard of living for so many people.  Of course, like everything else in this world, capitalism is not an unbridled blessing.  It has its dark side.  When it comes to health care, capitalism has caused a lot of problems.  Among them are the rise of health insurance giants, the growth of hospital chains, big pharma, and the increasing emphasis on medicine as a business whose goal is to make money to name just a few.  Today, I want to discuss how capitalism affects rural hospitals.  Rural hospitals face
Continue Reading Capitalism can be bad for your health

“Under no circumstances may physicians place their own financial interests above the welfare of their patients.”  American Medical Association Code of Medical Ethics Opinion 11.2.2.
Doctors rightly occupy a privileged position in our society.  We entrust them with our bodies, our health and, indeed, our very lives.  We trust them to put our interests first.  We trust them not to take advantage of us.  We trust them to be honest with us.  Without this level of trust, the physician/patient relationship cannot work.  Sadly, it seems that more and more often doctors are putting their own interests ahead of ours.  We
Continue Reading Doctor Conflicts of Interest Are Getting Worse.

I recently spoke to a gentleman, who lives here in Arizona,  Let’s call him, Bob.  Bob had been involved in an accident in another state.  The accident was the fault of the other driver.  The tow truck driver, who removed Bob’s motor home from the scene, told him he knew a good lawyer and had the lawyer call Bob.  Bob agreed to use the lawyer to make a claim for his property damage and his personal injuries.  It has now been almost two years since the accident and the lawyer won’t answer Bob’s calls, won’t send him correspondence with the
Continue Reading Choosing A Lawyer.

Last week I wrote about an ICU doctor in Ohio, who was accused of deliberately overdosing 11 of his critically ill patients with a powerful painkiller and thereby shortening their lives.  After nearly a week of deliberations, the jury acquitted him on all charges.
Today I want to write about another criminal case involving a medical professional, but one which involved quite different legal issues.  In this case, a nurse in Tennessee was convicted of negligent homicide for giving a patient the wrong medication, which allegedly caused her death.  Unlike the case against the ICU doctor, there was no allegation
Continue Reading Medical Malpractice or Criminal Conduct?

A 46 year old critical care specialist is on trial in Ohio.  He is accused of deliberately overdosing critically ill patients with fatal amounts of the potent painkiller, Fentanyl.  He was originally charged with 25 deaths but the court threw out 11 of those deaths.  The trial has been going on for almost two months.

In each of the 14 cases left, the patient was brought to the hospital in critical condition and was not expected to live.  The prosecution alleges that the doctor deliberately overdosed the patients in order to cause their deaths.  The doctor’s attorney claims the doctor
Continue Reading Murder, Malpractice or Compassionate Care?

There is never a good time to develop breast cancer but for women who have had the misfortune of being diagnosed with breast cancer, the treatment options have never been better than they are today.  The statistics remain daunting, however,  In 2021, over 280,000 women were diagnosed with breast cancer.  Almost 45,000 women died of breast cancer last year, many of whom had been fighting the disease for years.

Early detection and treatment are key to the improvement of outcomes.  When breast cancer is still localized at the time of its diagnosis, the survival rate is almost 99%.  Localized breast
Continue Reading Lots of Developments in Treatment of Breast Cancer